Topic: Holy Cross Underage Drinking Massacre


From: "Joe Klimek" 
To: 
Subject: FW: Issues at Holy Cross
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Heads up!
Alumni please take the initiative to raise the attached article as a point of discussion with your undergraduate members.
Please remember to mark December 6th at 7:00 as the next Greek Alumni Council Meeting. Good luck to all of your houses as rush gets underway over the next few days.
Joe Klimek

-----Original Message----- From: Pakstis-Claiborne, Tracey [mailto:tpc@WPI.EDU] Sent: Thursday, October 28, 1999 11:01 AM To: jklimek@etek-partners.com Subject: Issues at Holy Cross Importance: High

Joe,
Here is a copy of an article that was in last Sunday's T&G. I have heard through the grapevine that WPI is on the radar screen with the WPD as the next school they are investigating (possibly with an undercover, underage female.) I am meeting with IFC and the Presidents this Friday to discuss and prepare for the big Halloween weekend. Could you please send this out to the alums to keep them informed, as their undergrads may be speaking with them about this. The meeting is Friday at 5:00 PM in Morgan A if any alums would like to attend. I'll talk to you later!
Tracey
___________________________________________________ Tracey Pakstis-Claiborne, M.Ed. Assistant Director of Orientation and Student Activities Worcester Polytechnic Institute 100 Institute Road Worcester, MA 01609 (508)831-5291 (508)831-5581 (fax) tpc@wpi.edu http://www.WPI.EDU/+SAO


