Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.20
Liaison Denice Koljonen
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2022

STARS v2.2

Boston College
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Patricia Lowe
Executive Director
Office of Institutional Diversity
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:


Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1863, Boston College is dedicated to intellectual excellence and to its Jesuit, Catholic heritage. Boston College recognizes the essential contribution a diverse community of students, faculty and staff makes to the advancement of its goals and ideals in an atmosphere of respect for one another and for the University’s mission and heritage. Accordingly, Boston College commits itself to maintaining a welcoming environment for all people and extends its welcome in particular to those who may be vulnerable to discrimination on the basis of their race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, age, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, military status, or other legally protected status.

Boston College rejects and condemns all forms of harassment, wrongful discrimination and disrespect. It has developed procedures to respond to incidents of harassment whatever the basis or circumstance. Moreover, it is the policy of Boston College, while reserving its lawful rights where appropriate to take actions designed to promote the Jesuit, Catholic principles that sustain its mission and heritage, to comply with all state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and in its educational programs on the basis of a persons race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, age, marital or parental status, genetic information or family medical history, or military status, and to comply with state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation.

To this end, Boston College has designated its Executive Director for Institutional Diversity to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities to prevent discrimination in accordance with state and federal laws, including Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and the ADA. Any applicant for admission or employment, and all students, faculty members and employees, are welcome to raise any questions regarding this notice with the Executive Director for Institutional Diversity:

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

Boston College is committed to addressing incidents of hate and bias on campus. The University has developed a Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents Protocol by which faculty, staff and students are able to find support and report such incidents. This protocol was developed to provide members of the Boston College community with information on the process for reporting a hate crime or bias-related incidents and on the resources available.

Those who have been a target of, or who have witnessed a hate crime or bias related incident, are encouraged to use our online form to ensure the University is aware of these incidents. In accordance with the protocol (see How to Report a Hate Crime), individuals who have been a target of, or who have witnessed, a hate crime are encouraged to, if necessary, obtain medical attention, and if they feel unsafe, call the BC Police Department (BCPD) emergency number immediately. Anyone may report offensive conduct to the Boston College Police non-emergency number. Students may also report offensive conduct to the Office of the Dean for Student Development or a professional staff member in Residential Life. If after hours, BCPD can contact a professional staff member or the administrator on call. Faculty or staff may also report an incident to the Department of Human Resources or to the office of the Academic Dean or Harassment Counselor, as appropriate. Individuals are asked to report as soon as possible and even if they are unsure as to whether or not the offensive conduct may be a hate crime. The Boston College Police and the offices will listen and provide any support resources or services that may be necessary, including a full investigation.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to use an online reporting form for bias-related incidents. Incidents reported on this form are recorded and maintained by the Office for Institutional Diversity. Reports are kept confidential to the extent possible unless it requires judicial or administrative action. The information is used to prevent and better respond to future incidents, and to reassure the community that campus authorities are attentive to incident reports. The form is not necessary if the incident has been reported to another campus authority (BCPD, ODSD, Res Life, HR, Deans, etc.) because those reports will automatically be included in the database.

All reports are reviewed by the Executive Director for the Office for Institutional Diversity along with the Dean of Students. Upon review of each report, the Dean of Students and the Executive Director for Institutional Diversity ensure that reports are properly routed for investigation and resolution in accordance with the applicable municipality and/or University policy. Under the direction of the Executive Director, a Bias Incident Response Team meets on a periodic basis to review and assess avenues for minimizing or eliminating the possibility for future harm.

As a University guided by the Jesuit and Catholic philosophy of cura personalis (care for the individual), Boston College's first responsibility is to care for its students, faculty, and staff. We value all members of our community, and feel an obligation to protect them in all cases, including their privacy and reputation whenever possible. Students accused of committing bias-related incidents are subject to discipline in accordance with the procedures established by the Office of the Dean for Student Development (ODSD), and if found responsible, may face sanctions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University. Faculty and staff accused of bias-related incidents are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Boston College Employee Handbook, the Policy on Discriminatory Harassment, the University Statutes, and other appropriate policies.

