As 2018 draws to a close, The Heights has compiled the most important events that we covered this year. New buildings were announced, initiatives were undertaken, and goals were met. But the most compelling stories this year have come from unwavering student voices who spoke out for what they demand from each other, from their University, and beyond.
As always, thank you for reading.
Action, Early and Often — Boston College’s admissions office had a year of action. Application numbers rose while 3,170 students were admitted early and the regular admission rate dropped to 27 percent. John Mahoney’s leadership as director of undergraduate admission came to something of an end, as he was promoted to vice provost of enrollment management after 28 years with the admissions office. His successor, Grant Gosselin, said he hopes to follow in Mahoney’s footsteps, but has his own priorities as well.
Doe v. Trustees of Boston College — The University is facing a lawsuit brought by an unnamed alum who has alleged that the University mishandled a sexual assault incident that involved him in 2012. A jury trial is scheduled for mid-2019.
Christine Loeber — Christine Loeber, SSW ’08, was killed in a shooting at a veterans home in Yountville, Calif. in March. Some BC students and faculty walked out of classes as a part of the greater #Enough protest against gun violence in the United States days later.
Google Groups — In April, The Heights released the results of a months-long investigation into a security vulnerability at BC. Erroneous permission settings on Google Groups used by the BC Police Department and other administrative groups and offices were such that anyone with a G Suite account could have accessed hundreds of otherwise-confidential communications, such as emails and attachments. The Heights notified the University in December before potentially widespread access occurred, and the system was patched in attempt to to prevent such mistakes in the future.
The Union — BC graduate students may not have won their bid for unionization, but the group could be found advocating its position and battling BC administrators throughout 2018. Other universities faced the same question as BC: Is graduate student unionization the right move for colleges across the United States? They have answered with varying responses. Ultimately, the group’s future is unclear.
UGBC in 2018 — The Council for Students with Disabilities has been working to improve Eagle Escort, the transport service run through BCPD for medical and public safety needs; new senate positions representing international, transfer, and Montserrat students were created; the Student Assembly (SA) called for divestment from fossil fuels; UGBC joined a Jesuit-university student government coalition; and the SA passed new funding initiatives after quickly passing a 2018-19 fiscal year budget.
Students for Sexual Health — UGBC’s most protracted initiative was fueled by the work of Students for Sexual Health (SSH). The SA debated whether to put a sexual health referendum on the ballot in 2018, which passed in the chamber and lead to 94 percent student support on the ballot. Administrators refused to change BC’s policy on the matter, leading SSH to introduce RubberHub.
New Academic Programs — BC introduced a neuroscience major and journalism minor, a legal studies minor is being considered, CSOM minors are now available to all undergraduates, and the economics major has been reclassified as STEM. In addition, the Lynch School of Education is soon to be renamed, and the core renewal committee added a new face to help complete its mission.
On The Faculty Front — The political science department dealt with serious increases in enrollment that highlighted a lack of faculty and available class openings for students, administrators detailed the difficult balancing act they deal with as they approach hiring new members, a wave of faculty retirements hit the University in May, 68 new faculty members were welcomed into the community in September, and administrators commented on the state of faculty diversification efforts.
Fulbright Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholar — Students enjoyed tremendous success in scholarship in 2018. BC is among the top-20 Fulbright research institutions. In addition, Isabelle Stone, BC ’18, was named the University’s third-ever Rhodes Scholar.
Leahy in 2018 — BC’s highest ranked administrator found himself in the pages of The Heights slightly more often in 2018. He was presented with the Spirit of Francis award in March, spoke at Commencement, and made remarks on the renewed abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic Church. Throughout the year, Leahy was repeatedly called on by students and administrators to alike to comment on campus matters. Nevertheless, other BC administrators were instead the ones to often release such statements.
The Battle Against Silence — The scars of the events that incited the Silence is Still Violence protests were fresh in the memory of the BC community, and black students on campus made their voices heard. The spring semester saw a Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial service—as well as a reflection on the civil rights hero’s legacy—the annual Black History Month celebrations, and a racial justice symposium. Matters of diversity and inclusion didn’t stop with BC’s black community though—The Office of Residential Life announced that a record number of AHANA+ resident assistants would serve the community in the 2018-19 school year. The University also announced the creation of DiversityEdu, and FACES continued its work facilitating dialogue about racism.
