Worcester Wants Holy Cross Students To Quiet Down

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

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.”

More from Christina Hager
  • Tom Sullivan

    I do not agree with this story at all. Go to any other neighborhood in Worcester and you will see paint on the street. The students all live on one street instead of spread out around the neighborhood. The college has been there for over 100 years. You do not move across from a college and expect it to not be loud and disruptive. Father McFarland is an excellent president and this should not be blamed on him. Go on over to WPI where the parties are said to be crazy. No one ever hears about them.

    And nice vest Councilor Haller.

    • I live in "partyland"

      Its amazing to me that Barbara Haller seems to feel that the most pressing needs of Worcester, are trash and paint on an off-campus college road. Caro st. has become a college st, due to the fact that our only neighbors are other college students- so the argument that “Caro residents” are disturbing families, and people who have lived on the hill for many years, is false. Worcester seems to have larger problems including crime, unemployment, and a slow economy, so it might be more effective for Ms. Haller to focus on areas, such as these, that are more important.

    • marie

      I am a Clark University student and I’ve lived in Worcester for the past three years. The streets are not filled with paint splatterings or trash. The streets are not impecable but that street is not indicative to Worcester in general. In fact I’ve never seen paint splattering in my neighborhood at all and I live in Main South. There are many old Universities in Worcester that do not cause these problems. I’ve been to WPI parties and there is a reason you don’t hear about them. They aren’t held in the middle of the street. They are primarily in the frat houses whose members watch the doors and make sure people aren’t hanging out in front of the house. Its not every Holy Cross student, but there is a reason other universities don’t have the same problem. Its time to stop pointing fingers and making excuses. Take responsibility. These students are adults and they should act and be treated as such. Its unacceptable to make a mess of your neighborhood, even if it is just students. I’m sure not every student wants to walk through beer cans on the way to class.

      • Kim

        First of all MARIE, maybe you should do some research before you say that Holy Cross students should be more responsible. The reason why Worcester is making a big deal of the drinking incidents is because Holy Cross sits on a big endowment and we have 174 acres of un-taxed lands. The city of worcester is having troubles funding their school systems because of local colleges in the city not paying the taxes and Holy Cross is the only school that does not donate money to the city of Worcester because we’re trying to fund and better educate our students.

  • tmocz

    what do they expect living right next to a college… like the girl said we’ve been around almost 200 years, these people choose to live where they do

  • Greg H

    Take a class here and then see how bad you wanna party.

  • John

    Why would anyone choose to move in close to a college and then not expect loud partying? This is an example of terrible reporting, a lack of news, or both.

  • Da Snitch

    Yo, check it. BB = Brian Blum

  • WooSta Kid

    The girl who did the interview doesn’t even go to Holy Cross…I think she’s from Wocester State…

    • smurph


  • Steve

    I think the city should send the school the bill for the clean-up for the road and for all future repairs and clean-ups. The school can just tack a portion of it on to the next years tuitition bill for each student, problem solved……..

  • Jennie

    I went to Holy Cross and the partying wasn’t any worse than any other college. Holy Cross just happens to be situated across from a residential neighborhood. Students should be respectful of neighbors, but at the same time, neighbors should expect there to be some partying. There needs to be give and take on both ends.

    • Igor Stravinksy

      Some partying is ok, but it crosses the line when they throw trash in your yard, yell profanities near the bedroom window where your kids are trying to sleep, and urinate in your property. Nice behavior for so called Catholic students.
      Father McFarland only talks he is doing something, but so far there has been very little results.

      • COLLEGE!

        In Soivet Russia, STUDENT URINATES ON YOU!!!

  • Paul H

    My daughter receives all kinds of mailings from Holy Cross to apply. We toured the school and found the tour guide to be very snooty-and she was on work-study!! Worcester is a dump, but this is indicative of how the school attracts intelligent, but incredibly immature students as I assume only upperclassmen can live off campus. Needless to say she is not applying.

