Undergraduate students receive email about solicitation on campus

Megan Sutherland, Managing Editor

An email was sent to the Simmons undergraduate student body on April 4, 2023, from the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Student Experience, Rae-Anne Butera, informing them about an organization not affiliated with Simmons University who may be violating the University’s Non-Solicitation Policy by hosting meetings on campus.

According to Butera, the email comes in response to a student who expressed concerns about an organization to Student Affairs. The email does not state any organizations by name. Butera explains, “We’re here in Boston, there are a lot of groups out there… We just thought it was wise to do a more general message.”

The email states that interactions with solicitors on campus “can involve tactics that affect students’ personal and academic well-being.” It links The Voice’s series: In Plain Sight: A Controversial Faith Group Finds a Home at Simmons for students who wish to learn more about the dangers of solicitation.

Northeastern University’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service (CSDS), sent out a similar email to their student body in late January.

In their email, students are warned specifically about the recruiters for the Boston Church of Christ and Boston Alpha Omega (Boston AO)– ”which have been banned from Northeastern and other institutions for repeated violations of university policy.”

According to the Northeastern email, These groups’ recruiters “operate without university appointment letters or contracts, and have not been trained in Title IX reporting or other university policies.” Boston AO recruits students as “disciplers” or “Bible study leaders” who “draw students to off-campus gatherings” and “make inordinate claims on students’ time, privacy, and freedom.”