Northeastern students warned to stay indoors Sunday night or face arrest

UPDATE: Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says memo is misleading; people can't be arrested just for being outside; a Northeastern official agrees. More in the comments.

Residents of at least a couple of Northeastern dorms got a warning tonight from college Residential Life: Don't even think about going outside during or after the Super Bowl:

The anxiety around the city - stay inside! When Boston sports teams were in previous championships, people took to the streets. Some were just walking around to hug or high-five other excited Bostonians, some were cheering – but there was also significant rioting and excessive consumption of alcohol/drugs. This was true surrounding Boston college campuses as well. Near Fenway Park, a college student died tragically during a riot following the World Series in 2004. As a result, the Boston and Northeastern University Police Departments have asked us to keep people inside as much as possible. We don't believe that NU students will behave that way, but do we want you to be safe - being swept into such a crowd is dangerous because you don't have control of the decisions of others and the mood of the crowd can turn without warning. If you do choose to go outside during or after the Superbowl, know that you will likely be questioned and directed to go somewhere indoors as quickly as possible. If you refuse, you are subject to immediate arrest. Since an arrest could have serious consequences with OSCCR, for co-ops & jobs you apply for later, and your visa status if you are an international student ...just stay inside!

The school will be hosting Super Bowl parties for students at various locations on campus.



Free tagging: 


Memo also addresses the Barstool situation

As an alternative to the Blackout thing tomorrow night, students can pick up coupons for dinner at the Uno's on Huntington and Gainsborough for which the chain will donate 20% of the student's tab to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Or they can go to a session at which the Violence Support, Intervention and Outreach Network at Northeastern "will engage students in a dialogue with faculty and staff focusing on providing prevention, response and education for sexual assault and all types of violence, for Northeastern students."


Consider that the recent debate has become very polarizing. The opinions you choose to share and how you choose to share them could have a serious & detrimental effect on your friends and our community. Understand that some expressions of those opinions or interactions you have with others, especially given that the debate centers around issues of gender & sexual orientation, may be responded to under our bias-related incident protocol if they contribute to a hostile or intimidating environment. This includes all sorts of interactions – including those online or by text message. If you have questions or concerns or believe you have witnessed or experienced something that may be bias-related, please respond if you feel comfortable & always contact a staff member promptly.



"If you do choose to go outside during or after the Superbowl, know that you will likely be questioned and directed to go somewhere indoors as quickly as possible. If you refuse, you are subject to immediate arrest. "


look i understand rioting, but this just seems straight f'ed up.


what sucks, is that it

what sucks, is that it probably is. Because Northeastern is a private university, they can basically do whatever the fuck they want to you as long as you are on school property. so if they want to enforce some bullshit trying to reduce rioting/drinking, they can.

my recommendation, watch the game as far away from campus as possible. Can't do shit if you arent on campus.


Is that really the best way to handle it?

Telling them they can't go outside because cops will tell them to go back inside?

Is that even legal for them to do? Can they actually prevent students from leaving their residence halls to go to work or to the library or grocery shopping or grandma's house or any number of other places they might want to go that don't involve drunken crowds?

Mind you, I don't actually think police are going to be stopping individuals walking to work or to do an errand, but in that case, why not actually be realistic and respectful and tell them "we recommend that you don't participate in drunkenness and/or congregating in mobs" instead of acting like they're all on house arrest on what for many people is just another day?

I think you're

I think you're misinterpreting the email. Nowhere there does it say that you're forced to stay inside, in fact it specifically says "if you choose to go outside."

What if...

You're not even a student there, but just happen to be walking across campus on your way somewhere else? I may have to make it a point to walk to a rehearsal I have that night, which happens to be in a place that I might plausibly cross Northeastern to get to from my house.

Or maybe not, because I don't particularly want to face drunken revelers/mourners either.

I love that we got a Barstool reference into this one too

Because if El Prez read this, he'd make his usual great point about how school administrators don't live in reality. What part of "18 years old" eludes these people? Serious question.

Also, classy move by Uno to donate to the anti-rape charity. Also, for anybody who chose to debase me in the comments on the last Barstool item on UH: Do YOU know Dave personally? If not, why pass judgment on me for defending him?

Legal posturing

Agree that in a normal world this would be silly. But we live in a society where every injury sparks litigation (at least every injury to someone with access to the civil justice system). Thus we get reactive foolishness like this.

Fast-forward to Sunday night. NU student goes outside to join in the revelry. Car gets turned over on student's leg. Student sues fellow rioters, car owner, Toyota, the City of Boston, and of course NU. NU now has a good defense - Hey, we told student it'd be dangerous and to stay inside! NU can settle for $5,000 instead of $50,000.

