Northeastern University restricting movement of students?

Disclaimer: This is completely hearsay, although the source seems quite trustworthy.

Last night I was speaking with a Northeastern University student whom I know through a group with which I volunteer. We were chatting about various areas of Roxbury and Mission Hill. He was mentioning where fellow students of his live and which businesses he frequents, and I was talking about where friends of mine live and in which neighborhoods we had looked at houses before finding ours. While discussing various areas, this student mentioned that while he was a freshman, the Northeastern University police stated during a mandatory safety lecture that "if we find any of you over there [near one of the Boston Housing Authority developments], we'll pick you up and you'll be in a lot of trouble."

How is this legal? Or ethical? I mean, it's one thing for schools like George Fox and Bob Jones to have very strict policies regulating students' lives and to require them to sign out to leave campus and to abide by a code of conduct at all times. But students attending these types of schools enroll with the knowledge that these schools are restrictive and are choosing to, well, be restricted. As far as I know, Northeastern is not such a school, and does not generally place restrictions on what students do on their own time. But apparently their police department finds it appropriate to threaten to discipline students for visiting friends or family members who live on a certain street, or for taking babysitting or cleaning jobs on a certain street, or for simply going for a walk where they wish to.

I didn't find anything about this restriction on their website, but I would really like to know if this is an official school policy. If it is, I'd like to encourage individuals who live in this particular development to enroll in classes at Northeastern and see what happens when they walk home after class.


Bruce said...

Haven't you heard? They're the government, and they know what's best for you.

eeka said...

HA! But I thought one of the appealing factors of going to a private school is that although they are tied into public funding to some extent (students receiving govt money to attend, most schools receiving some grants from cultural councils and research bodies and so forth), they DON'T have to bow down to the government in terms of how they operate.

Marcus said...

It's not actually a policy. Your source has been misled. NUPD, frankly, doesn't give a damn what you do, as long as you're sober when doing it.

eeka said...

Good to know that it isn't an actual policy. Still, pretty offensive that they'd state that "this is subsidized housing, therefore it's unsafe" without basing it on actual crime stats (this particular development isn't one with a crime problem).

And it's way over the line to tell students where they can and can't be when it's not the type of school where they've agreed to a closed-campus policy before enrolling.

BillyJack64 said...

The Police @ NU follow a strict script when talking to freshman. Contact the Police and ask to review it. As for a crime area sorry but the area is a high crime area you can simply check with the Boston Police criminal reporting data. I checked this out so any one can. These are the facts as I found them. My only question is when are we are going to take responsibility for our own actions & stop finding fault with every one but ourselves.

eeka said...

I didn't mention which development, so you have no way of checking what the crime rates are like in and around that development. It does happen to be one with a lower crime rate most of the time than most of the Northeastern campus has, but let's not let facts get in the way of a racist and classist rant.

Even if the development did have high crime rates, it might be appropriate for the police to give some statistics, but it's not appropriate for the police to tell students they will be disciplined for going into a particular neighborhood. Students are adults, and unless they attend one of the schools with contracts and curfews (which NU is not one of), they have the right to socialize, work, or go for walks wherever they want.

Thanks for the suggestion in terms of who to contact; I'll follow up on that.