Tufts students probably won't be invited back to the Westin Copley Place anytime soon

Tufts University officials are aghast at an annual "Winter Bash" event earlier this month that ended with up to 20 students so drunk paramedics were kept busy "trying to make sure you didn't die" and with large numbers of students who vomited and pissed all over the place - two of them right in the hotel lobby - and who just generally treated hotel and university staffers like shit.

Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman adds:

There is strong consensus that the planning for any future event has to address the evidently widespread belief that Winter Bash is a time to get outrageously drunk and go to a classy Boston hotel. We have to do better.

More from Tufts.

Nate Fleming tweets he happened to be riding the Red Line between Porter and Park Street with Tufts students headed to the event that night:

Was alarmed/amazed/impressed at how drunk they were for about 830pm.

This is the second black eye for Tufts students this academic year.

H/t R Hookup.



    Free tagging: 


    As an '02 Tufts alum all I

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    As an '02 Tufts alum all I really want to know is - why is the person who wrote this article so ridiculously bitter?

    What's the matter - did you not get invited to Winter Bash?

    Stop plucking random quotes from a Dean and some random kid on the subway (who was obviously the other guy not having fun during Winter Bash).

    It sounds to me like some college kids got drunk and acted stupid. That's what they do, they're in college.

    I'm just glad to see my alma mater still knows how to party.


    Drunk and Stupid

    I'll tell you this much: there is drunk and stupid, and there is epic drunk and stupid.

    Drunk and stupid means staggering home in one piece without collateral damage, porcelain alter worship, and an epic hangover. This is an important learning experience about excess, limits, etc.

    Epic Drunk and Stupid means EMTs, inappropriate ejection of bodily fluids, violent behavior, police, hospitals, etc. and means that you aren't ready for the challenges of young adulthood and should be sent home to ripen a bit.

    If one of mine was involved in something like this, there would be no suspension required. I would pull them from school and make them get a job and go to community college until they were sufficiently mature to deal with the adult world in an adult manner. College is an expensive and dangerous place to live with levels of self-discipline usually seen in toddlers.

    Entitled and juvenile behavior such as that you defend here writ large across a campus - particularly the kind of moronic behavior displayed by the Lacrosse team - is one reason why my son and several of his friends have no interest in Tufts, even though he could walk there and probably pull down a good scholarship for being a local merit scholar. A friend of mine who is a big booster and does college interviews and tours tells me that the place is getting a reputation as Rich Douchebag City these days. Gee - I wonder why?

    no he wouldn't

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    As a recent Tufts alum I'm sorry to hear that your son and his friends aren't interested in Tufts due to their own misperceptions. I definitely agree that excessive drunkenness is becoming a problem at some of these events but, for better or for worse, this certainly isn't unique to Tufts.

    I would say, however, that I see the LAX team incident as an isolated incident that should reflect more on that group of students than on the whole campus. Students at Tufts tend to be very socially conscious, something you might've picked up on if you'd given the school more than a passing thought. If not for fellow students speaking out it's unlikely that this would've become news. This behavior is certainly not unique to the Tufts lacrosse players, either - I can recall similar incidents occurring at my highschool a few years ago.

    And as far as your son being a local merit scholar - I'm not sure what that means, but congrats. Tufts only gives need-based aid, though, so it wouldn't help him get money from the school.


    Incidents not Isolated

    Medford and Somerville, where the campus is located, have a fairly diverse population. You can isolate the lacrosse team incident all you want and pretend it was just a bunch of jocks, but there are larger issues with some people at Tufts. Possibly not more than some other universities, and sadly not unusual in any university with a lot of wealthy and isolated kids, but enough to leave a bad taste.

    Here's a thought exercise: if you were a local high school student from Medford, Somerville, or the nearby St. Clements High (also has a fairly high minority population) and some of your local university students sometimes just couldn't keep their racist and sexist mouths to themselves while out on College Ave., particularly while in groups, would you really feel welcome?

    Would you recommend it to your friends?

    The University badly needs to watch out for what kind of students it is recruiting and whether they are mature and skilled enough to function in a diverse environment such as the one where the campus is located. Either that, and/or teach their students to function in the diverse environment that is the real world of their future. It all gets down to a lack of self-awareness and self-control - be it binge drinking to the point of toxicity or screaming something at a kid walking on the other side of College Ave.

