In particular, I address BC's proposal to ban off-campus undergraduate students from living in 1- and 2-family houses in Allston-Brighton and part of Newton.
I argue that BC's proposed ban amounts to a Trojan Horse gift. Accepting the present would bring with it the simulutaneous acceptance of the proposition that BC does not need to house all their undergraduates on-campus. That would leave something like 600 undergraduate students living off-campus through the year 2018:
A far better idea, however, would be for BC to do the obvious: move all their undergraduates into on-campus dormitory housing. In this scenario, it would be unnecessary for BC to ban its undergraduates from living in one- and two-family houses, because they would already have moved out of those houses and into new dorms. As an added benefit, the students will be far more comfortable in on-campus dormitories than in an off-campus wooden horse.Note that BC's proposed off-campus housing ban is not contained within the Institutional Master Plan Notification Form filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority on December 5, 2007. Instead, the proposed ban is something that BC officials have announced verbally at community meetings, and have pitched in meetings with editors and reporters at various media outlets, such as the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. (The ban would presumably be accomplished through a written agreement between BC and the BRA, as opposed to being part of the IMP itself.)
Cassandra warned against accepting the Greek gift, but Apollo’s curse prevented the Trojans from believing her. “All heard, and none believed the prophecy,” wrote Virgil. We would do well to learn from Troy’s mistake by heeding Cassandra’s warning this time around — and pushing that horse back south of Commonwealth Avenue where it belongs.
As a result of BC's pitch, the topic received a substantial amount of press in late December: the Boston Herald reported the story (albeit without seeking contrary comment) and their editorial board endorsed the idea; the Boston Globe editorial board stated that the idea seemed a good one; and WBZ chimed in with a brief story.
Thanks to the editors of the TAB for publishing this piece.