Globe Editorial on Harvard's police problems and campus openness

This editorial in today's Globe elaborates on my thoughts about Harvard's presence in Allston and its relationship with the nearby community.

Profiling and Harvard police - The Boston Globe
"...The independent panel should also look for clues outside of Harvard's police department. The college administration could be sending messages, subtle or otherwise, that outsiders are not welcome on campus. That would be an especially bad message to send as Harvard readies to expand its campus into the Allston section of Boston. Minorities who work at or attend Harvard have the clout and knowledge to make themselves heard. But neighbors of Harvard or passersby may not."

This topic also gives us reason to reconsider the ownership of the small park being created behind the Honan Library. The Cooperation Agreement signed by the City and Harvard says the following, but makes no statement about who will own the land and who will police it:
The applicant (Harvard) shall negotiate with the Authority (BRA) and the City of Boston an agreement providing for guarantees of public access and the dedication of Library Park as publicly-accessible open space or other public use.

Members of the community have asked for clarification, but have received none.


  1. Allston Girl10:40 PM

    I really do not think that a police detail is needed to "police" the new park. There is no detail that polices Smith and it is wwwwaaayyyy bigger than anything that is going to be put behind the library. We are talking about the size of property that six - turn of the century - homes would take up. Harvard has also stated that they would take care of the property for ten years after it is built. I think the task force should make a request that Harvard bequeath to the Allston library the amount of money it would use over the course of ten years to maintain the park. It should be given in one lump sum so that interest can be accummulated on it over the ten years to maintain the park and the community of Allston would be responsible for the maintenance. Of course, a fundraiser once or twice a year would cushion that amount substantially. Then the park would truly be in Allston's hands right from the start of it being open. We all need to start thinking out of the box. Harvard is not going to do any more than they have to, so we might as well get something right up front. If one of the future members of Harvard's faculty or their family members got mugged or worse in the new park, we all know Harvard would come up with money after the ten years very fast. But, God help us, if it happens to one of our family members, Harvard would turn a blind eye to us. A friend of mine likes to refer to us as Harvard's country cousins because they think we are so stupid. Harvard now owns almost all of Western Avenue and a few weeks ago they almost got rid of one side of North Harvard Street by gasing us, accidentally. Imagine if this had happened during the middle of the night and not early morning when people were going to work. God helps those who help themselves. Just something to think about.

  2. The park needs to be officially under someone's radar - otherwise I imagine it would be like calling 911 when there's an accident on the stretch of North Harvard Street between the Storrow on-ramps and Memorial Drive, or the management of intersections like Market St/Western Ave at Soldier's Field Rd that are "managed" by the DCR - messes that the responsible agencies don't seem to want to take ownership of, or are ill equipped to handle.