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Campus Life + Health & Wellness

Boston Police Move to Arrest-First Policy for Alcohol Laws

BU enforcement continues after violations, hospital runs plummet

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Starting next month, Boston police operating in the BU area will make arrest the “preferred response” to drinking law violations.

The move follows the deaths of two Boston-area college students during the last academic year. In one, a BU student died after attending a fraternity event where alcohol was served. That incident led to the suspension of the BU chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu. The second involved a New England Institute of Art student who was stabbed to death at a New Year’s Eve party in Allston.

“Last year, there was a lot of activity in the GAP [the area around Gardner, Alcorn, and Pratt Streets]—assaults, sexual assaults, and robberies,” says Superintendent William Evans of the Boston Police Department. “We want to get out there early this year and set the tone. We are going to come down a little harder at the outset than we did last year. When a party gets out of control, we’re going to take action.”

Boston University Police Department Captain Robert Molloy told a meeting of BU’s alcohol task force earlier this month that the arrest-first strategy had been approved by Captain Wayne Lanchester, the Boston police commander for Allston and Brighton.

Lanchester “really wants to get his arms around the problem quickly,” Molloy told the task force, meeting to discuss BU’s enhanced enforcement of alcohol laws, which has been in place for the past two years. BUPD officers will continue to use their discretion when they find students committing alcohol violations, Molloy said after the meeting.

“In most cases, our officers summons the person,” he said. “However, each case is different, and there may be circumstances where the officer decides to make an arrest.”

Boston also has a “problem property” ordinance, which allows police to arrest landlords and tenants of apartments with habitual alcohol violations.

BU modeled its alcohol enforcement strategy—increased police patrols of party neighborhoods in collaboration with Boston and Brookline police, dispersing loud parties, arrests and citations for offenders, and weekly publication during the fall semester of enforcement stats on BU Today—on a similar plan at the University of California, where off-campus drunkenness ebbed as a result of the action. BU officials hope that the policies played a role in last year’s heartening drop in alcohol-related hospital transports of students, as well as a decline in alcohol violations.

Elizabeth Douglas, manager of wellness and prevention services at Student Health Services, says 158 students went to the hospital last year for severe intoxication, compared to 211 the previous year and 248 the year before that.

“We don’t have any hard data on why there were so many fewer” incidents, said Jack Weldon, associate dean of students. Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services, said that while a similarly dramatic drop this year would be difficult to achieve, the University wants to keep up the “negative movement.”

BU is also stressing responsible drinking education, beginning before the academic year starts. For the first time, this year the University is requiring incoming first-year students to take an online alcohol-education course that seeks to dispel some popular myths about wanton campus drinking (35 percent of BU first-years don’t imbibe at all). The course, AlcoholEdu for College, has been found  to reduce frequent drinking and binge drinking.

In last month’s welcome letter to first-year student families, President Robert A. Brown asked parents to discuss responsible drinking and Massachusetts alcohol laws with their children. Brown warned that excessive drinking can torpedo academic performance and promote assaults, including sexual assaults.

“Some first-year students—and even some parents—accept the notion that an evening of heavy alcohol consumption is an inevitable and common rite of passage, and some assert that a campus should be a virtual sanctuary from local laws,” Brown wrote. “We do not take this position.”

Speaking at the task force meeting, David McBride, director of Student Health Services, suggested expanding what he called “our currently most effective intervention” to promote safe drinking: BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention of College Students). The program provides high-risk drinkers with personalized information about their alcohol use.

In a 2012 BU survey, 47 percent of students who completed BASICS reported abstaining or drinking on a monthly basis, or even less often, a figure that had been just 27 percent before the intervention.

McBride said he’d like to see every student who has to go to the hospital for severe intoxication take the program. Expanding it would require more staff, said William DeJong, a School of Public Health professor who develops online alcohol education for campuses nationally.

While many students groused about the alcohol enforcement after its inception three falls ago, University leaders point to the drop in violations and hospital visits, the support of parents, and the plaudits from residents of formerly noisy neighborhoods.