'Tougher enforcement' sought
Sunday, October 24, 1999
By Mark Melady Telegram & Gazette Staff
WORCESTER-- The image of Holy Cross College students being handcuffed and hauled off to the lockup in police wagons has provoked cheers from their College Hill neighbors, disbelief from the students, and anger from their parents. Now, it has the college raising a white flag of sorts. "I hope we can get some type of moratorium on multiple arrests," said a beleaguered Jacqueline D. Peterson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. But the parties might give out before the police give up. "Kids are afraid they'll get arrested for crossing the street," said Steven Koup, a Holy Cross senior from Buffalo who lives on Woodward Street with 11 roommates scattered over three floors. Weeks after the crackdown began, students are complaining of wrists cut from handcuffs and bodies bruised from being jostled in the police wagon. "They don't have seat belts in those things," said one student. Another said a Holy Cross football player, in his underwear and on crutches from an injury, was ordered into the wagon. "He wasn't even drinking," Jennifer Sobrino, a junior, said. "Did we walk across the street with an open container or commit murder?" said Alyson Macomber, a junior soccer player from Northbridge. "What's going on here? We're not bad kids. I've never been in trouble before in my life." Such remarks, however, do not find a sympathetic ear with residents, some of whom say the arrests have proven the only remedy to a longstanding tradition among students of being disruptive. And there are indications that the hard feelings won't soon disappear. The dispute, which has drawn in politicians and a variety of others, is being felt in many ways, from College Hill all the way to City Hall. Sobrino and Macomber live with three other female students in a building at 926 Southbridge St. that has 21 apartments. After a visit by a Public Health Department inspector earlier this month, the students received a letter from the city saying their apartment was only approved for three residents; two students had to be out by the end of October, it stated. "We know five women lived here the last three years, so why all of a sudden is it illegal?" Sobrino said. Students and college officials, and some residents, share a suspicion that the arrests -- about 80 over the past two weekends -- were a local version of the "October Surprise," a political tradition in some cities. "It's quite obvious all of this is occurring in the middle of an election," Peterson said. "It makes us wonder why Holy Cross is being singled out. These things aren't happening at other colleges in the city? Hmmmm. That's all I can say. Hmmmm. We firmly believe inappropriate behavior should be addressed, but the numbers of arrests have been a stretch." Dennis Fitzmaurice, owner of Fitzy's general store at Malvern and Hampton streets, agreed. "I've been here seven years and I've found them to be ladies and gentlemen," Fizmaurice, who lives three houses away, said of the students. "College kids drink. Why is Holy Cross being singled out? This kind of stuff doesn't go on at WPI? C'mon." Ronal C. Madnick, executive director of the Worcester County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the arrests "theater of the absurd." "They've arrested people for being in the presence of alcohol, on suspicion of drinking," Madnick said. Yet Mayor Raymond V. Mariano dismisses criticism alleging that the crackdown is politically motivated. "The police chief wanted tougher enforcement," Mariano said during a mayoral candidates' forum last week. "The city manager wanted tougher enforcement. Holy Cross officials wanted tougher enforcement. The neighborhood citizens wanted tougher enforcement. That's what they got." Michael Soter, president of the College Hill Civic Association, echoed that sentiment, saying there has been no doubt about area residents' views concerning the round of arrests. "They loved it," Soter said. "Holy Cross doesn't allow underage drinking and bad behavior on their campus, and the neighbors don't want it on their streets. I think our point has been proven." The association, which has a membership of about 300 households in the College Hill area, led the drive for the police action, which residents said has amounted to little more than break-it-up-and-move-along warnings to participants in a movable weekend scene that often had hundreds of noisy students roaming between party houses and the campus. At a contentious association meeting in early September, several residents complained bitterly of sleepless nights punctuated by loud music and students urinating on their lawns -- and sometimes even having sex in their shrubbery. In the morning, they said, the streets and yards would be awash in beer cans and plastic cups. But many say the claims are exaggerated -- that the boorish behavior of a few has been used to condemn the entire student body. "There isn't any fornicating going on here, inside or outside," said Sobrino, who comes from Queens, N.Y. "The dating scene is zilch with the parties. Without them -- whew." Frank Garand, a 1995 Holy Cross graduate who teaches Internet page design at the college and lives at 64 College St., directly across from the college's main entrance, said the perception that Holy Cross is one big Animal House is absurd. "On any given weekend 300 or 400 students walk by and two or three might by noisy or rowdy," Garand said. "I could see if the police arrest two or three. But this is crazy. One girl got arrested coming back from the library." Garand said the problem isn't a lack of things to do on campus. The college regularly schedules dances, live entertainment and movies. "It's just that kids would rather hang with their friends and drink," Garand said. "I used to do the same thing. I'd never do it now. It's just a lot of standing around a keg in a hot, crowded room." George Soter, father of Michael, who has lived on Clay Street since 1954, said he's not sure if the kids are a bigger annoyance now than they were in years and decades past. But he is convinced of one thing: "They sure do drink a lot, more than I ever remember. It's sad. "Holy Cross has lost a couple of kids to drinking in the past few years," he said, referring to two pedestrian deaths near the college that involved students who had been at nearby bars. Michael Soter, 26, who now lives on College Street and operates a convenience store frequented by students, said alcohol consumption has increased markedly in the last three years. "It's like drinking is the only thing these kids can do," Soter said. "I know they bust their butts all week, and no one wants to deny them their parties and a couple of beers. But when the parties go from 20 kids to 200 kids, that's a catastrophe waiting to happen." During a late-night mayor's walk not long ago, Soter said, he stopped counting at 225 as he watched students partying in an old Southbridge Street three-decker. Mariano said that sight caused him to shake with fright all night as he lay in bed. "If that rickety old three-decker collapsed, it would have been a tragedy that would have made all the media outlets in the world," Mariano said. Superior Court Judge Elliott L. Zide lectured the first batch of students brought before him about matters of civic responsibility. Then he put them on probation. Zide, who warned that he would be tough on second offenders, will be on campus tomorrow to talk with students. "He's going to talk about the administration of justice," Peterson said. "This is an important teachable moment for the students." Madnick has offered to put on a seminar for the students on their legal rights when arrested. "It's clear from talking to some of them they have no idea what's going on in the courtroom," Madnick said. The college, meanwhile, is conducting disciplinary inquiries on all arrested students. Peterson said about half of the students have had hearings, and none has been suspended or expelled. She also said that some pending cases could lead to suspension. The disciplinary measures taken so far include mandatory enrollment in an alcohol prevention program, community service, and assignments to write research papers. Peterson said students could also be required to pay restitution in cases involving property damage. Some students have been cleared of wrongdoing by the college. "The first question we asked when the arrests started was, 'Is this an overreaction?' " Peterson said. "And clearly in certain cases it has been. We've encouraged students who feel they were arrested unjustly to file a complaint with the Police Department." Peterson added that the college has been swamped with angry calls from the parents of arrested students. "I don't mean this to sound snobby," Sobrino said, "but a lot of kids who go to this school have rich parents. The city doesn't know what it's in for." City Councilor Paul P. Clancy Jr., whose 3rd District encompasses much of the Holy Cross campus, said the partying issue is cyclical, rearing up every few years. "Back in the old days the Jesuits would beat them into chapel," Clancy said with a laugh. This year, resident frustration reached heretofore unseen heights. "I was a little concerned it might turn into some kind of vigilantism," Clancy said. That is why that although he opposed the mass arrests, Clancy believes the ride in a wagon and the possibility of a criminal record have delivered a message. "These are smart kids," he said. "They'll figure out how to be more discreet. And I'm encouraged by the college's strong willingness to be very positive." Clancy, 4th District City Councilor Janice L. Nadeau and Mariano have proposed that a college-neighborhood-city hall committee be reconstituted to meet regularly on issues such as the one preoccupying the Holy Cross area. A similar committee was formed in the early 1990s to cover similar ground. It lasted for about five years and was an effective communication mechanism, both Clancy and Nadeau said. Peterson said the college is open to anything that improves communication. "We've sat down with neighbors, city officials, police and students," said Peterson, who is in her third year as vice president for student affairs. "This is an issue for all of us." One thing that grates on neighbors and elected officials alike is the amount of property Holy Cross owns in the neighborhood. It includes several houses on Caro Street, often the location of the largest and loudest parties. "These properties come off the tax rolls, but city taxpayers have to provide a lot of services," Nadeau said. Soter noted that people in the neighborhood wanted College Hill designated a "Zero Tolerance Zone," in spite of the distinct possibility that signs identifying it as such would devalue property. At Mariano's urging, the City Council recently voted 6-5 to recommend that City Manager Thomas R. Hoover classify it that way. Hoover declined, saying it was too extreme a measure. Konstantina B. Lukes, an at-large councilor who is running for mayor, concurred with the manager, saying that such designations were intended for neighborhoods infested with "drug dealers, prostitutes and gangs," and that the move was one step away from martial law. But Soter said alcohol is a drug. "If you're 21, selling beer to a minor, you're selling."
1999 Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Discussion:
        
