Boston University reeks of scandal. For the past several months, students have been watching as story after inflammatory story hits the news. And I’m tired of it. Let’s get our act together, and let’s do this for our own sake.
As a campus, let’s make a pact to do a little better. Our academics are competitive and our individual schools and colleges are award-winning. I am proud to say that BU is home to many of the smartest people I know, so let’s stop acting like idiots.
I won’t rehash the numerous ways BU has drawn negative attention from the public recently, but when I read a report of another scandal on Monday afternoon, I decided that I had had enough. The fact is that most of the students at BU are not involved in any of the controversies of late, but we all need to recognize that BU is in the public eye, and we need to act like it.
BU is not an urban circle of hell where sorority girls drink too much and frat boys are tied up in Allston dungeons until they are found by the police. It is not a place where rape and sexual assault are so commonplace that the school newspaper can joke about it on every page. At least I hope it isn’t, which is why I’m so saddened by all of these reports. And by the way, the fact that the administration thinks the only thing they need to do to counteract this seemingly endless outpouring of bad PR is to make a “task force” isn’t exactly a good sign.
We need to clean up our act. It’s time for the BU community to get together to change our headline, and that means changing some of our behavior as well. I hope that any student, hockey player or not, who sexually assaults another student becomes unwelcome on this campus – because I don’t want them here. But it is up to the rest of us to not seem complicit in these actions. Innocent men, athletes and Greek organizations on campus are getting slandered by association, and they have to speak out against what’s happening. Almost everyone at BU is against hazing, sexual assault and rape – and until recently, that has gone without saying. But we can no longer stand by and watch as all this news damages the reputation of the school and community we love. We have to say something.
I’m proud to attend BU and until recently, my pride went unquestioned. This school has so many positives, my favorite being the fact that no two BU experiences are exactly alike. We should leverage this range of experiences at BU and tell the world about them. If every undergraduate student posts his or her favorite memory of BU to their Facebook, Twitter or blog, there would be more than 18,000 positive examples of BU online to counteract the few negative ones. I can’t name all of the best things about BU in this letter, so I’m going to need your help.
Since each of us attends BU, it is up to us to improve the culture and change our headline. It is clear from our presence on social media that we all have something to say – but it’s time we started saying it together. We should take advantage of opportunities to speak out, and we should start creating some of our own as well. I’m a senior, so I’ll only be at BU for a few more weeks, but I’ll keep speaking out, and I hope you will join me.