Friday, October 12, 2007

BC Task Force Meeting: Tuesday 10/16, at 6:30 pm

BC Task Force Meeting

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
6:30-8:30 pm

Brighton Marine Health Center
77 Warren Street, 3rd floor
Brighton MA 02135

  1. IMPA -- Update
  2. Student Behavior -- Update
  3. Allston/Brighton Scholarship Program
For more information, contact:
John FitzGerald
Project Manager
Boston Redevelopment Authority

Note that this meeting does not appear on the BRA website for Allston-Brighton meetings.

Institutional Master Plan Amendment

At the September 18 meeting of the BC Task Force, BC officials notified residents that they intend to file an IMPA imminently filed an IMPA on 10/12/07 to provide for use of two buildings, Bishop Peterson Hall and the St. John's Library, that BC purchased in the late summer from the Archdiocese of Boston.

They announced that the IMPA would cover:
  1. Extension of the BC master plan zoning overlay to include these two buildings;
  2. Renovations of the two buildings; and
  3. Occupancy of the two buildings for institutional use beginning in late 2008.
According to the previous meeting, BC was intending to have filed the IMPA by now, but I have heard no word of that; hopefully, they will clarify the timetable.

A sticky issue that was raised in the September 18 meeting was housing for the seminarians of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology. The IMPA does not provide for housing of the seminarians, but postpones the issue for the subsequent IMP; in effect, this move blocks the seminarians from using existing housing on the Brighton Campus, like St. Williams Hall, thereby forcing BC into building new housing for them (i.e., next to the Foster Rock).

Another unresolved issue was use of St. Williams Hall in the IMPA. Since the IMPA will move occupancy (offices, classrooms) of those seminarians from St. Williams Hall to Bishop Peterson Hall, theoretically this will leave St. Williams Hall vacant -- unless a different occupancy is included in the IMPA. At least one BC official had stated informally in the past that administrative staff at More Hall would be moving into St. Williams Hall, but this point was not raised at the September 18 meeting.

Student Behavior

BC officials have been playing full-court press with trying to bring off-campus student behavior under control -- and mollifying the neighbors about it -- prior to submitting their big IMP later this year. At the September 18 meeting of the BC Task Force, BC Vice President for Governmental and Student Affairs Tom Keady, Jr., stated twice that BC itself has a "zero-tolerance" policy for off-campus student behavior; this was further clarification of previous statements, such as by Dean Paul Chebator in an August 29, 2007 letter to students, that "the Boston Police Department has instituted a 'zero tolerance policy' and will be enforcing the law aggressively throughout the year."

Hopefully the update at the October 16 meeting will include answers to:
  1. What are the procedures BC and Boston Police will be using when they break up a party, i.e., how to they decide when students enter the BC disciplinary system vs. the municipal system?
  2. How many students have entered into the BC disciplinary process over off-campus behavior since the beginning of the academic year?
  3. How many students have been arrested by Boston Police?
  4. How many problem houses have been identified by BC and Boston police, and (roughly) where are they?
  5. Has the electronic ID scanning device been initiated for use by BC police?
  6. Is Keady still working the midnight-3am shift?

Allston/Brighton Scholarships

These scholarships are part of the community benefits from previous BC institutional master plan. Ten new scholarships are awarded each year to qualifying students who reside in Allston-Brighton. The definition of "qualifying" was described in a newsletter, distributed to residents in August 2007, as having at least $10,000 in financial need. While that August newsletter named the most recent recipients, previous recipients have not been named; hopefully, that will be corrected at the October 16 meeting.

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