Die-in — BC students staged a die-in on the Gasson Quad in October one year after the Silence is Still Violence protests. The die-in was intended to bring the community’s attention to problems faced by marginalized students at BC.
Student Experience Survey — The University launched a student experience survey in October, fulfilling one of the demands students asked for after the events that led to the Silence is Still Violence protests.
Racist Vandalism — Michael Sorkin, CSOM ’21, was issued a summary suspension by the University after allegedly defacing Welch Hall with racial epithets in December, and allegedly damaging Walsh Hall by activating a fire extinguisher in multiple locations within the dormitory. UGBC passed a resolution in response to Sorkin’s actions, and the BC community participated in a town hall-style gathering days after the incidents occurred. The Heights later broke that Sorkin allegedly made anti-Semitic comments while being arrested.
The year’s most important front pages
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Into the Record Books — In a huge weekend series against Providence in January, women’s hockey goaltender Katie Burt, BC ’18, rose to the occasion. She tied the NCAA wins record on Jan. 26, then made history the following afternoon against the Friars, claiming win No. 115 to pass Minnesota’s Noora Rӓty in the record books. Burt, whose goal of a national championship was left unfulfilled, still left BC with 121 wins and departed as the No. 1 overall pick of the Boston Pride in the NWHL Draft.
New Places — Under the watchful eye of Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond, BC Athletics opened up and dedicated three new facilities. First, the Harrington Athletics Village opened up on Brighton Campus as the new home for both baseball and softball, then the Fish Field House followed at the start of the semester, and its adjacent practice field was named in honor of Frank Chamberlin, BC ’00.
Year of Jerome — It was a whirlwind 2018 for men’s basketball shooting guard Jerome Robinson. The junior finished off an impressive season, posting averages of 20.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, and earning ACC Player of the Year votes. Robinson dropped 46 points against Notre Dame, played a key role in leading his team on an inspired run in the ACC Tournament, then went—in a surprise to many—13th overall in the NBA Draft to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Golden — Carrying on the program’s esteemed reputation, five current and former women’s hockey players took home gold with the Team U.S.A. at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The group included current Eagles Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller, and Cayla Barnes, as well as Emily Pfalzer, BC ’15, and Haley Skarupa, BC ’16. Eagles head coach Katie Crowley was especially proud, winning gold herself back in 1998.
Unprecedented — The first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament aside, women’s hockey enjoyed a banner year. Freshman phenom Daryl Watts, making up for the loss of three Olympic-caliber athletes, became the first freshman to win the Patty Kazmaier Award as the national player of the year. Watts was unstoppable, piling up 82 points—42 goals and 40 assists—and setting numerous records in the process.
Nearly Perfect — Lacrosse dominated the spring. Guided by Tewaaraton Award winner Sam Apuzzo and head coach Acacia Walker-Weinstein, the Eagles sprinted through the regular season undefeated. They dropped the ACC title game to North Carolina, but responded with an inspired run through the NCAA Tournament that featured wins over Princeton, Stony Brook, and Maryland. It ended in heartbreak for the second year in a row, though, with a national championship game loss to James Madison.
College GameDay — For the first time since 2009, ESPN’s biggest college football show returned to Stokes Lawn, much to the excitement of the student body. While the game was largely a disappointment, as Clemson rolled to a 27-7 win on national television, the atmosphere was still electric. The day started as early as 4 a.m. for those looking for frontrow spots on GameDay and didn’t end until the game wound down nearly 18 hours later.
Athletes of the Year — The third edition of our “Athletes of the Year” featured plenty of star power. The list included a sixth-year head coach that has built a program into a perennial title contender; a junior who swapped positions midway through her time on the Heights and hasn’t skipped a beat; a sophomore running back who seemed to single handedly revitalize a college football team; a freshman from Canada that rewrote an already historic program’s record books; and a basketball player that stuck around through a school’s lowest of athletic lows and flourished from the depths. Some of our favorite athletes to cover have included a two-sport star, a senior leader that returned from a plethora of leg injuries, and a freshman that has been known for his talent since he was just nine years old.