    (And, yes, being a high performing student (National Merit Scholar) from Medford or Someville would mean some remission of costs - there is support for local students who wish to attend. We know people who have taken advantage of this. This is one of those local hero deals that private universities offer to ease the town-gown issues. This is fairly well known in area, but not likely publicized. It doesn't apply to more than 10 students a year at most.)


    I don't see how your son's college choice is relevant.

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    This may be ungenerous, but you seem to have taken this issue as an opportunity to brag about your son being a National Merit Scholar. It's a bit unseemly and certainly not germane to the discussion.

    It isn't irrelevant

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    Not irrelevant at all.

    For those who don't know how recruiting works, the point is that:

    1) Colleges like Tufts WANT people like my kid because he's got ok grades and kicked arse on a big test (we get a mailbox full of college brochures nearly everyday ... and that ain't counting the e-mail! Within two days of the release of scores, that pile started growing Ivy.)

    2) Tufts is getting the kind of a bad rep that is driving his ilk away

    In other words, bad behavior leads to a bad reputation, and bad reputations can drive away the students a college wants to recruit, and attract the people who just want to party.

    I'm so sorry if you have a little insecurity chip on your shoulder that shoots out levelling mechanisms in full defensive mode. That's your ego problem to tend to.


    I'm quite secure. I'm not the one puffing my chest.

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    But I appreciate the free psychoanalysis!

    Obviously we're all very proud of your son. If tufts would be a realistic option for him were it not for the schools "bad reputation," I'd suggest you not brag too vociferously on his accomplishments, as Tufts is/was likely a safety/emergency school for many folks who post on this board. :).

    If I needed to puff my chest

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    I don't need to do it though my kids, considering that I met their father at MIT.


    The lady doth protest too much.

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    I think a fair reading of your posting history here indicates that you do enjoy puffing out your chest, through your kids or otherwise, as proven through your last comment.

    loud minority

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    Once again I'm sorry that this has been your experience with the school. As an ex-Tufts athlete I was certainly ashamed to hear about the words of the LAX players and was relieved to hear that the school was making strides to resolve it. The majority of Tufts students (and student-athletes) are high-achieving, conscientious members of not only the Tufts community but the Medford-Somerville community as well.
    It's truly unfortunate that a few assholes have managed to tarnish the school's image in the eyes of some of our fellow community members.
    I can assure you that the majority of students recruited by Tufts are incredibly intelligent, hard-working, mature, and compassionate, both from my experiences interacting with numerous Tufts students and alumni and from interviewing prospective students on the other side of the country. Clearly there are a few who fall from the cracks, that's the case anywhere - no admissions committee is perfect.


    Yes, but

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    Your own Tufts students are complaining about the partiers. I got a bit of an earfull sitting next to a young lady on a plane.

    The professors I know socially are noticing a shift in the years since the costs of attending have gotten so high.

    A workplace lunch conversation recently, several professors that I work with on committees noted that it is extremely hard to assess the maturity of wealthy students applying to places like Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and NYU because they have their parents essentially managing their careers and they can "buy" a entry-level resume. In that situation, it is very hard to tell how much of the achievement is self-directed, and how much is simply managed or arranged. The more a college costs, the worse this problem gets - it isn't such an issue at UMass Lowell or Georgia Tech, which tend to admit more broadly and weed people out through difficulty.

    This is one reason Harvard simply increased the number of lower income applicants by completely revamping the financial aid system.(using an idea that several MIT professors had been promoting since the early 90s). The cost and burden of loans was rightfully scaring qualified, but non-affluent applicants off of even applying. I was working there at the time - the desire to have fewer students who should be partying somewhere else and more hungry striving kids who would make the best of the resources and push the academic culture was definitely part of that discussion.

    Now that Tufts has gotten a decent academic reputation BUT has become so costly that people shy away, perhaps the school needs to do some thinking about how those costs impact admissions and what kinds of students are desired to temper the socially ignorant and obnoxious minority that is making the school seem less welcoming to some qualified students.

    These kinds of problems are not unusual

    These kinds of problems are not unusual anywhere, especially at selective, academically demanding schools like Tufts. It's not uncommon that a small group, usually young men, brings a lot of negative attention to the university as a whole. It's not uncommon that a bunch of guys on the lax team or hockey team or football team, or from a dorm, frat, etc act irresponsibly and with disregard for others and bring negative attention on their team, frat and school.