    • Jake

      Perhaps I am a bit bias because I attend the Colleg of the Holy Cross, however, I believe your daguther is making a bad choice. While a few students tend to be disruptive, this is true of virtually all colleges and universities across Amercia. Firstly, one tour guide should not be indicitive of the entire school population. Tour guides are not actually on work-study positions, they are in fact volunteer positions. Secondly, Worcester is a dump. However Holy Cross students are constantly volunteering to help out the impoverished community. I wonder how you define “immature”. It seems students who have to endure one of the most demanding cirriculums (Princeton review rated us at the same acadmeic level as Harvard University) in the nation still find time to serve a community who tries to find minor infractions in which a small handful of students partake. I think most people would call that maturity.
      I hope your daughter fares well in her endeavors in applying to college.

    • a

      you’re an idiot

    • Steve

      Changes are your daughter wouldn’t be able to get in, with our 30% acceptance rate and 3.8 high school GPA on average. You sound pretty ignorant and the apple never falls far from the tree. Tour guides are on a volunteer basis, they don’t get paid, therefore have nothing to do with work study. Plus, if someone has work study why do you automatically think they’re down to Earth. You are an idiot.

      • flash


        You got that right. The work study kid who used to buff my 318 Beemer used to give me grief for not driving a 5-Series.

    • Sam

      How can you judge an entire community based off of one person? Obviously you came here with a biased opinion already, because most anyone you talk to here is warm and genuine. I know a few of the tour guides – one is my roommate – and they are all down to earth, smart, and caring people.
      You then try to judge us based on the small minority of students who live off campus, calling us all immature (obviously because we are all rich and have everything handed to us on a silver platter). However, if you were to spend a night with my friends and myself, you would be shocked at the fact that we aren’t rich, we work to be here, and conduct ourselves respectfully and maturely.
      The only one who is losing out here is your daughter, because of your narrow-mindedness and unfounded judgements.

    • kh

      Paul, the behavior of one particular tour guide is not indicative of the type of students that attend Holy Cross. I’m sorry you have this biased, and ultimately wrong view of the college and its students. Your daughter will be missing out on one of the best educations she could possibly get.

    • pishaw.

      obviously you know nothing and your daughter doesn’t deserve to go here.

    • Jane

      We are the proud parents of a Holy Cross student. We feel that Holy Cross provided the best teaching environment than any of the colleges our four children attended which includes Stanford and Georgetown. We also live across from a college and even though we hear partying and find an occasional beer bottle on our lawn, we feel the students contribute to our community.

      • KatChiong

        thanks, mom.

    • Joe

      Paul H,

      Don’t assume. You and your daughter are morons. She probably couldn’t get into Holy Cross anyway. Try BC.

  • Mary

    The attitude of the student interviewed says it all- we go to Holy Cross,therefore too bad if we wantonly destroy public property. Thank God even though my kid was accepted he did not go there as this shows the culture of the student body.

    • flash

      Mary: There are 2,400 kids at Holy Cross, I’m sure they could have found one that feels differently, but what good would that do. Of course they got a quote like that, that’s how you make a story. Thank “goodness” (no Lord’s name in vain, please) that your child did not weaken the Crusader gene pool, but a little Jesuit education might help he or she with some critical analysis

      I do not in any way condone what is going on. Caro St. is much worse than it was in the past. I don’t care whose to blame, it is time to fix it.

      • Dmagan

        You can keep your Jesuit education, as it looks like it teaches students to disrespect the community, use the neighbour’s year as your private bathroom, as well as discuss your sexual exploits in clear and loud voices near other people’s houses. No thanks.

    • COLLEGE!

      I agree. I have the right to destroy the property on Caro Street. After all, we are the only why Worcester exists. It’s a dump based entirely around the alcohol industry.

  • Marie

    The people of Worcester fail to realize how much the student body of Holy Cross contributes to the community. Despite the overwhelming number of student volunteers the school sends throughout the city, there seems to be an a continued resentment towards the institution on the part of the Worcester residents. Given the number of problems that face the city, it shocks me that Worcester makes college drinking the priority at city council meetings. Furthermore, people need to recognize that this “problem” is limited to a very small neighborhood. Students are drinking on Caro Street and interrupting no one but their Caro Street neighbors (who just so happen to be other students). All homeowners need to be smart when purchasing property. In seeing that your street is full of rundown properties rented by college students, you should probably look elsewhere.