Support for students, faculty, and staff who may have been impacted by a hate crime or bias-related incident are supported by many offices across campus. These resources may be found on the resource list on the University Responses page of our protocol. In addition to the resources listed on that page, there are many other supportive offices, staff, and faculty at Boston College who provide additional resources and comfort to students, faculty, and staff experiencing bias-related incidents beyond reporting the event. The Executive Director of the Office for Institutional Diversity is also available to speak with students, faculty, and staff who may have been impacted by a hate crime or bias related incident.

The OID continues to train and educate faculty and staff on Title IX and discriminatory harassment. Since the inception of the online Title IX/VAWA/Non-discrimination training, a cultural climate of awareness and communication of available resources has continued to flourish among employees.

The OID provides in-person training for members of the community who did not have consistent online access. Due to COIVID-19 health and safety guidelines, no in-person training sessions were conducted this past year. However, the OID conducted two virtual sessions for Teaching Assistants (TAs), Athletics coaches and staff, and faculty on the new Title IX/VAWA/Non-Discrimination Notice. The faculty session was recorded and viewed on several occasions by faculty as a refresher during the year.

Since 2020, OID moved to the new platform, Everfi, for the online Title IX training. The new platform significantly increases the completion rates. For the online Preventing Harassment and Discrimination Title IX Training, Non-Supervisors have a 74% completion rate, and supervisors have a 93% completion rate. The overall employees’ completion rate increased 24% compared to 2019.

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

Student Outreach:
AHANA Recruitment and Programming (African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American)
Outreach is vital to attracting talented AHANA students. Working with students, families, and community-based organizations to build strong, lasting relationships yields positive results in building a diverse class at Boston College.
These are some highlights of typical initiatives and events: meet with the Student Admission Program AHANA coordinator to discuss goals for the year, Early Action AHANA Telethon, Keith A. Francis Weekend for admitted AHANA students, and coordinated recruitment for the highly successful on-campus Options thru Education program.

Faculty and Staff Outreach:
Boston College has an affirmative action program that includes policies, practices, and procedures to ensure all qualified applicants and employees are receiving an equal opportunity for recruitment, selection, advancement, and every other term and privilege associated with employment and continued employment. In order ensure we are meeting the intent and spirit of affirmative action regulations we maintain good faith efforts to diversify applicant pools (e.g. minorities, women, veterans and people with disabilities), as well as ensure equal access to promotions.

The Boston College Human Resources Department, Employment Office, does continued outreach to create a diverse applicant pool for staff positions. This outreach includes partnering with community organizations, local veterans, and attending hiring events for people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups. The Employment Office attends or sponsors numerous recruitment events each year (20 in 2017/18), and a majority of those events are focused on recruiting underrepresented groups. Due to COVID-19, the Employment Office was able to attend 5 job affairs in 2019-2020.

To fulfill the University’s commitment to achieving a distinguished, diverse and inclusive faculty and to cultivate a faculty reflective of the availability of minority and women scholars, the following efforts are deployed by search committees, department heads and deans: utilization of minority and female vita bank registries and other recruitment sources; placement of advertisements in publications to target prospective minority and female faculty; direct outreach to memberships of special caucuses, interest groups, and subcommittees within professional and/or scholarly associations and organizations; and participation in professional associations and conferences.