51 Comments
Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

51 Comments on Boston Police Move to Arrest-First Policy for Alcohol Laws

  • Common on 08.29.2013 at 7:04 am

    How. Incredibly. Stupid.

  • Sense on 08.29.2013 at 7:07 am

    Let s get kids to be more wary of police, instead of being comfortable to call them in need of help.
    Let s make it even more scary to have a drink, instead of educating these kids on how to drink responsibly.
    Let s arrests college kids, instead of dismantling fraternities that encourage binge drinking.

    • Nonsense on 08.29.2013 at 9:23 am

      Very powerful little passage you’ve got there…

      In any case, it’s not the police department’s job to babysit college students. They enforce the law (which by the way means underage drinking is illegal)! People don’t seem to be bothered by this law, and so the department is clearly being forced into scare tactics to stop these ‘kids’ who at this age should really show better judgement. Whether this means not drinking underage, or legally drinking and not doing reckless things.

      But that’s not even the big picture. If law enforcement finds that many recent crimes are alcohol-related, or have reason to believe that these measures will protect people in general, there is no reason to stop them from doing that or preach against it. Even if it no longer renders them as a college student’s safety-net after being irresponsible.

      Also not only is BU making efforts to educate students on how to drink responsibly, countless universities across the country are. Is AlcoholEdu the answer? Maybe, but probably not. These kinds of things however, are much easier said than done.

      And how would one go about dismantling fraternities that encourage binge drinking (which by the way has been done, as written in the article)? They target massive/out-of-control parties (which by the way have binge drinkers), and through investigation target and dismantle sources of activity.

      Do non-greek life students get arrested along the way? Yes. Does that matter? It shouldn’t, they are the ones who are breaking the law and potentially putting others at risk by attending these out-of-control parties (breeding grounds for sexual assaults and irresponsible behavior).

      As an incoming freshman, I’m quite glad this is going on. Do I have a problem with underage drinking? No, but I’m not cool with ‘kids’ who can’t handle their liquor.

      • Gerrie on 08.29.2013 at 9:50 am

        You mean the don’t drink when under 21?? The STUPIDEST law on the books. Lets give young adults the right to vote, buy cigarettes, be accused of felonies, join the military (killing and possibly dying) all as an adult. But don’t drink until your 21 because your not adult enough to handle it. Please lets get the parent to drop the prozac and ritalin and actually be parents.

      • Currentstudent on 08.29.2013 at 10:10 am

        As an incoming freshman, you have no idea what it’s like or what happened at sigma alpha mu. Please don’t make assumptions or conclusions based on what the police and BU today says without first experiencing it yourself.

      • concerned drinker on 08.29.2013 at 10:17 am

        Please do not attend a single rush event ever

        • 21 on 08.29.2013 at 10:56 am

          Seconded. You make valid points, incoming freshman, but you truly have no idea what life is like at BU, and you certainly know nothing about the tragic Sigma Alpha Mu event! I actually think they braised the topic rather sensitively in this article, and in no way said the student who passed was forced to binge drink at the fraternity. You don’t know the people you are accusing, so really, you shouldn’t say a word, and you absolutely should not pass judgment. A terrible thing happened to that young man, and blaming his fraternity is incredibly insensitive and speaks volumes of your immaturity. But you’ll learn in college that not everything is black and white or right and wrong. You’ll get there, freshman.

          Furthermore, as a student who is over 21, I admit these laws seem less frightening to me. That’s not to say, however, that I think BU has implemented good programming over the last few years in order to combat binge or underage drinking.

          I am a member of the Greek community. The executive board of my organization was required to complete bystander training. So we’re the athletes. Well, Greek life only represents 11% of the undergraduate students, and I’m willing to bet varsity athletes aren’t a much larger group. What about the other 80% of undergrads? Why target certain groups, when surely not all 158 students who were hospitalized last year fell in to one of those two categories? It’s time to hold everyone accountable, BU, not just those you stereo-type as high risk. I don’t think it is the job of the police to babysit students, but it is their job to make us feel safe in the community, which on many occasions last year, they failed miserably to do. Could that boy’s death have been prevented if BU gave immunity to underage students who call for help instead of fearing punishment so badly they choose to take matters into their own hands? Maybe.