Behind the Scenes of UGBC — Leading up to the 2018 election for president and executive vice president of UGBC, we showcased the “Consciences Behind the Candidates,” profiling the candidates rather than their political agendas. We highlighted then-candidates Reed Piercey, MCAS ’19, and Ignacio Fletcher, MCAS ’20, who held paramount the mission of listening to the various voices of students to create change which would benefit the entire BC community. The members of the opposing team, Taraun Frontis, CSOM ’19, and Aneeb Sheikh, MCAS ’20, drew on their shared experience as members of the AHANA+ community to advocate for marginalized students on campus. Later that month, we spoke to former UGBC Senators Steve DiPietro, MCAS ’19, and Matt Batsinelas, CSOM ’19, as well as Frontis and Sheikh, in a “conversation” centering around the resignation of DiPietro and Batsinelas, and divisive senatorial standpoints on race and identity.
Marathon Monday — In the week prior to Boston’s Marathon Monday, we issued daily features on the BC students running the race and representing BC at Mile 21—including their fundraising efforts for causes close to their hearts and how many turned personal tragedies into triumph. Our profiles presented Lauren Healy, MCAS ’19, a club figure skater and third-generation Boston Marathoner from Littleton, Colo.; Jack McKeon, MCAS ’19, who initially sought out the marathon as a bucket-list item which changed to catharsis after the loss of his sister; seven-time serial marathoner Tyler Thurlow, BC ’18; Danielle Bellantonio, BC ’18, who garnered inspiration from the courageous survivors in the aftermath of the 2013 bombings; and more.
El Camino Largo — In a standout story nominated for a Pacemaker Award by the Associated College Press, Edgar Lopez, MCAS ’21, tells the tale of his arduous exodus from Guatemala to the United States—and how he shed his designation as an “indigenous” person and an illegal immigrant. Lopez is now a sophomore studying applied psychology and human development at BC, but he didn’t arrive in Chestnut Hill without first completing a treacherous journey down El Camino Largo—The Long Road. Growing up near Guatemala City, Lopez endured grueling manual labor, gunshots, and gang violence, leading to his stark realization at the age of 15: “Me tengo que salir de aquí.”
Heartbeat of the Heights — BC can attribute its academic prowess and much more to its dynamic and dedicated professors, many of whom we profiled—including historian Heather Cox Richardson, BC Law’s Kent Greenfield, and part-time journalism professor Maura Johnston—to showcase their boundless intellectual passions. The impact they have made on students emanates far beyond the classroom—in 2018, students spent their Spring Breaks discovering commonalities at universities, diwaniyas, and parliamentary sessions in Kuwait and their summer vacations interning with politicians such as Congressman Filemon Vela and Representative Mike Coffman on Capitol Hill.
Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle — After flying the coop, these former Eagles have soared to new heights, venturing into vibrant careers and collecting thrilling accomplishments. The ’90s witnessed the likes of world-renowned wind ensemble conductor Robert Ambrose, BC ’90, as well as Erik Weihenmayer, BC ’91, who, blind since infancy, stood atop the world after summiting Mount Everest. In the subsequent decade, BC saw notable graduates such as Joe Sabia, BC ’06, the impetus behind Vogue’s famed “73 Questions,” and former Eagles forward Jared Dudley, BC ’07, who currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets in his 12th year in the NBA.
Momentum Awards — Bestowed at the culmination of each spring, the Momentum Awards celebrate BC’s leading changemakers. This year, they included Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond, professor of systematic theology M. Shawn Copeland, and sexual health advocate Connor Kratz, BC ’18. We also recognized the often-unsung heroes of BC’s staff, who each play an integral role in making the University not just a campus, but a place to call home. Manuel Miranda, BC ’92 and now a member of BC’s Facilities Staff, made “The Ultimate Sacrifice” to create a new life for himself in the States after leaving his home of Cape Verde. Sheila Walton, a beloved member of the Dining Services staff, has become “Well Connected” in her 20th year at BC. In O’Neill’s gloomy graveyard hours, students can count on security guard Tony Bianchi’s uplifting “Sense of Humor” to make them smile. “The Consummate Teammate” Bobby Breen has served as BC’s lead custodian for the past 30 years and has worked at the university for 40. Frank Martins came to campus to live out his own “Love Story” and has also clocked over 30 years as an essential member of the Facilities Staff’s electrical and mechanical departments.