*** User553 *** 10/28/1999 16:12 EDT ***

I guess times have changed indeed!  We should find a way to keep Theta Chi
off the radar screen and in the newspaper for the philanthropic work that
we do.


*** User550 *** 10/28/1999 17:49 EDT ***

Seems like a strict adherence to WPI carding policy is what we are really
talking here.  If undercover, underage cops are getting in and getting served by
the bar (vs. up in some poor schmuck's room) then our liability is upped quit a
bit not only from the community level (ie arrests) but a national level (getting
our charter revoked).  

Also, the outside detail needs to be VERY aware of this problem of arrests
happening outside on the streets and not allow any alcohol to get outside of the
building.  From this article, that seems to be the main issue, where arrests are
made on the street for disturbing the peace and public disorderly charges. 
Whether or not it evolves into the issue above and narcs come in looking to bust
for underage drinking is an additional matter, but not here quite yet.

-Jesster '96


*** User177 *** 10/29/1999 06:45 EDT ***

Folks

After living out in the real world for a while I've found that the old 
"squeaky wheel get's the grease" saying is very true.  What you have here
is a neighborhood group that got together and went to the city government
to bitch and moan about the drinking that goes on around their houses.
The result of this is in the article.

I don't know how concerned the neighbors around the house are.  Typically people
don't get fired up to complain unless they are homeowners.  Where OX sits 
there is mostly apartments.  However, if you look at where ATO is you see 
lots of homes.  Depending on how ATO has been behaving the homeowners over there
could get together and complain and then the whole school would have to be
looked at.  So don't think it could not happen to you.

As Jesster said, be on the lookout for open containers outside of the house.  
If you don't give the police a reason to come inside they won't.  This includes
keeping the external noise level to a reasonable level while the party is going
on and making sure there are not problems when the party is over.

Pete Dorr 88' or was it 89'


*** User556 *** 10/29/1999 08:23 EDT ***

Hey Guys
    
   I have seen this whole issue from the begining.  I live directly behind Holy
Cross.  The problems started the first week-end the frsehman arived.  I was
coming home from a night of drinking about 2:00 am and as I turned up College
Hill Road there were just numerous amount of people up and down the street. 
This went on for a couple weekends in a row.  Then the complaints started
happening, people where come plaining to the police and city officials about
college kids pissing on their lawns and having sex in the bushes, etc.  So the
neighborhood got together had a meeting with the city and complained so more. 
Finally the city had to do something so they made a zero tolerance zone.  Now
every friday and saturday night there are cops all over the place.


*** User556 *** 10/29/1999 08:32 EDT ***

Sorry continued from above.

These kids were stupid, they wanted to party and thought they could be
untouchable.  Unlike us at WPI who know that society is always looking to screw
a fraternity, any chance they can get. The only disturbance we ever caused was
on bid day (car rally) and we were sober!!!! The undergrads should be careful
but as to say we are next on WPD hit list, I dont know?  The city strives on the
colleges for the economy if they arrest everybody, then nobody is going to want
to go to school there.  The only smart thing the kids at Holy Cross did is a
good majority of them went down and register to vote in this years election just
in case some one want to pass a stupid law. 

as part of this neighborhood i should have gone to the meetings and spoke up for
Holy Cross, but ever since one of the RA's kicked me out for postering, I
particularly havent been to fawn of the school.

-Ozzy '97


*** User542 *** 04/17/2008 12:56 EDT ***

If you live next to an airport, you are going to hear airplanes.  If you live
next to a college, you are going to hear parties and kids drinking.  Simple as
that.

-HC Class of 2008 "No one hates like the class of '08"


*** User512 *** 10/26/2015 06:49 EST ***

evidently the jews r cumming