          Last but not least, the GAP is Gardner, ASHFORD, and Pratt. Thank you for proving your lack of knowledge of the community once again, BU Today.

      • Jhgf on 08.29.2013 at 10:45 am

        The “big picture” is rather that law enforcement will never solve the issue we are talking about, i.e., the alcohol-related deaths and sexual assault. Prohibition does not work ‘period.’ with offenses downstream of drug use. It never will, and everyday that goes by with this antiquated notion bleeding through our laws, which undoubtedly creates a logical platform for police to make decisions like the one noted in this article, sets the stage for more alcohol-related deaths, rapes and sexual assaults. A decision seemed to have been made here by a group of people that flies far from contemporary knowledge on the subject. The fact that they could only really find one case study, university of California, to back their nearly ungrounded decision I believe is a bit telling of the baselessness of the strategy.

      • geohump on 08.29.2013 at 11:32 am

        Hey sonny. I’m nearing 60, When I was in college the drinking age was 18, the voting age had just been lowered to 18 and the Viet Nam war had just been ended.

        Just a year behind, it was suddenly illegal for students at my college to drink but I could.

        The claimed reasoning was that making them wait 4 more years would somehow protect them.

        Incredibly, Society had forgotten the lessons learned in Prohibition: When you make drinking alcohol illegal, MORE people drink, not fewer.

        Lowering the drinking age hasn’t stopped the drinking, but it has been used to increase police department budgets.

        Educating people how to drink responsibly? Despite the claims, no one has been doing that. In order to teach people to drink responsibly, you have to actually teach them how to drink. That means teaching them to discern and appreciate the differences in all different kinds of beer, , and wide and hard liqueurs . And then teaching them how to self monitor for detecting how much the alcohol has affected you.

        It needs to be treated like any other sophisticated subject. and people who are adults and can be sent to die for their country needs to be given their full rights even if that means there is some risk involved.

        The most interesting scenario that teaching should cover is how your eye to hand coordination an, physical skills and esp[especialy driving skills are affected by drinking.

        letting people measure exactly how badly they lose control of an automobile on a closed lot, under supervision (dual controls car) is the only safe people for to learn how to drink responsibly.

  • B on 08.29.2013 at 8:29 am

    This is not the first year freshmen will have to take an alcohol education course.

    When will police identify the correct problem – not out of control drinking but a complete absence of somewhere to turn to when a student or their friend is in trouble. The culture of secrecy around drinking has to end and that starts with an immunity policy.

  • SigChi on 08.29.2013 at 9:05 am

    lol w/e dude i graduated, good luck new sigchi pledges!!

  • MF on 08.29.2013 at 9:05 am

    What this actually does is cause students to go elsewhere, into possibly more dangerous areas in order to drink. These laws won’t deter students, they will just make stupider decisions on where they drink and how much they are drinking. The problem is that some BU students are irresponsible, naive, and childish. But these laws will eventually cause worse issues and more students could hurt themselves if police portray themselves as an aggressor instead of a force that serves and protects. Now students will be too scared to send their friend to the hospital if they are severely intoxicated. Thats what the trend means, not that the policy works but that it is being reported less. BU can proclaim victory due to these policies and the trends that it observes, but those trends are not a result of the policies but instead the culture of fear, distrust and disobedience that these policies breed.

    • SG on 08.29.2013 at 10:06 am

      Amen

    • LM on 08.30.2013 at 8:43 am

      Amen! As an alum, BU is doing a great job right now reminding me of why I will never contribute – a conservative adminstration completely out-of-touch with its students and often, with reality. To expect that college students will not drink at all is unrealistic, regardless of the law. To create an environment where they fear arrest for doing so will just drive the drinking further off campus and underground, where it is even more unsupervised. It makes students unwilling to report emergencies, and sexual assaults. I will be sad, but not surprised if this policy leads to more tragic incidents.
      Ruling with fear and prohibition is an uncreative and ineffective approach to managing a student body, and until BU learns that they’ll alienate students and create a negative culture that doesn’t bode well for future donations.