Ladies First — Eagles echoed the push for female recognition in Hollywood in 2018. While female-directed films such as Mary Queen of Scots and A Wrinkle in Time graced the silver screen, Kylie Fletcher, BC ’18, directed a rousing rendition of Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit, and Taylor Tranfaglia, BC ’18, directed a powerful production of Diana Son’s Stop Kiss. Women from all over campus also came together for the annual production of The Vagina Monologues, and Isabel Cole, MCAS ’19, opened up about female sexuality and showcased her provocative artwork.
Women dominated the music scene, both at BC and in the world at large. Rockers Mitski and Courtney Barnett made appearances at the House of Blues during a momentous year for both artists. Just a couple miles down Commonwealth Ave., Elizabeth McGovern, BC ’18, stepped into the spotlight to release her self-titled debut EP and win BC’s annual Singer Songwriter competition. Shady Lady formed to become BC’s only all female band, won Battle of the Bands to open at Modstock, and released its own self-titled debut EP. Female empowerment also remained in print as BC’s women’s literary magazine The Laughing Medusa launched its print edition at Arts Fest in May.
Showing Up for Showdown — A sold out Conte Forum was home to the AHANA+ Leadership Council’s (ALC) annual Showdown competition, an event that showcases the talent and hard work of BC’s dance groups. In preparation for the highly anticipated event, The Heights released a three-part video series detailing the teams’ practices leading up to the big night. 14 different dance groups performed on the Conte stage. Synergy took first place in the competition category with an energetic Coachella-themed routine that illuminated the massive group’s stunning synchrony, while Sexual Chocolate followed behind in second place with powerful steps and stunts. Presenting Africa to You (PATU) moved with precision and passion during its routine that fused contemporary and traditional African dance to take first place in the culture category. Dance Organization of Boston College (DOBC) was also awarded the People’s Choice Award for its robotic performance that showcased ambitious stunts and various styles of dance.
20 Years of Arts Fest — 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of Arts Fest, an Arts Council-sponsored weekend-long event that celebrates BC’s robust arts community with a series of lectures, screenings, showcases, and performances. Stylus launched its spring issue, BC theatre staged Peter and the Starcatcher, and University Chorale performed segments from its annual spring break European tour. The weekend culminated in an award ceremony on April 29 that honored seniors who have maintained an unwavering commitment to art during their time at BC.
Feeling Festive — The Heights traveled near and far to bring music festival coverage to BC in 2018. Just a T ride away, Boston Calling featured headlining performances by The Killers, Jack White, and Eminem at Harvard University in May. Other standout performers included Portugal. The Man, BROCKHAMPTON, St. Vincent, and Khalid. Legendary Beatles vocalist Paul McCartney and heavy metal pioneer Metallica took the stage at this year’s Austin City Limits, one of the country’s largest festivals.
CAB, Concerts, and Controversy — Every year, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) organizes three concerts—Plexapalooza, Modstock, and Stokes Set—on the Heights. CAB started off 2018 on a high note, welcoming EDM powerhouse Cheat Codes to the Plex for a night of dancing to the trio’s electronic hits, including 2017’s “No Promises.”
Once CAB announced that middle school staple B.o.B would headline Modstock in late April, students and faculty aired discontent with the choice due to the American rapper’s lyrics that give credit to Holocaust denial. Although CAB issued an apology and administrators responded to the concerns of members of the BC community who were offended by the choice, B.o.B performed in the Mod Lot on May 2. Many students and a handful of protestors congregated for the rapper’s performance that included well-known songs “Airplanes” and “Magic.” CAB went with a less controversial albeit more obscure artist for Stokes Set in September. Although many were unfamiliar with DAYA prior to the performance, the sea of students settled into the Grammy winner’s seamless sound on tracks such as “Hide Away” by the end of the night.
All Night Long (All Night) — Lionel Richie joined the Boston Pops Orchestra for a walk down memory lane at this year’s 26th annual Pops on the Heights fundraiser in Conte Forum. Richie stunned the stadium filled with students, family members, and donors with a stacked set of hit songs that included “Easy Like Sunday Morning” and “All Night Long.” Soloist Molly Cahill, MCAS ’20, and the University Chorale also performed alongside the world-renowned orchestra during the event. The fundraiser raised a total of $13 million for 431 student scholarships.
