At issue: Potential parade could interrupt campus and classes
Our take: Don’t risk it. Postpone class times
Any Emerson student that had to trudge to class on Feb. 7, 2017 knows the absurdity and aggravation that comes with the New England Patriots Super Bowl parade. The route ran straight down Boylston Street and encompassed the main strip of campus. Eager football fans turned the sidewalk space between Little Building and Piano Row into a warzone. Peaceful, swift walks to class felt like swimming upstream for miles, but the water was comprised of beer breath and Tom Brady jerseys. Gaggles of drunk men in red, white, and blue pom-pom hats created lengthy lines at Einstein Bros. Bagels. Students reported 40 minute commutes between buildings and those living off-campus were forced to walk to Chinatown to access the T.
If the Patriots win the Super Bowl this coming Sunday, it will be their sixth championship title, marking another triumphant year for New England fans. Traditionally, a parade is held following a win, which oftentimes leads to crowds too large to be constrained. To prevent last year’s problems, the college should delay the start of classes until the parade passes by the college.
Assuming the Patriots win, the parade will likely happen sometime next week. This brings into question the measures that the college should take to ensure faculty and student safety. The weather next week, while a little chilly, will certainly not deter avid Patriots fans from coming out in hordes, and there will be less sidewalk space available with the ongoing construction.
Most colleges don’t need to worry about massive Super Bowl parades charging right through the heart of campus, but Emerson is not a typical school. A downtown setting requires adaptation to an ever-changing environment full of rallies, parades, and constant construction. For all the perks that come with living in the city, there are inevitable drawbacks as well. Emerson needs to be prepared to deal with life in the city, come what may.
Last year, students received emails from Emerson College Police Department and the Office of Housing and Residence Life with information about the parade and cautioning students to allocate extra time to get to classes. Both emails stated ECPD would be diligent about ensuring only members of the Emerson community could access campus buildings. Despite these warnings, many students still had negative experiences trying to navigate around campus. If this parade happens again, we think it’s time to learn from past experience. Students should not be subject to the impassioned, drunken crowds that block the only entrances to our main buildings yet again. Cancelling classes is not something we take lightly at all, especially since Emerson doesn’t build makeup days into our academic schedule. We’ve waxed plenty in the past on how detrimental Saturday classes can be to students and faculty. But protecting our community from literal unwanted crowd-surfing—no really, that happened—takes priority.