    Lastly, why is the drinking problem at the other Worcester colleges never addressed? As a former HC student, I remember going to quite a few WPI parties that were located in residential neighborhoods.

    I understand there are many snobs that go to the school. However, there are also many middle class, hard-working students that wanted to act like the college students at ANY OTHER SCHOOL in the US. The students are keeping to themselves in a limited neighborhood, not traveling throughout Worcester attempting to interrupt people’s peace and quiet.

    • Igor Stravinsky

      Clearly you don’t know what you are talking about. There are loud and unruly parties all over college hill, including kendig st, city view st, etc.., with garbage and red cups thrown all over the street. It is not just limited to Caro st. although that’s the main location. It is clear that the problem is slowly spreading over the whole neightborhood, as there is almost no enforcement from Holy Cross itself.

      • COLLEGE!

        It is clear that Communism is slowly spreading over the whole neighborhood, as there is almost no enforcement from Holy Cross itself.

    • George W. Bush


      Thanks for leaving the only lucid and rational post. Too bad more people didn’t agree with your sentiments.

  • Matt

    You’re right, this one girl (who happens to be a city counselor that doesn’t go to Holy Cross) represents our entire population of 2700. Thank you for your intelligible input.

    As a student that goes to Holy Cross, I have to say that the parties here are no worse than any other college campus in the country. Our parties don’t even compare to those of most schools.

  • joe mack

    First of all control youselves. Second of all control yourselves!
    Third of all, welcome to college.

  • Bobby

    When I interviewed at HC the impression I got was that the school is very high on itself. When I got to speak with the actual students the athletes seem like bucket heads and the girls rich,but totally clueless. They actually think they are special, and in Worcester of all places!!! Their PR machine is impressive though. By the way, I did get an offer of admission,but am attending WPI where we actually need to WORK and I don’t mean homework about Thucydides and Anthropology. Guess that would explain why our starting salaries are 11th highest in the NATION!!!!

    • Flash


      Despite your jealousy, I promise no HC alumnus will fire you when he is a middle level manager on his way to his inevitable role as CEO and realizes that your technical skills are out of date and you can be replaced with another young technical whiz kid whose high starting salary is justified for at least a few years until the cycle begins again.

      He will no doubt want to wax eloquent at lunch over Agamemnon and a couple of James Joyce novels, so be prepared. You might also want to brush up on your Latin.

    • Sarah

      Hahahaa seriously.. you are bragging about going to WPI…..

  • WPI 2012

    Typical Holy Cross response, blame WPI. Yes we have parties, but we don’t destroy public property you morons. Whenever HC is called on something the students and admin immediate reaction is to BLAME SOMEONE ELSE. Grow up you bunch of whining, weaselly snots.

  • Andrew

    Holy Cross makes enormous contributions to the city of Worcester through the SPUD programs. It also brings in tons of revenue to local business and restaurants. Making an issue of a TINY area of the city for off-campus parties is absolutely ridiculous. If you really want students to move on campus, why did you expand the hotel tax to dorm residents in 2009? Your efforts are completely misguided.

    • Are you kidding

      Oh I see your logic-because we eat out once a week we are entitled to destroy and deface public property. By your logic, since I pay taxes to the federal government can I borrow a tank from the Defense Department? Please tell me Holy Cross is attracting a higher caliber of logic than this asinine comment by Andrew.

      • COLLEGE!

        Yes, we have a right to deface houses that we ourselves have purchased/rented. If the landlord is angry than they can take away the security deposit, and if the city gets angry at the paint they can clean it up!

  • Holy Cross Student

    The real question here is: Does Worcester want Holy Cross students to quiet down or does Worcester City Councilor Barbara Haller want Holy Cross students to quiet down? I would love to see a petition from Councilor Haller of Worcester residents that want Holy Cross students to quite down. I bet the list will be very insignificant.

  • HC 2011

    There are more mature ways to insult Holy Cross students. Try leaving out the nasty words and being a little more objective.

  • figure it out

    If you don’t like drinking and partying, don’t choose to buy a house across from a college that has been established since 1843, bottom line.

    And no one complains about WPI parties because they frankly aren’t that good.

