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Boston College to hire Boston cops to help stamp out weekend superspreader parties off campus; city councilor says that's not enough

City Councilor Liz Breadon (Allston/Brighton) reports that Boston College has agreed to hire a BPD detail to roam Brighton on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to bust up any gatherings of hardy partying Eagles as part of its plan to keep the college and the surrounding neighborhood from turning into a Covid-19 hotspot.

But in a posting on neighborhood mailing lists, Breadon says that's not enough and that she's joined Councilor Kenzie Bok, who represents the equally student heavy Fenway and Mission Hill neighborhoods, in calling on local colleges to keep the students at home.

In a letter to Boston College President William Leahy and Boston University President Robert Brown, Breadon says she has "little confidence" that the schools will provide the same level of Covid-19 prevention and care to their numerous off-campus students as they have promised for students living in on-campus dorms.

It appears that off-campus students will not have the same level of access to quarantine facilities, medical support and monitoring as those living on campus. The physical proximity of off-campus students to neighborhood residents increases the risk of community spread beyond the university campus.

Specifically, Breadon says she wants answers from the two schools on how they will ensure off-campus students will comply with the same social distancing and masking requirements as students living in dorms; how they will ensure off-campus students will adhere to 14-day quarantines if they test positive, and what medical support they'll have; how the schools will conduct contact tracing for positive off-campus students and what their punishments are for hosting or attending large parties and not adhering to more general mask and social-distancing requirements.

But even if she gets answers, Breadon adds, she urges the schools to keep most students at home, learning remotely, because of the sheer number of off-campus students and the risks to Allston/Brighton residents.

Separately, one part of BC's planned Covid-19 program, an app through which both students and staffers could schedule their required Covid-19 tests, is not ready. In e-mail to professors and college staff last week, the school said it was unable to complete testing of the CoVerified app and so employees will have to line up for walk-in tests at the Conte Forum over the next couple of weeks.

People who take a test will be given a wristband that they'll be required to wear as they move around the campus.

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Comments

Legally, is there a way for a municipality, or even a private university, to impose restrictions that would prevent students living in off-campus housing from living in that housing? They have a lease with a private landlord and the rights associated with that.

Anecdotal, I'll admit, but I've heard from students that have said that even if their schools shut down and closed all on campus housing before the school year starts, they will still be living in their off-campus apartments.

It's hard to dispute that the measures that schools are putting in place have much less impact and power on off-campus housing, again, these students have legal contracts between them and private property owners, but if the schools don't run their on-campus operations, none of the operations they are planning for the fall will be continued just to serve off-campus students who choose to stay in the city. We could end up with the same number of students living off-campus with no university provided support systems in place. That seems to be a much worse scenario to me.

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Voting closed 40

If all the off-campus housing got left empty it would have a severe economic impact as those landlords wouldn't get rent and would not be able to make their mortgage payments, pay for property maintenance, etc.

I have heard that some students whose colleges will be completely online are renting out apartments with their friends in "fun places". These kids are so done with staying home with their parents. Even with classes online they want to socialize with their peers.

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Voting closed 45

Make these properties homes for the homeless first. The economic concerns of real estate investors and playgrounds for students aren’t so pressing.

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Voting closed 49

No tears are shed for investment companies but Boston's economy is built on the huge education business. If the students don't come back the pain is going to be widespread. Lots and lots of jobs are dependant upon tourism and students and the ripple effects of these industries tanking is going to hurt more people than you think.

Durring a recession/depression the people who do best are the rich investors who snatch up all the discount housing stock and commercial properties from broke owners.

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Voting closed 48

Educational institutions have along relied on the poor and renter working class who live side by side with them. Now the poor can kick them to the curb or take over the housing opportunities stolen from them during the collaboration between institutions of higher learning for the privileged and the slumlord camp followers they attract.
The Wheel of Fortune is as unpredictable as ever.

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Voting closed 13

How about making those apartments available for working class people first? The anti-NIMBYs kicked and screamed that they wanted all of the old triple-deckers torn down for newer shinier bigger more expensive housing thus forcing working class people who can't afford big new shiny box housing out of their homes and neighborhoods. Anti-NIMBY's said oh look we're creating more housing, so it's okay that we're kicking out 3 lower income families, like because like soon 12 suburban wealthy couples will be able to have a shiny new pied a terre in the city... which is like hashtag way better!

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It's hard for the schools to say impose where the students should be remotely learning from.

Seems to be this idea from the council that the students will be home with mommy and daddy in some other state, but remote can be from mission hill or allston or cambridge or wherever.

My anecdata is someone I know living in mission hill for the summer taking remote courses at northeastern. Once a lease is signed you are paying

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I hate the way people think colleges can and should control their students (customers) the same way a parent controls their 12 year old. You might as well think Dunkins' is responsible for the actions of everyone who buys a large iced coffee every morning.

As for the parties, college students party with other college students. And since every college in Boston is testing the shit out of their students, a college party isn't nearly the same risk as Louie's BBQ in Everett where he's invited his extended family from the nearest six states. It's not as if college students are going concerts and clubs anytime soon.

At least most college students know that humans breath through their nose, unlike 1/2 the people in area stores as of late.

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And since every college in Boston is testing the shit out of their students

Are they? If classes are online, why would they?

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My son was just put on probation because his roommates had a BBQ and there were a total of 20 people there. They live in a house with 11 people, so they had nine guests and were busted for lack of social distancing - even though 75% of the people were wearing masks. I don't consider that a huge party. Since he started on August 27th, he has only been tested once when he first got there. There is NO TESTING going on at Boston College

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There probably isn't (I am not a lawyer), but there's no legal barrier to the colleges providing separate quarantine housing for off-campus students who need it.

