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Colin McLean / Gavel Media

Can the Seniors Have Anything? Over-policing During MarMon

Being a senior on Marathon Monday seems like the best time ever. Living in The Mods gives you the opportunity to have a big group of people over for festivities on such a special day in a controlled but fun way. You would think that BCPD would relax as the Mods are full of people 21+ being ID’d at the door. As it turns out, many seniors and juniors throwing parties in the Mods and off-campus during MarMon felt severely over-monitored by BCPD. Security was lined up along the Mods and every sidewalk, questioning people constantly, and off-campus residents got vague and weird emails about partying that many off-campus residents felt threatened by.

As I witnessed seniors becoming upset by the strange and overpowering behavior from BCPD, I happened to think about conversations I have heard over and over from people who lived in Newton in 2020-21 when COVID was still rampant, who are now seniors. Those who lived on Newton during that time remember it fondly as a sort of “Wild West” time to live on campus. The only thing they were worried about was getting in trouble for having guests, but other than that, I have heard great things. After asking seniors, it seems they felt like they had more freedom and less intensive monitoring on Newton than they did in the Mods as seniors. Why should this be the case? A class that has been repeatedly forgotten by Boston College is now only paid special attention to when they don’t want to be– the most well-known Boston College holiday of the entire year. 

The over-policing during MarMon wasn’t just one isolated incident. Pictures were spread on Herrd of BCPD coming to the doors of the Mods on the weekend of MarMon, and investigating even while everyone in the Mod was at least 21 years of age was clearly over-policing. Living in Walsh, I witnessed many groups being stopped by police on their way out the door. Someone I know got into the T-Pain concert with a wristband after buying a ticket and picking it up on the correct day, and well into the concert, it fell off at some point. A BCPD officer stopped them and wrote them up for not having a wristband. Over a week after MarMon, they still have not received any email regarding disciplinary measures for the missing wristband. The weird email telling off-campus residents they can’t “vibe” in their off-campus houses was extremely vague and overbearing on students who don’t even live on campus. To me, that is a huge overreach of authority on the part of Boston College admin. 

After asking seniors about how their very first MarMon was, I realized that it seemed like such a different event and environment for celebrations. It was extremely freeing after the isolation of COVID year, and it seems like it was a great time to meet new people, especially because of how the year before was for them being stuck in the dorms. Their first experiences with MarMon were so memorable and fun, and nobody seemed to be complaining about the policing. Compared to then, it seems Boston College has made the switch to implement rules that get more intense every year, with more police and stricter off-campus rules. 

The concern for safety for students is obviously admirable as they are means of preventative measures to keep students and the community safe, and there needs to be some measure of law and order. However, some of the measures taken are quickly becoming overbearing and unnecessary and are simply scaring students. The swift jump from just a few years ago to now and how crazy the rules have gotten makes me nervous for the future of MarMon and what BC will deem necessary for safety that will end up being overbearing.

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