Patriots parade crowds campus

by Celia Carbone / Beacon Correspondent • February 9, 2017

New England Patriots fans filled the streets Tuesday for the Super Bowl victory parade, which passed right in front of Emerson’s campus during class hours.

The entire Patriots team toured the parade route in the famous Boston duck boats. Players waved and interacted with hundreds of thousands of fans, according to ABC News, and their fans reciprocated their enthusiasm. Red and blue confetti shot through the sky and decorated the sidewalk for the rest of the afternoon. The crowd’s excitement grew as their favorite players passed by, reaching its peak when Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady made his appearance.

Some students avoided the crowds on the streets and watched from dorm or classroom buildings. The unusually high turnout for the parade made it difficult for some students to make it to their classes on time—or at all. Madolyn Friedman, a junior performing arts major, said it took her 40 minutes to get from the Ansin Building to the Walker Building during the parade.

“At one point, people were so close to me that my feet left the ground,” Friedman said. “I was like, crowd-surfing.”

Emerson College Police Chief Robert Smith said the college dispatched four times as many officers as usual to keep the campus safe. Since the parade, ECPD has been contacted by several community members reporting cases of injury, assault, and other negative incidents.

“We are saddened and concerned by these reports, and we are working hard to understand the extent of the incidents, which were reported to take place along the parade route,” Smith and Jim Hoppe, vice president and dean of campus life, wrote in an email to the community Wednesday night.

The email encouraged community members to contact ECPD to file a formal report.

Heather May, senior lecturer, said she held virtual classes because of the packed sidewalks. May said being a city campus means that sometimes classes get interrupted by things that the college does not have control over.

“It’s important that even if I can’t be there, we’re doing something,” May said. “By having virtual classes, the students don’t get penalized for going to the parade.”

Morgan Sung, junior journalism major, said she was late to her 10 a.m. class because of the heavy foot traffic outside of the train station. By the time she arrived at campus, Sung said, she could not cross the street from Boylston Street Station and had to improvise by taking the green line back to the Arlington Street Station and crossing the street underground.

Boston celebrated over the weekend as well. Hundreds of fans flooded the Boston Common Sunday night after the New England Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28 in overtime.

“The spectacular Super Bowl LI was my first time being able to experience such an event,” said Osorannna Mojekwu, a freshman visual media arts major from Nigeria. “Sunday night was more than just watching my first Super Bowl, it was an experience in being able to celebrate something bigger than us.”