  • Student on 08.29.2013 at 9:06 am

    This will look good, arresting your own students for being college students. Unbelievable.

    • guy on 08.30.2013 at 12:35 am

      you mean arresting underage drinkers for drinking under the legal age. hmmmm, its as if the police officers are doing their job…..

    • Grad Student on 09.02.2013 at 3:32 am

      Guy,

      I am 25 and went to BU for undergrad as well as for grad school. I understand it is the job of the police to enforce the laws, but BU is asking them to make arrests. As a former undergrad, I am thankful I was able to drink illegally in a city where I can walk home and learn how to drink responsibly. Drinking responsibly is something you can’t teach in a course. Also do you really want college graduates with real jobs and are likely driving to and from work to be learning how to drink?

  • Police State on 08.29.2013 at 9:51 am

    Giving young people arrest records does nothing to “help” them.

  • KB on 08.29.2013 at 10:06 am

    I love the mentality of this supposedly educated group of individuals, who want to blame the police for doing the job they are paid to do: enforce the law. If you don’t like a law don’t blame the people who were doing their job in enforcing it, take action! Talk to legislators and those that are passing the laws that you don’t like to try and get them changed.

    The argument is that it isn’t hurting anyone. By that logic driving drunk isn’t hurting anyone either, until something bad happens, or someone is killed. So I guess drunk driving should be overlooked too?

    Do I personally have a problem with underage drinking, no. Did I drink underage? Yes, sure I did. I also knew that it was illegal when I did it and if I did something illegal there are consequences that go along with that. If you get caught drinking underage blame yourself, not the ones who are enforcing the laws as they are expected and paid to do. Just because you don’t like a law and think that it should be overlooked doesn’t mean that you’re right, and if your caught doing it it doesn’t mean it should be overlooked either.

    • Student on 08.29.2013 at 10:38 am

      there weren’t people on witch hunts to get you in trouble when you were drinking as is BU lately. If you were stupid about it then maybe you should’ve gotten in trouble but not if you’re minding your own business walking home

  • BU'S MISSING THE POINT on 08.29.2013 at 10:18 am

    I like that “ARRESTING STUDENTS WORK” is the main argument for this article, yet the REAL reason transports are down (Education! The whole reason that we’re in college.) is barely mentioned. Also, why is BU using OUR TUITION MONEY to have us arrested?! This will only cause more problems.

    Why should the entire population of Allston be threatened because a BU fraternity and some art school nobodies had two VERY isolated incidents months apart?

    • Rupert Manlove on 08.29.2013 at 2:56 pm

      For starters, because we want to sleep and are sick of the broken glass

      Sincerely,

      Allston

      • Oh Hey on 08.30.2013 at 12:05 am

        There’s a reason why you pay such low rent

        Sincerely,

        Brookline

    • Tim McGuirk on 08.29.2013 at 5:53 pm

      Let me tell you something, as a COM junior born and raised in Allston Brighton: People like you are a PROBLEM. BU students have no respect for the fact that this is someone’s home. They’re only concerned with drinking their minds out and disregarding the consequences of their actions as they pertain to anyone but themselves. The BU community needs a cultural revolution where students value one another and show respect for their inherent dignity. Sexual assaults, peeping Toms, deaths due to alcohol poisoning and violence, destruction of property?! Give me a break! Kudos to Superintendent Evans and the BPD; they’re the best police force in the country and keep us safe.

      I hope every BU student who acts without regard for their fellow Terriers, especially the ladies, or the Allston Brighton community finds themselves in Brighton District Court the next business day. Time to grow up or get out.

      • Jem on 09.02.2013 at 1:44 am

        Why “especially the ladies”?

      • SMG Student on 09.03.2013 at 12:27 pm

        Knowing a handful who actually lived and grew up in the area they laugh at this comment. Some go as far as to say the students are the best thing there because of all the renovations.

