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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Mods party registration reinstated

Published: October 26, 2012
Section: News

Within the first few weeks of school, parties at the Foster Mods got out of hand, resulting in noise complaints to the Brandeis Police from nearby Waltham residents, crowding problems and trouble obeying the Open Container Policy that prohibits any consumption of alcohol outdoors. After meeting with Mods residents and university police, Community Living has reopened party registration in the quad.

“Within the first four weeks of classes we got reports of three underage alcohol transports from the Mods, which is scary,” George Marshall Jr., the Charles River and Foster Mods Community Development Coordinator (CDC) said. “It is against our policy and against the law to provide minors with alcohol. There were also a number of unregistered parties. Registering parties is a way to educate the party hosts about how much alcohol is in a handle of vodka, for instance.”

After this fall’s repeated run-ins with BEMCo and the Brandeis Police, the Department of Community Living, including Marshall, and Foster Mods Community Advisors, Sarit Friedman ’13 and Jeetayu Biswas ’13, enacted a one-week party registration freeze.

Marshall continued to say that there have been reports of items being stolen during parties. He also mentioned that there was a serious problem with the amount of people gravitating outside during parties, when Massachusetts state law and Brandeis Police both prohibit drinking alcohol outside, through the Open Container Policy.

“We wanted to put a hold on things because it felt like it was snowballing downward, and things seemed like they were getting out of control,” said Marshall. “This is pretty typical. When you get a bunch of seniors together and you’re on your own, it’s a neighborhood environment where everyone is over 21. When you get a large crowd together it will inevitably create noise.”

During recent encounters with the Brandeis Police, some Foster Mods residents complained about experiencing occasional hostility from officers, even if the resident who called the police had not been drinking or attending a party. Marshall, Friedman and Biswas have addressed this issue by encouraging residents to politely request the name of the offending officer, and then report the name to them. They then would report the officer’s name to the Director of Public Safety. This, explained Marshall, is the best way to improve relations between police and students, and help students feel safe and welcome to call the police at any time.

“If there is a run in with an officer that seems rude, you can report that. You can come to me and I can take it from there,” Marshall said.

The intent of the party registration freeze was not to punish Mods residents, Marshall said. Rather, the intent was to give residents a break, and to provide them with time to meet with Marshall, Friedman and Biswas to express concerns or questions.

This past Wednesday, Friedman and Biswas held a town hall-style forum with Mods residents to clarify unanswered questions and party registration guidelines. Senior level university staff was not permitted at the forum to ensure a sense of privacy.

“We put parties on hold to give us time to meet with the Mods senator and to give everybody a break. We want to move forward with this so Jeet and Sarit could hold the town hall forum and so Mods residents could be more aware of registration sheets. There is a shared responsibility for what we and the Mods residents can do. They are adults, and we respect them,” Marshall added.