    And when the big city press notices, a lot of people who aren't acting that way feel that they're subject to unfair criticism, and they are.

    Binge drinking is clearly one of the problems. That's common. And not everyone who binge drinks is part of the problem.

    Another part as Swrrlygrrl noticed is the tone of social engagement in public places, the level of civility and respect. I assume its a minority of people who engage that way.

    Sometimes a campus wide "crisis" is the push that helps bend the extreme back toward the norm of more civility and more respect.

    Looking around at the prestigious colleges, you can find these type of problems everywhere. Colleges like Tufts want to address it.

    I was proud of my niece when I learned that one of her criteria for choosing a college was a sense of community. She's a mature kid.

    When I was in college, someone burned a cross on the lawn of the black student dorm. How's that for a shocking insult to decency, and an embarrassment to the entire school? It made the New York Times. It was one guy's idea about how to start a conversation about race. He created a lot of resentment and a lot of conversation about cross-burning. When he came forward quietly to the dean, weeks after of the conversation has subsided, the school dealt with his discipline quietly. I don't know what he learned at that time but I'm curious.


    Tufts Trend...

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    Unfortunately, the school has really had this as a noticeable trend.

    * Naked Quad Run was finally cancelled after the school tried to "embarrass it" away by making it a school sanctioned event. Lots of visits from ambulances, mostly for drinking.

    * Spring Fling was made a dry event when the event was declared a "mass−casualty incident" a few years ago because of the number of medical issues related to drinking.

    * Previous pub nights have had similar drinking/behavior issues.

    * This event was moved off campus in an attempt to bring a little gravity to it and to outsource the serving of alcohol to the hotel.

    The only event that hasn't been radically effected in the last few years has been the homecoming tailgate, which can probably thank at least 3 rain cancellations for its continued existence.


    stretching the truth

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    NQR has been school "sanctioned" for 5 - 10 years before they finally canceled it. There were occasional hospital visits but, overall, it went a lot better than this year's winter bash. The true danger came in the potential for icy paths where students were running. And creepy local residents coming to watch and take photographs.

    Spring Fling was dry for many years before the Mass Casualty Incident occurred several years ago. As I recall, the MCI coincided with a water shortage that struck most of Eastern Massachusetts (do to a water main break out in Weston or somewhere like that). It has been suggested that the move to a dry event is part of what causes students to drink too much before going to the concert.

    Yeah, my junior year I did hear about somebody setting off a fire extinguisher and prematurely ending one of their pub nights.

    There have been plenty of other successful student events that haven't had such difficulties. I can't speak for homecoming as I've never been, but a few examples are Fall Ball (the fall equivalent of winter bash) and the Senior Gala (which ALSO took place at the Westin Copley Hotel this spring).

    So no, it's not a Tufts trend any more than it's a trend at any other elite institution. For instance, Google "Full Moon on the Quad." Either way, I'd much rather have a few overly drunk kids make fools of themselves than what happened at the Harvard-Yale football game a couple years ago.


    When you have college tuition approaching or surpassing $50K per year, you don't want to be the parent that gets that phone call from your child that they were expelled and you should pick them up right now - especially if the parents are 1000+ miles away.

    Had I done that kind of crazy stuff during my time at college, my parents would not only have frogmarched me out, but after a blistering lecture about embarassing the family, handed me the student loan coupons, telling me to pay them off any damn way I can, possibly with two or three jobs. Just the prospect of that kept me on the straight and narrow.


    Time to send these children home

    How could anybody of legal adult age think this is acceptable behavior? Well, maybe if they were never allowed to grow up or face any consequences for inappropriate behavior, perhaps.

    I'm sure there are enough people trying to get into Tufts that they can send these home to go to the local community college until they get their clues.


    I get the drinking and

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    I get the drinking and passing out. I do not condone it, but I can see how it happens.

    I do not get the urinating in the hotel lobby. There really is no way I can see how that is an idea worth entertaining even while drunk.

    Their parents must be so proud.



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    The drinking and passing out I get. Hell even I've done the rent a hotel room to drink in.. but to p*ss in the lobby, I don't get. At a point in my life I'm sure I could have drank any frat boy under the table and I *never* p*ssed where I shouldn't have been (and No, outside in a private area doesn't count)

    Now puking, thats a different story, but another story for another day (but seriously, sometimes you can't make it/find a trashbin..)