There's nothing stopping the colleges from requiring frequent testing of students who are going to be doing anything on campus -- libraries, labs, any other in-person classes -- and telling people who test positive to quarantine.

I note that one of the things the colleges are being asked is how will they do this: Where/how will they quarantine students who test positive or have COVID symptoms?. How frequently will they be testing students who will be spending time on-campus and live off-campus?

There are people who want to do the right thing, if they can. That means having places they can quarantine, and/or arranging for delivery of food and other necessities while people are quarantining.

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should do the same in South Boston. Too many Doug Flutie meatheads partying all night every night.

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Is this 1984 again? I’m ok with it, because 2020 sucks

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Making everyone on a college campus wear a wristband sure sounds like Orwellian 1984 to me. I know these are hard times, and we all need to do our part with masks, testing, and avoiding gatherings to beat this thing. But does privacy really have to go out the window?

Other colleges have proposed making everyone have their ID visible on a lanyard at all times, to make sure visitors can be thrown out easily, but then decided against it when most people were opposed to the idea. A wristband kicks it up a notch.

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I think the 1984 was a reference to the actual year and not to the novel, based on the Flutie drop.

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Eastie is slowly becoming the new frat boy/frat girl Mecca

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Boston College police officers are also deputized as Middlesex and Suffolk sheriff’s deputies, so they should be dealing with this. BPD officers have better issues to deal with. If BC feels they need the help, perhaps that means it’s not a good idea to have students back on campus.

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On overtime.

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We know that the average age of Covid-19 death in MA is either age 82 or age 86 (depending on which page of Baker's "dashboard" is viewed). Either way, there's little risk of Covid fatality for college students. In fact, there's a far better chance of death by murder in Boston for that age group.

The promise of a police detail should be viewed with skepticism. Even in good times, few BPD officers would choose a detail that requires policing partying college students. Add in the current social unrest and high levels of hatred for police at the collegiate level and nobody will accept (it's a choice) this extra work. The BPD's strict 16 hour per day work rule and the availability of almost unlimited overtime and less hostile details means the BC detail will be the last filled or not filled at all. Anyone believing that there will be a guaranteed BPD detail might want to ask for specifics. Thankfully, fatal attacks of Covid-19 have proven to be exceedingly rare for the healthy under 60. It's comforting that Governor Baker's own statistics confirm ZERO deaths here for those under 20.

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Here you are again. I guess you're right, it is great that none of the dead from this are likely to be the students. If only urban campuses were a bubble that consisted entirely of the students. But they aren't.

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than the residents I see walking around in crowded places with masks pulled down to their chins or covering only their mouths. If you're concerned about catching the virus then stay home or, when outside, keep 6 ft way from others, wear a mask and sanitize or wash your hands.

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The students represent a concentrated population of individuals who are (according to what is currently known) more likely to be asymptomatic carriers, and (according to the observation of everyone who's lived in Boston) much more likely to privilege their parties and their travel over their safety or anyone else's. People with masks pulled down to their chins are a visible danger that can be seen and avoided; covidiot college kids fly under the radar a little more.

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You're obsessed with death. If I were to guess, this probably means you don't believe you have much living left to do. There are much more common long-term effects of COVID than death, you know, like extreme chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, and myocarditis that affect recovered patients of all ages. The young tend to assume death is far away, and those young people who value their quality of life between now and then have every reason to be cautious about COVID. Only people like you, elderly in soul if not in body, have the luxury of pretending long-term complications don't exist.

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I think someone is substituting Faux Snuze and ONAN for his usual therapies.

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Sounds like QAnon banged OANN.

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Whatever the median, the CDC says 20% of US COVID deaths are in people less than sixty-five years old.

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You know who’s doing most of the moving around from place to place and transmitting it though? Hint: not elders.

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Have a cite that it's college students?

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It's not just the college kids they're worried about, it's the more vulnerable people with whom they come in contact.

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...from the horse-and-buggy days, which is why he has to put "dashboard" in quotes -- it's a brand new concept from them newfangled horseless carriages, ya know.

Stubborn idiocy is persistent and Fish is too invested in promoting his lies to listen, but for anyone who didn't get the memo, 1)the "little risk" to college-age people keeps changing all the time and 2)it ain't a "little risk" to everyone they come into contact with.

tl;dr: Fish is still an irresponsible, selfish, science-denying, cop-boot-licking idiot.

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If they wanted to open the public schools, why did the state not just say to the colleges and universities that they couldn't bring in cootie kings and queens from other states that were not as dilligent? That they would be online only until December?

Right now the area is dealing with an influx of party children, some from Cootie states, on top of trying to mix up a broad segment of our own population. Seems like a recipe for disaster, and many public school systems agree.

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Yup.
Their Party Parents are tired of babysitting them so off to school they go. They had better not think Parent’s Weekend is gonna be good for their health.
Meanwhile local public school kids and their friends and families fend for themselves because the city considers them dispensable.

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Those for the great states of cootiesvania will probably still want to be doing their “remote learning” in the same apartments they would live in for in person living, especially if there is a chance of in person learning in the spring.

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Beats my nickname: "stupid states".

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The 20 year old college student who signs a lease for a year long rental in Mission Hill is a "segment of our own population". They are Boston residents who pay rent and utilities here in Boston, pay our state and local taxes on the money they earn from their jobs here in Boston, register their car and get a driver's license here in Boston, and even register to vote here in Boston.

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...but some of them are still coming from states with high rates of essentially uncontrolled covid transmission. If "cootie states" bothers you that much, feel free to type all that out, but the public health implications are the same.

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All university students should be required to live on campus, or given the option to learn online. An institution that cannot provide housing for everyone who would wants it can develop its own criteria. Maybe all freshman, or seniors, or the ones who take lots of classes that require labs.

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and it'll still cause gentrification.

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