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The growing problem gnawing at Northeastern

The Huntington News reports on rats and mice running roughshod over Huskies. One student was bitten, another reports putting towels under her doors to try to keep one hallway mouse from getting around, a third describes the situation of students competing for the best rooms only to get rodents as "ironic."

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Don't leave pizza boxes in the hallway. Pick up after yourselves. Learn how to clean. They'll even chew through the back of you dorm fridges to get to your snacks. Any construction or dumpsters outside ? They are finding new shelter and litter. They'll even eat the puke on your doorstep from last night's party. They are like mini Terminators and masters of survival.

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Rats, mice, and other animals we call pests are, in fact, demonstrating their ability to adapt to opportunities that present themselves.

But there's another animal of which we can say the same: the cat.

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The article also references complaints about overcrowding (in housing). The usual complaints: Boston rents are too high, etc.

But there is an unchallenged assumption that is actually part of the problem. At least in the case of Northeastern there are too many students.

There would be enough housing if Northeastern wasn't taking in more and more students.

What about a university with a smaller student population? It is understandable that this concept is anathema in the mentality where one must always get bigger, no matter the cost. The addiction to size among administrators, university presidents and trustees is understandable. They are too unintelligent to realize that bigger is not always better. But when sunshine is constantly blown up their collective academic superior bums how else can they see that their need for more buildings, more students, more bodies is also a poison - to them, their students and the city that they gobble up.

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But I know other universities have cut their enrollment as it makes the school more selective and seem more attractive in comparison. Although sometimes more people accept their offers than they expected which pushes the numbers back up.

But anyway, this is unrelated to rats and mice. College kids have always lived cheaply and like slobs. The rents in the area won't change that.

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What would Cambridge be without Harvard and MIT? Chelsea, perhaps.

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Colleges and universities pay no taxes. Student’s contribution to the local economy doesn’t come close to the burden schools put on the City not to mention the quality of life for residents and the impact of additional people to the environment and utility, water and sewer infrastructure.

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The big universities in Boston have their own police departments, pay for their own trash pickup and snow plowing. College kids don't have their own children enrolled in BPS. The colleges use almost no public services. They pay their employees wages that make them unlikely need to public assistance. Dangerous drug usage is very low. The colleges pay for their utility usage (they don't get free water or sewer) and don't fall behind on payments. Their buildings are typically in good repair.

Residential neighborhoods in Boston tend to be the ones that use far more service than they pay for with taxes.

There's an argument to be made that colleges should pay more but you have have no idea what you are talking about if you think they are "burdening" Boston.

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Check out all the people who work full time for universities.

Add up all the taxes they pay and goods and services they purchase.

Maybe take some courses in learning how to analyze an issue?

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If you're going to tell someone to do the math, seems like you should do likewise. I don't know the numbers either way and strongly suspect it's very difficult to quantify, but neither of you has supported your argument.

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Students may be good for a local economy. But when the student population results in housing shortages and high rents for residents then that creates problems for anyone wanting to live in Boston. As mentioned as well the large number of universities and colleges imposes a burden of untaxed land where a city without so many "non-profit" institutions could tax that land.

Asking what would Cambridge be without Harvard or MIT is the kind of question that a half decent history or law teacher would use to show how some questions are meaningless and useless. It is impossible to know what Cambridge would be like if Harvard and/or MIT did not exist.

That kind of question is comparable to asking what would Christianity be today if Constantine had not made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

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Blame the people who have imposed - both formally and informally - a suburban notion of density, parking, and "WHAAAAAHAHHHNOOOOOOOO!" that has resulted in a lack of housing.

When I was a student, several universities proposed building more dorms and people threw absolute fits about it in the surrounding areas. Mid-1980s. Guess what? 40 years later and ...

Also note - universities employ tens of thousands of people, both blue collar, support, and professional.

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the whole City is being over run by rodents and the City does nothing about it. The City spent more money on bike lanes last year than rodent control.
Boston was rated one of the top rat infested City in the Country.

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We should blame the state for this as well.

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Do these sound clever in your head? How does that work?

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It makes about as much sense so why not?

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