Paint It Black — In a strong showing of solidarity with victims of police brutality, a cappella group Black Experience in America Through Song (B.E.A.T.S.) displayed the names of victims on the chalkboard at its Cushing 001 show in February. BC welcomed Sarah Lawrence College professor Komozi Woodard for a lecture about arts in the Black Power Movement of the 1960s in October. As a part of the pilot course “Where #BlackLivesMatter Meets #MeToo,” Regine Jean-Charles, professor in the romance languages and literature department, and C. Shawn McGuffey, associate professor of sociology and African & African Diaspora Studies, hosted sister activists Salamishah and Scheherazade Tillet for a lecture and discussion that focused on Scheherazade’s use of photography to capture intersectional issues of racism and sexual violence. Throughout the fall semester the McMullen Museum of Art featured an exhibit crafted by artist Carrie Mae Weems. Titled Strategies of Engagement, the exhibit offered a detailed history of African American experience that highlighted both the unthinkable pain of the struggle for equality and the empowerment of success along the way.
Comedic Relief — Cameron Esposito, BC ’04, satirized her time on the Heights in a lively set at Boston Calling while BC’s five funniest students brought laughter to all corners of campus. As dorm rooms were filled with lewd jokes from the ever-pubescent Big Mouth, comedy groups My Mother’s Fleabag and Hello…Shovelhead! packed the Cabaret Room and classrooms alike with students looking for a laugh. The New England Classic stepped outside its usual online and print shenanigans to humor Steve Addazio with his very own video game in the form of DazQuest, an interactive storyboard video game that takes players through a day in the life of the BC football coach.
To Be or Not to Be a Playwright — Student writing was brought to life at Robsham Theater on multiple occasions in 2018. Bringing back the New Voices series in February, BC Theatre staged original plays from Michael Quinn, MCAS ’19, and Taylor Badoyen, MCAS ’19. Quinn’s Get It Together centered on a backroom conversation between lovers at a party, while Badoyen’s The Things We Do journeyed to other realms to pose existentialist questions. Daniel Quinones, MCAS ’19, debuted two short original plays—No One Asked Lazarus and Tunnel’s End—united by a shared theme of dread on Nov. 8 through BC Contemporary Theatre.
Midterm Coverage — Massachusetts voters took to the polls this year to support Democratic candidates, reelecting U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and giving all nine seats in the House to Democrats. Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, was also elected to his second term. Voters also decided on three ballot questions, which asked them to decide on issues of nurse-patient ratios, rights of corporations, and the rights of transgender people. Debate about the questions came to campus, as the College Democrats and College Republicans argued their sides at an event hosted by the Eagle Political Society.
March for Our Lives— More than 50,000 people went to the March for Our Lives walk and rally in Boston Common this March in response to the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Survivors from the Parkland shooting spoke at the rally, which was organized by high school students. This was one of hundreds of marches organized on the same day across the country.
Marijuana Ban — After recreational marijuana use was legalized in November of 2017 in the Commonwealth, Newton residents scrambled to create regulations for the recreational shops that would soon be opening in the town. The Newton City Council voted to put the temporary ban of recreational marijuana establishments up to a vote, which passed a month later. The delay in granting licenses to hopeful shop owners was supposed to be lifted in July 2018 and was then pushed to December. Newton residents were then given a chance to vote on their November ballots to ban the establishments permanently. The ban did not pass, and Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller has spoken with community members about what to expect when the shops do come to the city.
Judge Shelley Joseph — A Newton district court judge, Shelley Joseph, allegedly helped a man escape from ICE agents out the back door of the Newton courthouse in April. After a Boston Globe Spotlight report came out in early December, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker called for her temporary removal while the investigation is ongoing.
Go Sox — Fans took to the streets around Fenway Park in November for the Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship Parade, marking their ninth title in history.
The World in Theatre — Boston theatre took on the task of capturing the world on stage this year, as acting companies across the city put on shows about immigration, identity, race, and the complex nature of familial relationships. Some standouts included WET: A DACAmented Journey housed at the Paramount Center’s Jackie Liebergott Black Box, New Repertory Theatre’s Straight White Men, Speakeasy Stage Company’s Between Riverside and Crazy and Fun Home, and Liar and Believer’s A Story Beyond.