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LTE: AHANA+ Leadership Council on Cancelling ALC Showdown

AHANA+ Leadership Council

19 April 2021

After careful consideration and consultation with the Dance Organizations of Boston College, we, the AHANA+ Leadership Council, have made the executive decision to cancel ALC Showdown for the Spring semester of 2021 for the following reasons:

The COVID-19 restrictions in place have made it difficult for all dance teams to participate in this legacy event, especially those consisting predominantly of AHANA+ students. Furthermore, these restrictions have made it difficult for ALC to adequately plan and create an event that would be engaging for both the dance teams and the student body. Under normal circumstances, ALC Showdown entails months of planning with months of advance notice to dance teams. Confronted with the decision to plan this event in three weeks would not only have been a disservice to dance teams, who have already had a difficult year in attaining ample time and space to practice, but also to the dedicated members of ALC who have worked tirelessly in pushing for this event to come into fruition. 

Due to the lack of tangible details concerning the planning of Showdown, time constraints became increasingly unmanageable for both ALC and the dance teams. As a result, many dance teams were to be excluded from the opportunity to perform, minimizing the ideals espoused from Showdown’s inception: to celebrate and showcase the diversity of talent that dance teams present and the cultures they bring to life. Showdown, especially, presents a space for BIPOC students to see representation of their different cultures and identities through dance. However, this year, this aspect of the beloved tradition would not have adequately reflected the diversity of Boston College’s campus, given the exclusion of many dance teams that would be unable to perform.

Furthermore, ALC believes that putting on a grand celebration of diversity on Boston College’s campus would be incognizant to the racial climate cultivated on Boston College’s campus. In just this semester alone, the rise of racially motivated hate crimes directed towards members of the AHANA+ community have deeply affected how BIPOC students are able to exist and live on this campus. These are not isolated incidents, as hate crimes have occurred each year on campus and continue to occur without tangible steps to address the interests and concerns of BIPOC students. Every student, regardless of their background, deserves continual respect that is not bound to the execution of a singular event. The purpose of Showdown is for all students of all ethnic and racial backgrounds to come together in celebration of all of our differences through our mutual love for dance. We cannot truly celebrate diversity and inclusion without acknowledging the challenges that BIPOC students have faced on campus this year. This legacy event is a showcase of all of the cultures on campus and how they manifest into aspects of campus life, as well as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our campus unity through art and performance. However, given the circumstances of BIPOC students feeling increasingly isolated and unwelcomed from celebrating their identities safely on campus, Showdown would not have reflected the goals of ALC as an organization that represents the interests and voices of the AHANA+ community. 

This is a difficult decision for all the parties involved, especially for the seniors who had lost out on yet another year of Showdown due to COVID-19. Taking this into consideration, we have decided to offer dance teams an alternative to utilize stage equipment and devices to create and record performances for their respective dance team. The dance teams will still have the opportunity to bring their hard work to the stage and bring their routines into fruition, as well as the opportunity to showcase and share their work however they choose. However, ALC will not create a reiteration of Showdown by compiling the videos and distributing them to the student body. This alternative is not meant to serve as a revisioning of Showdown but to serve as an opportunity to support the dance community while respecting the wishes of our council and the AHANA+ students we represent. We implore you all to reflect on the events of this year and how we all may move forward in creating a more inclusive, safe, and welcoming Boston College. 

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Chinenye Ugocha (ugocha@bc.edu) and/or Sasha Severino (severisa@bc.edu).

 

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Chinenye Ugocha
Director at AHANA+ Leadership Council | + posts

Director of AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC)

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Sasha Severino
Assistant Director at AHANA+ Leadership Council | + posts

Assistant Director of AHANA+ Leadership Council (ALC)

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AHANA+ Leadership Council

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