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Off campus lacks tricks on Halloween

By: Patrick Gallagher

Posted: 10/30/08

While students have been struggling to balance midterms with finding Halloween costumes this week, the Boston College Police Department (BCPD) is not overly concerned that Halloween falling on a Friday this year will pose a challenge for local law enforcement in the Brighton community.

"Incidents are definitely down," said BCPD chief Robert Morse. "As always, we encourage students to use their heads - have fun, be respectful, and be responsible."

Morse added, however, that the BCPD will have an increased visibility this weekend, with additional officers on duty on Friday night. While this added presence is not meant to be seen as confrontational, he said he asks students to be respectful to officers of the BCPD and Boston Police Department (BPD) and to follow any orders given by an officer.

"I would expect an increase in the level of activity," Morse said. "There are always a lot of calls [on a weekend]."

In a recent incident this past weekend, several BC students were arrested while the BPD was attempting to break up an off-campus party. According to the BPD report, the students were charged with offenses including disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery on a police officer after the students allegedly failed to heed the officers' instructions.

"The best thing - even when you think you're right - is to cooperate," Morse said, noting that the combination of students who are under the influence of alcohol and agitated police officers can be a bad mixture, particularly on a night like Halloween. "In a large crowded event when the police order you to disperse, people get in trouble when they don't understand that that order is a lawful order."

In past years there have not been any notable off-campus incidents involving BC students on Halloween, and thus far the BCPD and BC's Office of Public Affairs have not had any calls from concerned residents brought to their attention, said Morse and University Spokesman Jack Dunn.

"We're trying for a big expansion," Morse said, in reference to BC's Institutional Master Plan (IMP). Morse noted how the lack of incidents involving BC students in nearby neighborhoods "helps us deflect some of the complaints [regarding the IMP]."

Bill Mills, director of community affairs, reiterated that the past several years have witnessed nothing unusual on Halloween, and expects that trend to continue.

"I think so far we've had a pretty good year off campus," Mills said. "We're not gearing up for anything out of the ordinary - just a regular Friday night. The police will be out there so they'll be looking for issues and addressing them as they come along."

Mills said he believes residents should have no qualms when it comes to sending their children out trick-or-treating, and encourages BC students residing in the surrounding neighborhoods to be recpectful of local children and families.

"I think you send [your kids] out and enjoy it - it's a very safe neighborhood," Mills said. "I would hope that college students welcome the kids when they come to the houses trick-or-treating."

Mills also mentioned several area events for children during the afternoon on Friday that BC students have volunteered at in the past. According to a press release from Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's office, the annual "Halloween Stroll" through Brighton Center, ending at the Allston-Brighton YMCA on Washington Street, will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday. The festivities are to include music, candy, and a pizza party at the conclusion of the stroll.

"Lots of BC students go down and help out with the event," Mills said. "It's a really nice thing that's been going on in the business district there - BC kids have been really good with assisting with the event the past couple of years."

Both Mills and Judy Robinson, assistant dean for student development, said a quiet Halloween could go a long way in helping student residents to establish a friendly relationship with neighbors.

"Students may be traveling in groups, but we also hope they would be respectful of their peers living off campus and the neighbors in the community, and to be aware of their noise level as they would at any time," Robinson said. "A group of five students can be walking up and down the neighborhood and not be creating problems for neighbors - they just need to be aware and sensitive and civil.

"If kids are trick-or-treating and the students are participating as they would if they were at home, that could be a nice way to connect with people in the neighborhood," Robinson said.
 

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I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
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I'm so grateful to be off tonight.
 

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I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
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So, for those who had to work on Halloween, how did it go? Busy as all hell or not bad at all?:confused:
 

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I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
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I am very glad for you. It's one of those nights where it seems to go to one extreme or the other, rarely anything in the middle. I'm in tonight and hope to hear it was the same as your town. Deader than a doornail.
 

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I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
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It wasn't. Gee, my nights off were restful and I should feel guilty.

NAH!
 
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