GOP Talking Points Alert!

Agree that in a normal world this would be silly. But we live in a society where every injury sparks litigation (at least every injury to someone with access to the civil justice system).


Easy, anon

Is that quote hyperbolic? Yes, but:

1. I'm talking about the impressions of risk management and in-house legal counsel, who influence - directly or indirectly - the decision to distribute hand-holding disclaimers and warnings like this. And yes, some of these people are Democrats.

2. In 2004, a young woman sadly lost her life after the Sox WS win. It cost the City $5.1 million. If I think sending out this letter can save my institution from footing that bill, then I'm sending it. Cold, callous, calculating, but that's how it works.

3. Subscribe to the Courtroom News Service and see the stream of lawsuits, both serious and ludicrous, that get filed every day.

Where does it say in that

Where does it say in that vague statement that this rule is confined to campus? It seems to have been left intentionally vague to at least imply it was citywide. Further, what exactly is the Northeastern campus? There are numerous public roads (with public sidewalks) that run through campus, could they be subject to this sort of campus curfew?

Why, then ...

Don't they just say that?

This sounds like they are putting the entire campus under house arrest because a handful of students in the past, many of whom are not even at NU any more, got drunk and caused problems.

1984 meets helicopter parenting.


I don't think NU can hold

I don't think NU can hold students against their will like that, even if it's on their private property. However, I would be surprised if this was a message coming from the school administrators. It's more likely that this was sent by an overzealous RA or maybe an RD who don't have their facts entirely straight.

That is news to me.

Since the NUPD can arrest people on their own property for tresspassing with a notice to said tresspasser. If an NU cop tells you to move off of NU property and you refuse? You can legally be arrested but the NU police.

Sidewalks, public ways, streets, etc are different.

Remember, the memo was

Remember, the memo was clearly stating that you would be arrested for being outside (still, no mention of whether this was confined to campus or not) but if it were confined to campus, it would only include private walkways on the NU campus and none of the public roads and sidewalks that run through campus, thats a pretty small area to say you can't be. Since this memo also doesn't specifically mention trespassing, wouldn't you need to be warned first and asked to leave NU property before you can be arrested for trespassing?


That just means if the student is on NU property then they can leave the property by going to the sidewalk. This letter states that if they attempt to do that, they'll be arrested. Inappropriate.

Pete, don't feel like you need to defend this letter just because it's giving NUPD and BPD credit for more power than they legally have. It's okay for NU's administration to just be flat wrong about this one.


I'm just trying to read between the lines

since it isn't really clear what they mean, and there isn't too much they can do.

If NU cops see drunk or rowdy NU students walking across campus, the NU cops are going to stop them and ask them where they are going and check if they are students. If they are doing something illegal (drinking, possessing underage, drunk disorderly) they might be cited/arrested unless they go back to their dorm and do whatever they want in the dorm.

As far as the BPD? They can enforce the drinking laws or disorderly laws if people are blocking traffic etc. They might try to do this before the streets become uncontrollable and unsafe for every one.

Again ...

Why don't they just say that?

Heightened security is warranted. Penalties for drunks causing trouble is warranted.

Threatening students with arrest and extreme penalties if they so much as dare to leave their dorms is completely ridiculous.

If they think that parents who are looking into colleges with their students don't see these things, either, they are crazy.

They need to learn to write better

It is clear from this "poor writing" to anybody not looking really hard and long for sanity "between the lines" that NU intends to arrest people who go outside. Period.

I suspect this will also be the interpretation when I put this up on some discussion sites for parents of students looking at colleges.


Arresting trespassers is not taking prisoners. You can use reasonable force to eject trespassers from your private property. You can't hold them in your house.

The only real thing NU can do is kick the kids out of school. That is the essence of their authority here. They set a curfew, you don't follow it, you are disciplined up to expulsion.

And as you mention, since they don't own the streets, I'm not sure how they can enforce their curfew. I'm a NU alum, maybe I'll go to the public ways of NU campus to celebrate. They got nothin' on me...

Not trespassing

Students living in Northeastern housing have a contract stating that they are paying for the use of a room and must abide by certain rules, but this doesn't include curfews or anything like that. The police can't just randomly tell someone they can't leave a building unless there's an actual situation like an armed person running around or something. People have the right to go to work, visit relatives, etc. Or just freakin walk around if they aren't bothering anyone.

Girl who died in 2004

The girl who died in the World Series riots was shot square in the chest by a cop with a bean bag gun. She died from her resulting injuries. The cop was never brought up on disciplinary charges.