  • Bill on 08.29.2013 at 10:47 am

    The students will clearly find other ways to drink, most likely in different more dangerous neighborhoods, and that is why your numbers of incidents reported are decreasing (key word is reported.) Drinking is glamorized by modern adolescent culture; there’s no way in a modern world that underage kids (especially FRESHMEN) will not drink in college. Why not EDUCATE the health repurcussions and consequences of hangovers on ones education rather than use scare tactics to mediate this problem? Students are not paying upwards of $40,000 in just tuition to be arrested for living their lives, because we all know that drinking is a part of college for atleast a chunk of students. And there’s over 33,000 students. The police department is acting purely out of emotion… THINK to find the most efficient solution, because this one is not.

  • Seriously? on 08.29.2013 at 11:00 am

    Obvious underage students who want to drink without repercussions are obvious.

    • guy on 08.30.2013 at 12:39 am

      amen

  • Max on 08.29.2013 at 11:41 am

    I’m embarrassed to go to this school. The administration will not accept the legitimacy of sanctioning parties at which they can safely monitor underage drinking. With bu’s current stance, students will continually be forced into situations which will lead to further hospitalizations and deaths. These situations, combined with the inevitable impending arrests, will continue to diminish bu’s reputation (which I suppose by this point it deserves). I would love to freely assume that a half-reputable university would have the decency to enforce somewhat enlightened rules regarding an obviously backwards-minded U.S. law, but I suppose BU just doesn’t make the cut. Too bad none of us could have gotten into school across the river, where the administration is reasonable enough to accept an inevitability by sanctioning parties and even being so mind-blowingly forward thinking as to have an amnesty policy for the safety of their students. If I weren’t any nearer to graduating, I would seriously consider continuing my studies at a school with such a primitively motivated administration as Boston University.

    • A CONCERNED PARENT on 08.30.2013 at 10:34 am

      Max – If you are so disenchanted with Boston University, and the administration – Leave! Transfer! Quit! Go home! Apply for transfer admission to Bunker Hill Community College!

      Perhaps you should look for an institution that allows under-age consumption of alcohol. Try Duke University. Wait for it… wait for it… Nope – if you are under 21, you can’t drink there. Stanford? Nada. What about the “schools across the river?” Drum roll, please… Sorry Max – it is still illegal to possess, purchase or consume alcohol under the age of 21 on their campuses as well as Boston University.

      You refer to students being “forced into situations which will lead to hospitalizations and deaths.” When was the last time you (or any of your friends/relatives) were “forced” to consume alcohol under the age of 21?

      You refer to a “backwards-minded U.S. law.” Perhaps this is where you should be channeling your frustration. Purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol, under the age of 21 is NOT a Boston University policy. It is, however, a federal law – and correct me if I am wrong, but one that all 50 states are obligated to follow. This is not some hair-brained policy that BU has created to make your life so damn uncomfortable.

      If you are unhappy or disenchanted – contact your government officials and initiate change. Demonstrate that the law is ineffective and outdated. Provide evidence that supports a change of the drinking age will be a constructive move. Use you intelligence and voice to advocate for a new law. But do not blame Boston University, BUPD or the Boston Police for your unhappiness.

      Someday, I hope and pray that you will be a concerned parent – and when that time comes, I cannot imagine how you might respond to receiving a phone call from BUPD, Boston Police, hospital staff or a “primitively motivated administrator” from BU – letting you know that your son or daughter passed away from alcohol toxicity. There are very few things more devastating in the world, than a parent having to bury a child.

      Let’s be honest and realistic – law enforcement have significantly “bigger fish to fry” when it comes to their time and resources instead of arresting students for underage drinking. They are, however, just doing their job when they respond to noisy, out-of-control house parties that are disruptive to the neighborhood and the families who live there year-round.

      Realistically – If you and a small group of friends were sitting around watching a football game or re-runs of “Say Yes To The Dress” having a glass of wine, an ice-cold beer with some pizza, or a cocktail – sharing a few laughs, it is HIGHLY unlikely that law enforcement is going to give you a hard time – regardless of your age. On the flip-side, if you host a gathering with a large number of guests, blaring music and excessive alcohol – you are BEGGING for officials to drop by and do their job!

