Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino presents the Mayor's Achievement Award to Boston Police Capt. William B. Evans and Boston College Director of Community Affairs William Mills (far right). Looking on are University administrators, L-R, Steven Montgomery, off-campus liaison for the Office of Community Affairs, Boston College Police Chief Robert Morse, Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs Thomas Keady and Executive Assistant to the President James Lehane. (Photo by Don Harney/City of Boston Photo)
BC Efforts on Student Conduct Lauded
By Reid Oslin
Boston College has been honored by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino for its collaborative efforts with local officials to address and improve the behavior of students living in the city's neighborhoods.
The University received the first annual Mayor's Achievement Award in recognition of its neighborhood campaign, which includes a partnership with Boston Police to directly monitor student conduct and a comprehensive program involving Boston College administrators, Brighton District Court officials, city agencies, elected officials and local real estate owners to improve quality of life issues for Allston-Brighton residents.
"We are fortunate to have this type of partner in higher education," said Menino in presenting the award to University representatives at a ceremony at the Parkman House in Boston on Dec. 8. "You are really making a difference in helping to improve the quality of life in the City of Boston.
"Your commitment to our city and your willingness to work hard to achieve our shared goals is so important," Menino said.
As a component of the plan, Boston College hires Boston Police details, accompanied by University administrators, to patrol potential neighborhood trouble areas. In addition, BC has an administrator on call every Thursday through Saturday evening who will respond directly to neighbors' complaints by visiting students in their off-campus apartments to address any reported disturbance.
Boston College Director of Community Affairs William Mills said, "We have worked hard to make the neighborhood a peaceful place for residents. It has been a lot of hard work and a lot of weekends, but it has paid off."
City officials have held up Boston College's off-campus student behavior as a model for other local colleges to follow.
"Boston College has been a model in effective community partnerships," said Menino. "I wish the other universities would be more like them in this regard."
Boston Police Capt. William B. Evans, commander of District 14 in Brighton, agreed. "Boston College has really stepped up to the plate in dealing with off-campus issues. Working with us, from the 'ride-alongs' with administrators to the follow-up discipline of kids, they have shown that they really do take seriously the behavior of kids off-campus."
Evans added, "When we had the World Series and the Super Bowl, we had no issues, for the most part, up around Boston College. That is a testament to all of the hard work that has been done."
Mills says the on-going campaign combines the resources of the Office of the Dean for Student Development, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Boston College Police Department, Boston Police and the Brighton District Court.
"We work with each of them prior to each school year," Mills said, "so that we are all on the same page as to what we are going to do for the year."
Mills also credits the development of an orientation program on off-campus behavior as another key element in the success of the overall effort.