EE '06

Take note, NU

Maybe Northeastern can warn cops not to indiscriminately fire rubber bullets or beanbag rounds into students' faces as well. That would cover all pre-Super Bowl bases.

Brings up a valid question, though. Considering this is Northeastern, which victory would put more students in the streets: Giants or Pats? Tons of NY/NJ students at that school.

Even further further accuracy...

The cops WERE given disciplinary charges against them.

City of Boston press release (Sept 2005):

One of the leads of that night's operations: Superintendent James Claiborne is demoted from Superintendent to his civil service rank of Captain.

The officer who fired the FN-303 that struck Snelgrove: Officer Milien has agreed to accept a ninety (90) day suspension, and will serve forty-five of the days. The remaining forty-five (45) days will be held in abeyance for a period of one (1) year. In addition, Officer Milien is required to participate in re-training regarding the use of force. Officer Milien will also transfer out of the Special Operations Division.

Another officer who fired as many as 12 pellets at close range at an injured man in the crowd: Officer Silta has agreed to accept a ninety (90) day suspension, and will serve forty-five (45) of the days. The remaining forty-five (45) days will be held in abeyance for a period of one (1) year. In addition, Officer Silta is required to participate in re-training regarding the use of force. Officer Silta will also transfer out of the Special Operations Division.

The officer who improperly trained other officers on the use of the FN-303: Sergeant Flynn has agreed to accept a ten (10) day suspension, and will serve five (5) of the days. The remaining five (5) days will be held in abeyance for a period of one (1) year.

Two officers who did not secure the scene afterwards correctly: Sergeant Cataldo has agreed to accept a written reprimand. Officer Gallagher has agreed to accept a written reprimand.

Finally, she died after the 2004 ALCS win in Game 7 against the Yankees...not the World Series.

So, about the only thing you got right was her sex and that she died.

She was shot in the face. I was 3 feet from her.

The girl was shot through her glasses and in/through the eye. Without warning, BPD opened up with rubber bullets, aiming high on the crowd. I got hit in the jaw myself. These were NOT beanbag rounds. The crowd was not doing anything but milling about celebrating at the time. The police had no valid reason to start shooting. Said action provoked the crowd to a fervor and they struck back against the police, hurling whatever wasn't welded down in there general direction. A lot of folks who were there feel this police brutality was the nexus that caused the riots that year, as anyone who was there can attest a lot of the violence was directed AT the police. And for good reason. I will never trust the police again after going through what I went through and seeing what I saw over that week, stomping 100lb women to the ground, firing tear gas at people point blank, and the use of rubber bullets as a first option. F*ck the police. They're good for nothing.

Hey, NU, go fuck yourself.

If I want to go outside on Sunday evening, guess what NU can do about it: nothing.

There is NOTHING illegal about me being on the street. The people have a RIGHT TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE.

This letter is almost a DARE to walk down Huntington Ave after the game just to make a principled stand in defense of our first amendment rights.

Your emphasis, remember...


The adverb here is critical to understanding your rights.

The incident (drunken student riot) that resulted the the tragic death of a student WAS NOT PEACEFUL. The NU administration is trying to avoid the very real possibility that their inebriated (and probably underage) students will cause some kind of mayhem or destruction.

They have worked very hard in the past 15 years to improve their image and if they have to impinge on the perceived freedoms of some drunken students to keep Northeastern out of the media circus, they will. I'm not saying it's legal, but I understand where they are coming from.

Just do what the police tell you

Keep your place, don't think for yourself, take your prescription drugs, be scared for your safety if you don't do as you are told.

Democracy will be okay if you just have faith in your freedoms.

And don't dare try to live life like a free adult.


I don't know if you were

I don't know if you were there, but I was. It wasn't exactly a riot. Or particularly dangerous. And there were plenty of sober people, like me, who were just excited to be celebrating something. It was a huge, tragic overreaction on the part of the cops.

That said, Northeastern students seem to start their weekend drinking at 10:30 am on Wednesday, so maybe they should tone it down a little.

Bostonians have a broad definition of "riot"

When a bunch of people stood outside Newbury Comics waiting for Odd Future, it was called a "riot." When a bunch of suburbanites got a little rowdy after a Mac Miller show, it was called a "riot."

I'm of the belief that, once a year, the oldest cops on the Vancouver, L.A., Detroit, Newark, Baltimore, Chicago and Seattle should come in and explain what a riot is. Maybe folks from London, Belfast, Athens, etc., could come across the pond and fill them in as well.

Then again, this is Boston. Having fun of any kind is a public disturbance.

That tragedy didn't happen in a vacuum.

Aside from the fact that someone died, there was also extensive property damage and physical injury that WAS caused by NU students.