      BU’s reputation stands to be tarnished when students place themselves in situations that are a violation of the law or when students place themselves in risky situations – not because they turned a blind-eye to federal law. Otherwise, one of the many responsibilities of the administration is to provide you with a top-notch education – in and out of the classroom. How you choose to receive this education is your business.

      Max – you were intelligent enough to gain admission into one of the finest private research institutions in the country. Use that intelligence wisely. Channel that energy in positive ways. But please don’t blame BU for a law they didn’t create.

      You also have choices Max. If you are under 21 years of age, you can “roll the dice” and take chances in violating the law. Many college students take similar risks and have no repercussions. I believe it was Will Rogers who once said: “If you are going to dance, be prepared to pay the fiddler. I trust you are smart enough to understand what Mr. Rogers was saying.

      If I recall correctly, during a presentation in Orientation, there were close to 50,000 applications for an incoming class of 3,800 students. If you are SO disenchanted with Boston University – perhaps BU isn’t the place for you. Quit. Leave. Go home. Transfer. There are 46,200 students who would love to be as miserable and as unhappy as you are.

      • Former SMG Student on 08.31.2013 at 12:21 am

        “Realistically – If you and a small group of friends were sitting around watching a football game or re-runs of “Say Yes To The Dress” having a glass of wine, an ice-cold beer with some pizza, or a cocktail – sharing a few laughs, it is HIGHLY unlikely that law enforcement is going to give you a hard time – regardless of your age. On the flip-side, if you host a gathering with a large number of guests, blaring music and excessive alcohol – you are BEGGING for officials to drop by and do their job!”

        Actually had police bust in once when this was happening, although we were drinking nasty bud light. Everyone was over 21 except for 1 person (who was 20, but from Europe) and we still received a citation and fine.

        Let me ask you something. When a presidential candidate you don’t like wins or a policy is implemented in a state that you live in do you disagree with it or just up and leave the country? I got a great education from BU, but their alcohol policy bordered on insane. Many other schools overlook underage drinking as long as students are reasonable.

        In the words of a UMass Amherst cop approaching my fraternity on a trip down there while we were all unloading a cooler of beer for a BBQ in the sun: “We don’t have an underage drinking problem here and I hope you understand. As long as you keep the music reasonable and don’t go dancing on top of the cars it will be fine”.

      • lol on 09.01.2013 at 3:07 pm

        Your ‘concern’ is ruining people’s lives. Arrest records don’t go away, so I’m sure your ‘concern’ will go the other way once your child gets arrested. And stop telling him to transfer, bully.

      • Joking right? on 09.02.2013 at 3:53 am

        For one, I think the real problem is with the drinking age in America. I have lived abroad for many years and America has their laws completely wrong. The US is one of VERY few countries where the drinking age is 21 and there are more or the same number of deaths, accidents, etc as the rest of the world.

        I understand your concern about your child possibly drinking way too much one night and passing due to alcohol poisoning, but there have been very few cases of that at BU in the past few years. I agree something needs to be done to prevent these tragic deaths, but BU is not going about this correctly. Although I am not a parent, you have to realize that there are always risks with drinking. If students don’t learn “how to drink” at BU underage, then when will they learn? When they are 21 or 22 and working 40 hours a week and possibly driving in a suburban area? If I was a parent, I would be less worried that my child was drinking for the first time in a city where public transportation exists and they can walk from a party to their dorm or apartment.

        BU should be trying to educate students where to drink safely and avoid being assaulted or raped, but not encourage BUPD to arrest intoxicated students.

        Also, as an alumni of BU, please do not insult someone’s intelligence because they disagree with the rules and regulations BU is enforcing. It really disturbs me when people think that because students want to drink underage, they will automatically fail or are considered to be irresponsible. I drank underage for many years in college and left with a near perfect GPA. Students can do both.

      • Sarah G. on 09.02.2013 at 10:03 am

        Bravo/a, Sir/Madam.

      • Ex-Stanford here... on 09.02.2013 at 1:48 pm

        Actually, Stanford does allow underage students to drink. Any 4-class dorm is given university funds. Those funds are often used to purchase alcohol. Wristbands and the like are supposed to be necessary, but….know of what you speak. All parties on campus are “open” (e.g. show your ID, you’re in…even frat parties). And that’s why it’s better in Palo Alto. Cheers.

