In an email to be sent out to students today the University will ask students to exhibit respect and caution at next week’s Boston Marathon, a year after two bombs killed three and injured 264 at the finish line on Boylston St.
Dean of Students Paul Chebator said in a phone interview that his office will ask students to respect runners and to remember the solemn nature of the Marathon, in which 35,000 runners-the course capacity-are expected to compete this year.
Student conduct policies regarding alcohol and behavior will be enforced, the majority of the BCPD force will be on campus, and about 20 staff from the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will be on hand to reminds students about conduct policies. Access to the Mods will be restricted to students over the age of 21-as it is during tailgating days in the fall.
“My biggest concerns [are] either alcohol use that becomes a safety issue where someone is jeopardizing their own safety or someone else’s safety … Or alcohol use that results in inappropriate behavior,” Chebator said.
Student Affairs staff and the Office of Resident Life staff will be deployed on Main and Newton campuses to speak with students and suggest that they follow conduct policies and state laws.
Eagle EMS will also be active to deal with medical situations involving runners or students. After the bombings last year, St. Ignatius was opened to about 400 runners who were stopped along the route in front of BC. Eagle EMS members attended to many of those runners who experienced dehydration, muscle cramps, and other medical issues.
Chebator said that although the Marathon often connotes a celebratory atmosphere it is important for students to remember last year’s attacks and to conduct themselves in a respectful manner.
“[We ask] students to be extra careful during the Marathon, not do anything really stupid, but also to respect what the Marathon has come to mean after what happened last year,” he said.
The City of Boston announced improved public safety measures for this year’s race in a press release on Saturday.
Boston Police Department (BPD) will have an increased presence of uniformed and undercover officers along the route, and officials encourage spectators to not bring large items such as backpacks and strollers along with them to watch the race. Although these items are not banned, individuals possessing them may be subject to search.
The Marathon course begins in Hopkinton-some 20 miles west of BC-and abuts campus along Comm. Ave. at Mile 21. That portion of Comm. Ave. will be closed to traffic and non-Marathon runners between 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m.
This year, non-registered runners will be prohibited from entering the race as “bandit runners.” In past years, the BC’s Campus School Volunteers have run the race as bandits. Because of new security measures, though, they will be prevented from doing so this year. Yesterday, the Campus School hosted its own marathon for volunteer runners.
Chebator said that the University will ask students to respect the bandit policy and to not enter the race under any circumstances.
He also said that students should be mindful of their alcohol consumption, especially because road closures will make it difficult for medical staff to transport students who require medical attention to the hospital.
“It’s virtually impossible to get across Commonwealth Ave.,” he said. “So, we end up having to take students to other hospitals instead of St. Elizabeth’s.”
After runners pass BC on Comm. Ave. they will turn onto Beacon Street and toward downtown Boston.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, WCAS ’09, and other city officials announced this weekend that along the Boston portion of the race there will be 13 ambulances, 140 Boston EMS personnel, and four medical tents.
Spectators can text “Boston” to 69050 to report suspicious activity, or call 911 in an emergency situation.
Between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., pedestrian crossing along the Marathon route will be restricted to areas designated by the city. Around BC those designated locations include Centre St., College Rd., Lake St., and Chestnut Hill Ave. Pedestrians will be prohibited from crossing at any other areas.
Students who plan to return to Main Campus on Monday should use Beacon St. and those who plan to return to Newton Campus should use the Massachusetts Turnpike or Centre St.
Chebator said that Residence Life will send an email to students sometime this week with information regarding residential policies.