College students called for increasing awareness of campus hate crimes last night at a student-organized forum at Boston College.
The group of mostly black and Asian college students discussed ways to prevent future occurrences on college campuses, which they speculated are provoked by racial ignorance and carelessness.
“It is time for students to examine structural and institutional problems. There is no effective protocol to respond to these acts,” said BC senior Omolara Bewaji. “People’s lives have been endangered on campus.”
Students broke into discussion groups to dissect the issues of racial bias, racial satire and hate crimes. The groups specifically questioned why hate crimes occur and what types of actions or words should be considered racist or bordering on hateful.
The group also called the “whites-only” scholarship initiated by the Boston University College Republicans last November a blatant example of accepted racism.
The groups reached a consensus that students and faculty need to collaborate to more effectively educate students on the nature of racism, but they did not come up with any policies to present to administrators at their respective campuses.
Forum leaders Alexandria Bradshaw, a BC senior, and Jodi-Ann Burey, a BC junior, said the event was organized as a way to prevent future occurrences on campus, referencing an October incident in which five black women were verbally attacked by a drunken white student on BC’s campus.
“It is our responsibility to have these strategic sessions,” Bradshaw said.
Flyers for the event advocated outlawing racially insensitive material such as white supremacist flyers, as well as putting a stop to students wearing blackface Halloween costumes and throwing “gangsta”-themed parties.