Bottles and bags of trash were being thrown off the rooftops.

The students in the area were beating on cars, then turning them over. Some were smashing the windows of cars with WITH PEOPLE IN THEM.

Fires were being set in the middle of the street. You didn't DESERVE "Springfest".

I'm sorry were you there?

There are alot more students in that area than just Northeastern Students and there are also *gasp* non students. Northeastern got unfairly blamed for the actions of a few idiots. Most people were just standing around and being happy. Then president Freeland caved to pressure and cancelled Springfest. No other fenway school took similar action. And the cops were liberally peper spraying people that were just standing around (like me). Have fun sitting on your high horse.

too bad the letter says "stay inside"

...and not "if you go out, stay peaceful."

Stationing cops outside dorms telling people who are peaceful to get back into the building or face arrest is false imprisonment and color of law.

I hope students challenge it and sue the ever-living-shit out of Northeastern.

And the mayors office & Boston PD.

Honestly though, no one spoke up for Occupy. They after all needed to be babysat by the cops, and removed; because... we don't like them.

Menino and BPD tried to do the same thing there, but luckily they went to the courts right away. Students probably won't be so fast to do so.

Know Your Rights

This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights all three of them

Number 1
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a CRIME!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And Number 2
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Don't mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers

Know your rights
These are your rights

Know these rights

Number 3
You have the right to free
Speech as long as you're not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of 'em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!

Get off the streets
Get off the streets
You don't have a home to go to

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent
You are warned that anything you say
Can and will be taken down
And used as evidence against you

Listen to this

Am I missing something?

Adam, you're usually so good about linking to sources or stating them if that's not appropriate. Was this forwarded to you in an email? If so, from whom? What's the source? Officials from the administration?

That single thing frames this whole back and forth discussion. If a friend sent out an email to other friends advising them just to stay indoors, that's one thing. If the campus police sent that out, it changes the nature entirely.

Nothing in the Huntington News this morning indicates anything about this particular announcement, just a more general "don't be stupid" campaign from the university:

Delayed thanks

I guess that is semi-official. Just seems like an awful lot of butthurt here over what was essentially an advice email from residential life (an RA?) to a few students. Amazing how most people jumped to "The NU Police have announced Martial Law!!!!1!"

It didn't seem to come off as

It didn't seem to come off as an advice email, and it was from an RD (Residence Director), not an RA. RDs are paid staff that directly oversee at least one residence hall, and RDs also serve as judges in NUs internal disciplinary process. That said, an email from such a person stating immediate arrest for no good reason is not just "advice", its an (incorrect) statement of fact.

If this was just simple advice in the email, I'm sure the university wouldn't have felt the need to make a statement about it (or send out a retraction email to the students that received the memo).

How the times have changed

Back in 1986 when I was a student at UMass/Amherst and the Red Sox were making a run at the World Series, the university didn't attempt to keep us indoors. Indeed, they laid in LOTS of extra toilet paper in the dorm bathrooms knowing what nuttiness was likely to occur.

But then the ball bounced between Bill Buckner's feet...

Of course, Amherst is in the middle of freaking no-where, not a city. This might also explain why I transfered to Northeastern the following year. Unfortunately it would be a while before the Sox got their act back into gear and took another credible run at the World Series, and by then I'd mostly out-grown my rioting days. Ah well.

To be fair

That living area (and here is my age showing; I've forgotten the name of it. It wasn't Central...Down by the athletic fields...You know where I'm talking about.) generally had a race riot *every* weekend at the time. Up on Orchard Hill we TPed the trees in the quad, and that was about it.

Give someone a badge

Taking the totalitarian approach, Boston rips away citizens constitutional rights once again. What is this, Nazi Germany? Stalinist Russia?
Who is this Ed Davis guy? Is he the guy who presided over the Ohio State Student Massacre (by police and guardsmen) in the 60's?

Well, the person who sent the

Well, the person who sent the email likely doesn't have a badge, and just didn't understand what actions the police would actually be taking. One email to students of one college doesn't equal scrapping the constitution.

This is not Nazi Germany, or Stalinist Russia. If you think an email sent advising students that they should stay inside makes it so, I think maybe your understanding of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia is lacking.

Ed Davis is the Boston Police Commisioner. He didn't preside over any massacres at Ohio State. I know this because there was no such occurrence. Perhaps you're thinking of the shooting of four students at Kent State University by National Guardsmen (police were not involved) during a period of rioting and looting? If so, I don't think Ed Davis had anything to do with that.


Some day the government will live in fear of the people. They will care more for the people than for the corporations. It is not ananrchy, it is voting with the power of the people that want a fair price for our vote.