      • Doc on 09.14.2013 at 10:52 am

        Actually, it is NOT a federal law. All drinking laws are state policy.
        The catch is that federal law prohibits states from receiving any federal transportation funds unless their drinking ages are in line with “recommended” federal guidelines.

  • KT on 08.29.2013 at 1:11 pm

    Can we adresss the real problem of safety in Allston that shook the campus last year–the sheer number of armed muggings and robberies that happened around campus?

    Seriously. BU makes a big deal about stepping up and cracking down on drinking, but I’ve yet to see a statement that BU will be redoubling its efforts to make it’s student body safe from being threatened with a handgun/having their stuff stolen in the street.

    I don’t know about anybody else, but when I went back to BU in the spring, my parents weren’t worried about me going to Allston because of parties. They were worried about me going to Allston because tons of girls were getting their skirts flipped up, and everyone and his cousin was getting threatened with by some sixteen-year-old with a switchblade.

    What’s BU going to do to address that?

  • Ham on 08.29.2013 at 1:20 pm

    I am sure that this policy will provide a repeat of the roaring successes shown by identical policies implemented in the past few years.

  • frankfurter on 08.29.2013 at 2:18 pm

    Agree with KT – police are looking for easy victims, rather than going after the muggers, burglars and rapists out there.

    Reading this article is just another reminder that the drinking age should be 18 or 19; at the very least, an underage adult should be allowed to buy a small amount of beer or wine.

  • Former Bro on 08.29.2013 at 3:43 pm

    I went through greek life at BU and blaming them for all of this is a little over the top. Do they throw parties? Of course. Are they the only ones making poor decisions regarding alcohol? Hardly. A student got stabbed with a hatchet on Linden street in 2003 and it was all because got drunk and mouthed off to a gang member, not because some bro in a popped collar made him chug 151.

    In 2004 we threw a party opening weekend and it got broken up real quickly. I had the Dean of Students and about 5 of Boston’s finest parade through my house while lecturing me about my personal liability and the fire hazards of that many kids in one place. No, they didn’t arrest us all but they certainly could have and been well within their rights to do so. We threw the party, we knew the risks, and we tried to manage them accordingly. In that case we got away with a disciplinary meeting with the Dean and a slap on the wrist – extremely lucky, in hindsight.

    Regardless of whether or not you think drinking age is “The STUPIDEST law on the books”, if you do it (you will) just know what you are opening yourself up to and don’t whine if/when and if you’re held accountable. Grow up.

    BU has done a lot of dumb crap. I hated them too (no cable in your dorm – seriously?). But trying to stop people from getting killed in death-trap Allston apartments or crazy out of hand parties is pretty reasonable.

  • Joe on 08.29.2013 at 6:28 pm

    This policy flies in the face of everything history has taught us about prohibition. Attempting to protect a person or group of persons from themselves has never worked, and never will. Increased penalty for being caught drinking? Yeah, I’ll take my chances puking in the toilet, rather than seeking appropriate help. This isn’t anything new. Why doesn’t BU go ahead and title this whole thing “The War on Drinking,” that’s what it is.

    Google Amethyst Initiative.

  • Sarah Costinelto on 08.29.2013 at 6:58 pm

    In my opinion, if you think that you are old enough to drink alcohol, then you should also be old enough to do it responsibly. There is no reason that anyone should be going and getting ‘black out drunk’ on a regular basis. Stop blaming the police for enforcing the law. Live responsibly and there will be no problems.

    • SMG Student on 09.03.2013 at 12:24 pm

      There is zero tolerance for under 21 so your comment does not apply. Because the BPD puts under cover police in bars the only option available to your average student is a house party where it is far harder to manage your alcohol intake

  • susie cue on 08.30.2013 at 2:27 am

    can people stop complaining about the BUPD wanting to crack down on alcohol?! for the love of god…a student DIED last year at a party. a life was taken. because of alcohol. what the helllll would this university look like NOT taking these precautions. give me a break. always gotta have someone bitching about why the university is focusing so much on X, and not on Y…well geeze one thing at a time.