In addition, we ensure all of our jobs (faculty and staff) are posted with diverse publications for minorities, women, veterans and people with disabilities to promote a diverse applicant pool.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs designed specifically to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs designed specifically to support academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support non-academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

​Boston College has a number of programs to provide support to underrepresented groups. Among them are the following:

Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center
The goal of the Thea Bowman AHANA (African, Hispanic Asian, and Native American) and Intercultural Center is to support the undergraduate community, with a particular focus on AHANA, multicultural, multiracial and OTE students in navigating college life. We strive to promote a welcoming environment that fosters holistic development. BAIC seeks to form students of conscience, excellence, competence and compassion who will make a difference in the world. Our goal is retain, care for and graduate our students. See the website for more information: https://www.bc.edu/offices/ahana.html

Learning to Learn
Learning to Learn seeks to support low-income, under represented, first generation college students, and students with disabilities to excel academically and to provide a nurturing environment where our target population can achieve their full potential. In the Jesuit spirit, we foster the intellectual and personal formation of students in a holistic manner and guide students as they learn to navigate college life. For more information, visit the website and look at the Programs & Services tab. https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/academics/sites/learning-to-learn.html

The Montserrat Office aims to assist students at the highest level of financial need to actively participate in and experience a Jesuit education. The program endeavors to mentor, guide, and support students on an individual level in the formation of academic, social, and spiritual aspects. Montserrat acts as a bridge between students and the greater Boston College Community. https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/offices/mission-ministry/sites/montserrat.html

Boston College Affinity Groups
Boston College Affinity Groups are volunteer, employee-managed groups that promote the interests of their respective constituencies. Affinity Groups bring together individuals with common interests to facilitate efforts that promote education and awareness while helping to advance and sustain a campus culture and climate that welcomes diversity and inclusiveness. The Affinity Groups are open to all employees of the Boston College community and all are encouraged to participate. https://www.bc.edu/content/bc-web/offices/human-resources/sites/oid/thrive/Affinity-Groups.html

Boston College University Affiliates Program
Established in 1999, the program provides Black, Latina/o, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Native American professional staff with opportunities to broaden their understanding of critical issues in higher education. Selected participants engage in a professional development program that includes seminars, lectures, and discussions. The Boston College University Affiliates Program endeavors to better prepare AHANA staff to achieve their professional goals at the University.

University Counseling Services (UCS)
Recognizes that, among the many issues that impact student's psychological well-being, ongoing incidents of injustice in our country and the world continue to have negative impacts on students. We also recognize that trauma in the context of negotiating marginalized identities is real and is an ongoing stressor for our students. Consistent with the university mission, UCS has a role in creating a safe and supportive environment for all university members, regardless of identities, beliefs, or experiences, to have an opportunity to express and process their thoughts, feelings, and reactions so that we all might pursue our best selves. We invite anyone experiencing significant distress to seek individual and/or group conversations with us, either through intake or in meeting with our Emergency Clinical Services.

Disability Services
The mission of the Disability Services Office is to assist students with disabilities at Boston College in achieving their educational, career, and personal goals through the full range of institutional and community resources. The office ensures that students with disabilities receive support services and accommodations that permit equal access to all Boston College programs and the opportunity to realize their potential and develop effective self-advocacy skills.

Office for Institutional Diversity
The Office for Institutional Diversity supports the mission of the University by promoting a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion for all members of the Boston College community. A community that truly values and fully utilizes its diversity creates a climate where diverse perspectives can coexist and thrive. In keeping with the social justice imperatives inherent in our Jesuit Catholic heritage, Boston College extends its welcome in particular to those who may be vulnerable to discrimination on the basis of their race, ethnic or national origin, religion, color, age, gender, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability. Our vision is to create an inclusive environment that motivates us to be fully engaged in our community and that enables each of us to make the maximum contribution possible to the University. The ultimate success of this endeavor requires the proactive involvement of leadership and the entire community.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

NRMN National Research Mentoring Network - BC receives a grant in support of the National Research Mentoring Network. This allows BC to provide opportunities for underrepresented groups to become faculty members. This is also a network underrepresented groups on campus can use.

Learning-to-Learning supports underrepresented undergraduate students to pursue graduate degrees through the graduate mentor program and the McNair Scholars program.

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

BC's Office of Residential Life is committed to supporting transgender and transitioning students through special housing accommodations. Rather than formal options, they work with each individual to understood the specific needs and provide them with a positive solution and experience.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.