Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Northeastern U. told to police revelers
BOSTON -- City officials are sending a message that the rioting that followed this year's Super Bowl and last year's Red Sox postseason action will not be tolerated as the baseball season again nears the playoffs.
In anticipation of this weekend's important three-game series between the Red Sox and the Yankees at Fenway Park, mayor Thomas M. Menino has called on Northeastern University to exercise greater control over its students living off campus.
Last weekend, when the Red Sox and Yankees played in New York, police broke up 18 parties in the city's Mission Hill neighborhood, citing seven people for underage drinking. City councilor Michael P. Ross said 50 to 100 people attended each of the parties, nearly all of which were hosted by NU students.
Northeastern officials said they were considering putting out an advisory in advance of this weekend's games, warning students that they face punishments ranging from suspension to expulsion for destructive behavior. The school had set a similar advisory before the Super Bowl riots that left one dead.
"We take this matter very seriously," said Fred McGrail, a university spokesman. "We have expectations of student behavior, which the vast majority of students meet, and we won't tolerate unlawful or disruptive behavior."
A 21-year-old man visiting his younger brother at Northeastern was killed and a Northeastern student was critically injured when a sport utility vehicle plowed into a crowd of post-game revelers celebrating the New England Patriots' victory on the night of Feb. 1. Several cars were overturned and vandalized.
Last year, when the Red Sox clinched an American League playoff spot, five of seven people arrested during street celebrations were Northeastern or Emerson College students. The Red Sox are in contention for postseason play again this year.
Menino and Ross agreed that universities, particularly Northeastern, need to monitor their students with greater vigilance this weekend.
"We're going to be out there. We're going to force Northeastern to have additional patrols out there," Menino said. "I believe the university has a responsibility, even off campus."
The Boston City Council said it will hold a hearing Thursday on an ordinance, proposed by Ross, that calls on universities to be more accountable for students by recording their off-campus addresses, which would be provided to the university and to Boston police.