Columns, Opinion

SANTARELLI: Brookline’s baddest

Safety and peace of mind are some things you should never have to sacrifice. Whether it’s your confidence in national defense or more directly your feeling of safety walking home late Saturday night, you should never be denied peace of mind. When the average Boston University student is asked what neighborhoods around campus do they consider the most dangerous and least ideal, you will usually hear the likes of Ashford, Gardner or Pratt Streets, but never Egmont.

Located in Brookline, monthly rent for most of Egmont’s apartments nears $1,000 a bedroom. A block from Dexter Park luxury apartments ‘- the well-to-do BU South area ‘- and only a few blocks from the classier area of Beacon Street, one would never expect that Egmont Street serves as the home of the many thugs who wreak havoc on the BU student community. Egmont Street Veterans Family Housing Project is a facility that has been a problem for the university for years, and is something that I call on the BU administration to fix.

Every year, BU seems to expand its size by buying up property in close vicinity of the current campus. I suggest the administration to either make an effort to buy the property or put pressure on the Brookline Housing Authority to monitor the tenets it accepts to 51-85 Egmont St. BU students who live in the Ashford/Gardner area they face a consistent problem every weekend with residents from the Egmont housing projects who come to the area for parties. Police can only take action after fights or vandalism; a greater power needs to step in to keep this from ever happening.

A request for the university to take such an aggressive action at first seems like an unfair generalization, but the reason I label the locals who start trouble in to BU’s western parts as residents of the Egmont Street housing project is because many of them have openly flaunted it to me. While it is likely that only a minority of residents from the Egmont Street housing project are contributing to the crime and insecurity BU students feel, do the majority of Egmont Street project residents deserve the action that must be taken against the wrong doers? No, but does it need to be done? I think so.

I understand asking for BU to apply pressure to Brookline to move a housing project because a minority of its residents start trouble at off campus parties sounds selfish and narrow minded but such reasoning has never stopped me before. The Bottom line is I have seen these people smash a three foot long, seven inch-wide log across my friend’s face two years ago. I know people who have been robbed at gunpoint at 4 p.m. on a Thursday for a cell phone. I have spent the weekend in a hospital with a broken jaw and a month with my mouth wired shut because I got sucker punched with brass knuckles in my own house. Granted, you put yourself at risk by throwing parties that you lose control of, but still. I’m not Tupac, I’m no Biggy, I’m a 20-year-old college student who pays 50 grand a year to go to BU. I should not be in these situations.

As those who live in the Ashford/Gardner area already know, BU has put a special interest this year in cracking down on parties in the area by assigning one of their own, director of community relations Joe Walsh, to work with the Brookline Police Department. For the most part this team breaks fraternity house windows and steals the mail at houses that host parties as an attempt to make an example of BU students who committed the terrible crime of drinking and having people come over on a Saturday night. I have two suggestions that I believe would make BU safer for its students and would be more effective than putting energy into a team that wants to make an example of college students who like to party. The administration should push to clean up the neighborhoods frequented by BU students ‘- whether the students live there or simply attend Friday and Saturday night parties in the area. This includes buying out or putting pressure on the Egmont Street housing project. Or, rather than building another StuVi tower, buy the houses on Pratt, Ashford and Gardener Streets, clean them up, and rent them to BU students. I believe the majority of residents on those streets are BU students with only a few houses occupied by locals who are largely responsible for bringing negativity to the area.

It may seem immoral or bigoted to tell Brookline to move this project away from BU because it has a negative effect on us, but I think the only reason Egmont Housing Project is on Egmont Street is because it’s on the outskirts of Brookline. The town provides low-income housing to be politically correct, but hypocritically puts it on the outskirts of its town so the BU community has to deal with its problems. Brookline assumes a community of students will not notice them shoving their problems on us. I notice, I’ve had enough, and the BU administration needs to do something.

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  1. Ya’ll just a bunch of playa hatas

  2. Wow, great article. Very insightful; I don’t get enough privileged white kids’ opinions around here.

  3. This article is hilariously bad, as are the other pieces penned by the now infamously-imbecilic Santarelli. I should say, to whomever is editing these grammatical atrocities, I truly feel bad for you.

  4. This letter embarrasses us all. Has BU become so cost prohibitive that it enrolls only those whose parents can afford to pay 50k annually rather than select those who have succeeded academically? The author of this letter is seemingly of the former.

  5. lol livejournal

  6. Your column has me completely embarrassed to be a BU grad.

  7. I was going to be all upset at your illiteracy, entitlement, implied racism, and general douchehattery, but then I thought about the fact that you live day to day in fear because of your tiny, tiny brain, and now I’m in a much better mood. Keep on sufferin’!

  8. leastimnotstoopidz

    You is dumz… Turd-breath!!!

  9. Wow, now I understand why Boston natives hate us college kids. Yeah, I live near the projects, yeah, we’ve gotten mugged, we’ve seen people get shot. But the rent is cheap and we like the area so we stay.<br/>If you think you’re paying too much to live in a violent area, then MOVE. You are a guest in the city and the community and need to act as such. Just because you move in and pay an exorbitant amount of money for rent doesn’t mean you can call for the removal of people who have called your street home for years. I don’t know where you grew up with such a self-centered view of the world…but you should probably go back there. It’s because of the attitudes presented in this article that you guys get hit with logs and brass knuckles.