WORCESTER (CBS) – The newly-paved road is splattered with white paint. The sidewalk is decorated with graffiti and empty beer cups.
“This is ‘partyland,’” says Worcester City Councilor Barbara Haller, standing on Caro Street just outside the College of the Holy Cross. She says it’s been overrun by rowdy college students, now spreading their noise and garbage to other streets in the neighborhood as well.
At a city council meeting Tuesday, City Manager Michael O’Brien called on Holy Cross President, Father Michael McFarland, to take a stronger stand against off-campus partying.
Councilor Haller agrees. “We need Father McFarland to step up and take this personally, to address these behaviors and say, ‘No more.’”
“Come on, Holy Cross has been here since 1834. You’re moving into this neighborhood that’s surrounded by students living off campus,” says student Samantha Turco, who lives off campus. “We’re kids. Come on, we’re going to have fun.”
Neighbors say it’s gotten so bad, that many homeowners have moved, selling their property to landlords who rent to more students. They say that only makes the problem worse.
“The noise, the disruption, the underage drinking in the streets, the litter, makes people want to sell.”
Fr. McFarland has not been available for comment.
Holy Cross responded with this statement Thursday:
“As Worcester City officials know, Holy Cross is committed to good relations between the College and its closest neighbors on College Hill, and our president Fr. McFarland is directly involved in that work. Loud, disruptive, or disrespectful behavior by students off-campus is investigated and sanctions are imposed on students who violate the College’s code of conduct or break the law.
The College is surprised and disappointed with recent comments by some City officials. Such comments are not productive and make it much more difficult for our work together to move forward.”