Bawdy Boston College Students Bother Brighton

BU’s Daily Free Press reports that people in my neighborhood are tiring of Boston College students’ carousing; they’ve even passed around a petition. I’d have signed it if I’d known about it.

Student parties are ruining their quality of life, residents said in a letter to the mayor’s office and Boston College. More people are drinking and there were more disorderly houses around Cleveland Circle this summer than ever before, according to the letter. More than 50 A-B residents signed a petition supporting the letter.

“The situation here continues to worsen,” said Karen Marshall, who has lived on Lane Park for 20 years and started the petition. “There have been many cases of student disturbances, but it’s the worst it has ever been. We didn’t used to have all these loud parties and drunken people walking back and forth at all hours of the night shouting and stumbling.”

In response to his constituents’ letter, City Councilor Jerry McDermott (Allston, Brighton) promised to move quickly to control disturbances created by partying college students.

“We’re going to be stepping up patrols in the area,” he said. “There’s going to be a zero-tolerance policy. Everyone involved in a party that has illegalities involved is getting pinched. If you over 21, fine, but if you are not, there won’t be any leniency.”

Meanwhile the editor of BC’s newspaper responds with a whine:

Ryan Heffernan, editor-in-chief of BC’s student newspaper The Heights, said he believes that off-campus students and the BC administration are unfairly targeted by the residents and the city.

“Over the years the neighbors have let this tension build up, and now they refuse to believe that BC administration and students sincerely want to be good residents,” he said. “They’ve turned this into an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ battle. Now they harp on anything they can find. After this complaint, in the next few weeks, it will be something else. It would be helpful if we could work together, instead of pointing fingers.”

Heffernan also said McDermott and A-B residents don’t acknowledge the great contributions that BC and its students make to the community.

“Councilor McDermott needs to do a better job on reaching out to students. He continues to harp on BC and its students for being what he believes to be bad neighbors,” he said. “Our university’s track record speaks to the contrary. Many of our students are active in the area, volunteering and heading community services groups. If BC and its students were to just leave, the A-B community and its economy would be negatively affected.”

Perhaps the “editor-in-chief” has not heard of ignoratio elenchi, the fallacy he commits by arguing that the good deeds of some wonderful BC students excuse the malfeasants. I don’t know about the do-gooders, but I do know that it’s a rare Saturday night I get uninterrupted sleep.

The problem is that McDermott has said the same things before, but the situation’s only worsened. Last year just down the street the police busted an under-age BC toga party. (I passed these folks on the sidewalk and was already embarrassed for them).

Ten underage Boston College students were arrested Friday night for allegedly hosting a toga party in Brighton where alcohol was consumed.

. . .

Boston police responded to a call that 20 people were about to start a fight after a group of BC basketball players attempted to get into the party without paying at about 11 p.m. Friday.

When officers arrived, they saw hundreds of people inside, dressed in togas, drinking, said Beverly Ford, spokeswoman for Boston police. Inside the house, officers found several kegs of beer and an “ice luge” — a block of ice carved to allow liquor to flow into the mouth of a drinker.

The arrests prompted City Councilor Jerry P. McDermott to reiterate his call for better monitoring of off-campus students. McDermott, who represents Brighton, is sponsoring a proposed ordinance that would keep track of where college students live off-campus to make it easier for authorities to control rowdiness. Students from several campuses attended a City Council hearing Thursday to oppose the proposal.

Colleges need to be more accountable, McDermott said. “Universities still have to take responsibility — the city cannot be the only one picking up the tab for policing their student population.”

At the time my dad noted that “your neighbors are also poor classicists. No Roman would drink beer in a toga. The Romans considered beer a drink for barbarians only–at least until they got too far north to grow wine grapes.”


  1. Although you claim that you would have signed the petition, it’s unlikely that somebody as pompous as you would associate with such a poorly written letter!

  2. Thanks for the link. Here’s the original letter, which seems fairly accurate, especially for those poor folks living a street or two away from Cleveland Circle. I know what it’s like because I walk by there a couple of times every night.

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