    Male and female students urinating on the lobby floor

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    Did they think they were on a Carnival cruise or something?

    But seriously, what kind of girl is just so in the habit of popping a squat that she'll do it in a carpeted lobby? Disgusting.


    I am a girl

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    and almost all of my friends in college were girls (61% female undergrad population.) Not *one* of us thought it was OK to pee in a lobby, and not *one* of us were in the habit of routinely peeing outside.

    Peeing outside happened on very rare occasions among girls, and then, only in private areas.


    Yup--gotta keep it

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    Yup--gotta keep it classy!

    Speaking of Tufts, didn't the big naked run get cancelled a few years ago because students couldn't keep their alcohol use under control?

    If this had been me, or any of my siblings, we would have been withdrawn from the school by our parents, at a community college (if in school at all) and working at least part time (if not full time) until we grew up.

    Lebowski had a point, but so do I

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    This is great; Tuft's students standing up for liberty and equality.

    If a man can mitterate on a hotel lobby rug, so can a woman. Is that not what the university stands for? That we, as young, upstanding (or swaying from side to side in this case) Americans have the right to take a stand for equality and justice?

    I feel the dean's wrath, as much did Lebowski:
    "Everytime a rug is mitterated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the person?"

    However, I do not agree with treating the staff rudely. Tufts students should have better manners; they have a responsibility to represent their alma matter in interactions with the community; plus, it's a schoolboy error to not treat members of the hospitality industry without the utmost respect at occasions where most people are lewd, obnoxious, inebriated and imagine themselves above reproach.

    Has no one seen "Fight Club." Being a jerk at a school black tie event is the fastest way to get your soup mitterated or worse in. Politely inform your server that you intend to become increasingly inebriated, apologise for inappropriate behaviour in advance, and for your own sake as students of a 60,000$ a year educational institution, say "please" and "thank you." These are simple principals; acknowledgements of respect to the people giving you the privilege to enjoy their facilities and have a great, safe, and secure time.

    Show some respect;

    and at least piss into a vase or plant pot in the lobby.

    That rug may have really tied the room together, man.


    Breaking: BU thrilled another school called out for bad behavior

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    Finally! A school other than BU makes a WTF headline! (Spoken by a proud BU grad.) Yeah, drinking and passing out at a hotel, check. Puking, I get it, although thankfully I've always made it to my room first. Pissing in the hallways and the lobby? Like to say I'm shocked, but if you've taken the Green Line for even a few seconds on a Saturday night, this should come as no surprise.

    Nothing to do with the Event

    Nothing to do with the event but, of course, it gets mentioned anyway and doubly so by one of our own alumni. It is true of what is said of post-graduation: we are our own worst enemy.


    I have to say, I 100% agree.

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    I have to say, I 100% agree. I happened to be walking around the Copley area when a lot of the Tufts kids were arriving and it was like nothing I'd ever seen...just completely inappropriate behavior (and I'm a college student that parties, not a prude, soo that's saying something, I promise).

    Most horrific moment I witnessed:

    As I was walking down the steps into the Copley T station, at the bottom of the steps...was a bare ass. This girl had just pulled down her pantyhose and yanked up her dress and was peeing in the middle of everybody in the T station. Then she stumbled away to her group of three friends...one of which was being supported by her other two friends because she could NOT stand up and was completely hunched over (already...it was only about 8 pam). This was not only incredibly annoying and embarrassing for them, but incredibly DANGEROUS. That girl and her friends could have so easily been taken advantage of in that situation. Yikes.


    I agree with everything here

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    except for the implication that people need to behave in such a way as not to be taken advantage of.

    We as a society need to be teaching "don't rape," not "don't get raped."


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    don't listen to lessons on not breaking the law.

    The lessons on not stealing, not stabbing, and not shooting don't seem to be sinking in with a certain subset of the population, I don't see why the lessons on not raping would.

    It is, ultimately, your job to protect yourself from those who choose to not obey the rules of society.


    I used to drink like that

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    because the TV box said hot women would have sex with me if I stood around the bar with the collar of my Polo shirt up holding a beer.

    Drinking age

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    Time to rant again...