    • Former SMG Student on 08.31.2013 at 12:23 am

      That student, unfortunately, also had a heart condition. It was a tragedy, but BU is partly to blame. BU students will not call an ambulance or seek medical attention until it is obviously necessary because of the school’s no tolerance policy. I have went out with more than one professor who has mentioned to me that they think this is insane.

      • Former SMG Student on 08.31.2013 at 12:39 am

        Also it’s not BUPD. They aren’t too bad. BPD are the worst.

  • Parent of two college students on 08.30.2013 at 4:39 pm

    Seems like a good reason not to go to BU. Current high school seniors take note.

    • WHB on 09.03.2013 at 10:34 am

      Seems like a good reason for parents to talk to their high school seniors about safe drinking habits, personal responsibility, and smart decision-making.

  • Former SMG Student on 08.31.2013 at 12:35 am

    Dear BU,
    I just want to speak my mind on this matter. I graduated my undergrad degree and now attend a global top 10 institution overseas. I like to think these gives me a broader view of the issue and have summed up some points below.

    1. Greater enforcement is not the answer.
    I didn’t go for BU to be afraid. I didn’t not drink when I had an RA who was tough on drinkers. I drank in moderation around friends and to socialize. It was a great part of the college experience. My only real fear was getting caught by the police and in my few encounters with them they never discriminated between if I had simply had a beer or multiple. They were overly aggressive and never polite, even when I was over 21. Often they threatened students. My family and I didn’t shell out $60,000 a year to have armed thugs patrol and streets and prevent students from drinking rather than working towards their safety. Students and police need to feel like they are one community.

    2. The administration does not listen.
    We, in Greek Life, repeatedly asked Dean Elmore for concessions to have registered parties or sit down and figure out a way that both the students and BU could be happy. The administration never listened and openly lied. This is why as an Alumni I only donate back to SMG, whom was always willing to at least listen and often acted on suggestions. This isn’t high school, I’m not sure why you treated us as such.

    3. Greek Life isn’t to blame.
    Sure they are easy to blame because of their affiliation to an organization, but they have less instances when adjusted for the size of the population. Never once, including pledging, was I ever forced to drink. In fact we looked out for each other and helped many brothers to live sustainable and moderate lifestyles. My Fraternity is the reason I got my job, many of the skills I have and the reason I enjoyed BU so much. Taking that away so you can claim to have done something will hurt you in the long run in a school with already poor networking and a barely affiliated student body.

    4. Students at BU are miserable and you ignore this.
    Maybe if US news ranked this without actually asking students (who are aware this affects their schools rankings and give it high marks) you’d do more about this. BU sponsored events sucked and were expensive. Many of my non Greek friends were forced to take a semester off because they just couldn’t handle it anymore. Others were miserable because of the lack of real social outlets. This is directly the fault of the administration. The Student Activities Office is slow and incompetent. No one even knows all the clubs that exist.

    I don’t want to rant on anymore, but as an Alumni this is how I feel. You are a great school with great potential. There is a reason the centrally run CAS lags behind the other schools. You need to change the style of the administration. Silber brought us to greatness but the time for that toughness is over. Brown is a joke (even parents thought so at commencement). Get your act together and stop coasting on student life as Greek Life will not carry the vocal 10% anymore.

  • Paul on 09.26.2013 at 9:21 am

    As a current upperclassman I have seen my fair share of heavily intoxicated friends. One time my friend was turning bluish and was becoming very cold due to extreme intoxication… I was terrified of the BU repercussions for my friend so rather than have BU transport this person, I transported the person myself with one of my friends who had a car. This saved the person from the MASSIVE fee BU charges to transport and the judicial ramifications for both of us.

    The scary thing is due to the draconian rulings of the university, many students would be afraid to do anything to help their friend out in fear of the legal/academic ramifications, as I was. BU needs to do something to promote seeking help from authority figures rather than fleeing and hiding from them.

    This new alcohol policy does nothing to promote responsible drinking or responsible behavior in case something bad were to happen.

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