  • Scott

    without the school that town would be an even bigger dump

  • neighbor

    It is easy to say that the issue is insignifant or ridiculous if it is not in your backyard. Many of the neighbors have lived on the hill for years, long before the problems became so bad. Some are elderly now and raised their families in these homes nearby. The neighbors do understand that there will be partying, but it’s the destructive and excessive disregard that (reasonably) is of concern. Some behaviors are never okay in any situation – even if you are a college student who wants to have fun. There is some give and take from the neighbors, but requesting some basic respect on the part of the students is a fair expectation.

    What specifically are the sanctions for students? If students thought there would be consequences to their actions, they might think twice.

  • flash

    Final comment from me. (I hope)

    Holy Cross has always built up a great deal of goodwill in Worcester and beyond through many great programs and Alumni. None of this excuses what is going on. What is the message we are trying to say: “I was doling out meals to the homeless yesterday, so is it allright if I urinate on your front lawn today?”

    To say this is what happens near any college campus does not make it right, this is Holy Cross after all, if the standard is higher, than so be it.

    “Neighbor’s” comments are exactly right. A little loudness is one thing, but things are out of hand. The drive to get alcohol off campus has forced the problem into the nearby neighborhoods. Maybe it’s time for everyone to take a mature look at this.

    • COLLEGE!

      Yeah, I do think that helping the less fortunate is more important than someone peeing on “your” lawn. I have yet to see a party where someone’s private property was destroyed. Of course I’ve seen students do ridiculous things to property that they themselves own. That’s perfectly ok. We’re not saints, we’re just students trying to have a good time and make the world a better place at the same time.

  • John

    The response to this is comical. This type of story surfaces every few years (as the reporter noted in her story) and nothing ever changes. Holy Cross students: don’t worry, nothing will ever change. Worcester residents: if you have a problem with this, then just move elsewhere! There are tons of other places to go! Why do you insist on staying and always complaining? Do you have nothing better to do??

  • PaintedSenior

    I’m an HC senior now and I have say that if anything, Caro St. and off-campus parties have gone downhill each year since I’ve been here. There were always parties off-campus every friday during my freshman year, versus now you could go off-campus at midnight and there’s a fair chance only a few students will be in street on their way to the few select+small parties that do occur on fridays. I think the white paint was really terrible (especially because I myself walked in it while wet hah) but honestly i’ve seen worse in earlier years. And a lot of that has to do with worcester police who kindly ask students to break up their parties if they’re too out of control…I think that even they understand that we’re in college and this is what college kids do, so they do their jobs without hostility (unless necessary).

    also, wpi has absolutely nothing on the saders.

  • Senior

    Dear Worcester Community,

    As a student of Holy Cross, I too think the partying at times gets out of control. However, I hate to think that none of the columnists for the Worcester Telegram went to college or experienced any sort of social activities. Yes, it does get out of control, but no more so than any other TYPICAL college environment. Have you visited WPI? Have you seen what their fraternities are capable of? Have you seen the parties at Clark? Have you? Apparently not. I’m sorry the residents of Caro and Boyden and other neighboring streets are upset, but I hate to inform you that you moved into a college neighborhood where it has been made clear that students reside. Does that give us the right to disturb you and destroy public property? Absolutely not, however, it does mean that you need realize you are putting yourself in a situation that you KNOW may result in public disturbances. You need to be smart as well.

    On a separate note, it is impossible for Holy Cross students to ever look good in the Worcester Community because you refuse to let us. Over 700 students participate in community service activities all year, and instead of asking us about our experiences at our different sites, you focus on the negative. We work with battered women, tutor immigrants, and spend time with the elderly because we WANT to, not because we have to. We conduct research on HIV/AIDs and Cancer, yet instead of asking us about our work and dedication to this community and society, you ask us how our parties are. YOU are enforcing the stereotype. Do not blame Father McFarland for the actions of the few, for that is not what the majority of us do on Friday and Saturday nights.

    With this I ask that the Worcester Community get off their pedestal and realize that we are not as bad as you think. Crime rates, poverty, homeless, and hunger are far greater concerns. We work to end this every day in OUR community. What are you doing?

    Best Regards,


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