The ACLU of Massachusetts is working with state universities and community colleges to develop a set of model policies intended to help institutions of higher education address the "Living While Black on Campus" problem.

We have seen this problem play out in the Commonwealth again and again: A Black or brown person is eating lunch at her college dormitory or walking across the college campus where he works. Then someone calls the police to report a “suspicious person” with the only basis for the suspicion being that the targeted individual looks “out of place” or like they “don’t belong.” Officers are then dispatched to negatively engage with the person of color, a person who is then called upon to explain to authorities their legitimacy or their right to occupy space in historically white spaces.

This is a systemic problem with deep historic roots, and the ACLU of Massachusetts is treating it as such. It is the ACLU’s belief that this institutionalized problem can be addressed best by affirmative and conscious policies designed to directly target the issue.

In partnership with Bridgewater State University, with aid from administrators and police officials at 17 of the state community colleges and universities, and with input from nearly 100 currently-enrolled graduate and undergraduate students across the state, the ACLU of Massachusetts is designing a set of model policies and practices that institutions can employ to create a welcoming and supportive campus environment for all students by reducing the number of incidences of racial profiling.

Participating Colleges & Universities

  • Bridgewater State University
  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Framingham State University
  • Greenfield Community College
  • Holyoke Community College
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Massasoit Community College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Mount Wachusett Community College
  • Salem State University
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Westfield State University
  • Worcester State University
  • University of Massachusetts Boston

Resources