Logo for the Mapping Project

The Mapping Project

Boston College

Boston College is a private Jesuit college located in the Boston suburb of Newton, MA. Boston College supports and normalizes Israeli colonialism, and BC's administration has failed to address repeated instances of racism and racist harassment on campus and has sent BC police out into surrounding communities to assist Boston area PDs in the suppression of anti-racist protests.

Support for Israel

Boston College runs a study abroad program with The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Students pursuing a Minor in Jewish Studies through Boston College's Jewish Studies Program can receive credits toward this Minor by participating in this program at the Hebrew University to study the Hebrew language. 

Boston college also offers a summer course in Israel entitled "Studying an Innovative Economy: Israel & The Start-Up Ecosystem," which BC describes in the following way: 

The course will study how businesses get started, funded and grow by spending 1 month in one of the most innovative countries in the world. Major innovations, such as Waze, cybersecurity to protect financial transactions (FinTech) and advances in healthcare have all originated in Israel. The course is very experiential, by meeting entrepreneurs, venture capital investors and visiting companies and tech parks and other places where innovation happens. There will also be visits to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for site seeing [sic].

As its description indicates, this BC course in Israel parrots Israeli state propaganda which aims to "brand Israel" as a "start-up nation" and a hub of "innovation" in an attempt to whitewash the realities of Israel's violent colonial rule over Palestinians and theft of Palestinian land and resources.

Boston College is also home to The Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College. The Center for Christian-Jewish Learning is a founding member of the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations (CCJR), which normalizes and celebrates Israel and Zionism. Local partner organizations of BC's Center for Christian-Jewish Learning include: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) New England, The Consulate General of Israel to New England, and Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies.

Hillel Council of New England (HCNE) provides programming for students at Boston College, encouraging Boston College students to participate in Zionist organizations and initiatives and to attend Israel-based internship programs and spring break trips to Israel. Boston College has also played host to a student organization called "Eagles for Israel at Boston College." It is not clear whether this student organization is presently active on campus. (See also here.)

Racism and Support for Policing

In recent years alone, numerous instances of racism and racist harassment of BIPOC students have taken place at Boston College, each followed by a lack of meaningful action or accountability from BC administration. As the Associated Press reported in 2021:

The incidents, which took place three days apart, have revived longstanding concerns about racism on a campus where most students are white and just 4% are Black. Some students say the recent cases are part of a pattern of bias that seems to be tolerated at the Jesuit Catholic school. “We have been dealing with this since our freshman year,” said senior Kathryn Destin, 20, who is Black and a member of a campus anti-racist group called FACES. “I’ve sort of lost that sense of safety.”

For more on racism and racist harassment at Boston College, see: here, here, hereherehere, here, and here.

Boston College Police Department also contributes to broader patterns of racist policing across the Boston Area through collaborations with other area PDs. Boston College students write in a petition:

The same day that President Leahy asked, “how we at Boston College, members of an academic and faith community, can and should respond to the inhumane, racist behavior so evident last week in Minneapolis,” the Boston College Police Department (BCPD) sent its officers to a protest held in response to police brutality and racist violence at Franklin Park. Sending the BCPD to protests neither condemns police brutality nor protects students. The BCPD “are granted police authority from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which allows them the same authority and powers as local or state police in or upon the lands and structures owned, used, or occupied by the University” Additionally, the BCPD webpage states that “Boston College police officers have deputy sheriff powers for use in off-campus situations.”

Following student outrage over BCPD's collaboration with the Boston Police to repress this summer 2020 protest in Franklin Park, BCPD commented: “BCPD has had a decades-long mutual relationship with area police departments to assist with large gatherings, as evidenced by the Boston Marathon and other major events.” Indeed, Boston College Police Department collaborates extensively with other area police departments, facilitated by BCPD's status as a full member of the Greater Boston Police Council (GBPC), a "law enforcement council" (LEC) set up in the 1970s to link regional police forces and share resources to coordinate policing and repression of anti-war protests. LECs like GBPC have played a central role in militarizing Massachusetts police departments by organizing SWAT teams and purchasing military equipment such as Lenco Bearcats and other armored vehicles.

For more on Boston College Police Department's racism, see: here and here.

140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Back to main page.