    Used to be kids could learn how to drink before hitting the nuttiness which is college. They could have a beer at the family barbeque, maybe some wine at Thanksgiving. They'd scam a six pack of beer and go drink it in the woods. They'd stagger home, and get the hairy eyeball from Mom, maybe a lecture from Dad, sniggers from siblings. And they'd learn something about alcohol, its dangers, and their limits, with some modicum of adult supervision.

    Did some kids get in serious trouble? Sure. Did some kids get dead even? Unfortunately. But most kids got the worst of the experimenting out of their systems before hitting a college campus virtually flowing with what had been up to that point in their lives a seriously restricted yet virtually ubiquitous substance.

    Nowadays, parents can get in serious trouble for allowing kids any alcohol, even in their own homes and even under supervision. Kids have learned to be so secretive about their drinking that they do it quickly, and behind doors, where those who know better can't keep an eye on things and step in when something goes seriously wrong. We're not allowing kids the needed learning curve to deal properly with the responsibility of drinking, but instead we're kicking them into the deep-end of the pool known as college life.

    Is it any wonder they get it wrong so often?


    Nowadays, parents can get in

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    Nowadays, parents can get in serious trouble for allowing kids any alcohol, even in their own homes and even under supervision.

    This part isn't exactly true. You can't throw a party where alcohol is served to other people's kids or provide it for a teen party.

    You can serve your own kids or grandkids alcohol, and we do it all the time in our home for the reasons you mention (we allow our son to share some wine or beer with dinner if mom and dad have a bottle open).

    MA tries to hide this little bit of law by using some pretty backhanded syntax in their FAQ on drinking - but, so long as they are your own kids or grandkids, and its a beer or wine with dinner in a private home, you are in the clear.


    Wine with pasta

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    Usually some left over from the sauce to enjoy with a ritual pasta dinner. Ramen.

    Legally correct

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    I didn't mean that parents could get in legal trouble...I meant more in a social pressure sort of way. "You let your kids do WHAT?!?" The message to parents is that alcohol is always bad for kids, and must neverevereverever be given to them.

    Glad to hear you're raising your kid right!

    I've always found it

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    I've always found it hilarious that the schools usually have a "zero tolerance" policy when teens travel to a country where they are of legal drinking age. While I understand the need to keep them from doing really stupid stuff, having a little wine with dinner in France won't (usually) kill them.

    Heard from a reliable source

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    Heard from a reliable source that, in the future, Tufts freshman orientation will include reading the American classic, "10 Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There" by T. Arthur.


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    and no, I'm not 'bitter'. And I'm not 'old', either. And yes, I can drink alcohol without being obnoxious and peeing in a hotel lobby or subway platform. But in my family alcohol wasn't a big deal and it wasn't demonized. What you have in this situation are still immature kids who equate having a good time with over the top behavior they've probably seen a million times in movies, TV, youtube and worldwidehiphop videos, popular music and so-on.

    On a side note, I got stuck next to this adult woman on a redline platform [she said she was 30 years old to the person she was talking to] who sounded literally like a 15 year old, I was amazed. She was gossiping about 'boys' and how they all got totally sh*tfaced last weekend, and how the bartender got mad at them and it was 'awesome!'. We have serious problems in this country.

    What can we say?

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    The f**ktardation of American continues...unabated.

    As a Tufts Alum,

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    I'm truly ashamed of my school's image today. I do know some students there now (kids of my friends) and they are truly great kids who get good grades and want to graduate with honors.

    The problem, however, was starting to seep into the school when I was there in the 80's: they let in a LOT of very overpriviliged brats. Same at BU, Harvard, etc.

    But today, we have kids from spoiled backgrounds, who also have never "lost" a little league game, who have been driven by mom or the nanny to every activity (apparently 14-year-olds are incapable of walking a mile), and who have been raised on a diet of tv and videogames. They don't say "please" or "thank you" because their parents don't. They have been told repeatedly how special they are despite the fact that they, in reality, are not.

    Its not just Tufts, but I'm ashamed because we used to say, "at least it wasn't Tufts."

    Binge Drinking

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    Grab a copy of "Men's Health" magazine, March 2013. There is a great article called "Wasted" by Laurence Roy Stains on page 132 about the deadly drinking going on in colleges all across the country. Games and binge drinking with hard liquor and excessive quantities of beer and wine, training for tolerance, and getting drunk before going out to party. My days at U Mass in the 70's saw many kegs being consumed, no comparison to the reckless college drinking researched in this article listed in the index as "Dead Drunk."