Good crowd for community forum. Pat Archibald UMPD front left, John Musante town manger front rt
Clearly the crowd who packed the community room at the new $12.5 million UMass police station tonight to discuss uncivil off campus behavior of some UMass students could be broken into two distinct groups: those who seem satisfied with efforts thus far to curb unruly behavior (UMass officials) and those who are not (townsfolk).
And townsfolk outnumbered UMass officials, who were there in force.
UMPD Chief John Horvath
Perhaps Fearing Street resident John Fox summed it up best with the last statement taken at almost exactly 7:30 PM, the scheduled end time for the "community forum". Mr. Fox made brief allusion to Afghanistan and declared "the surge" is simply not working. Not enough cops, and not enough programs. Things are getting worse! Time for something new.
Two Johns: John Coul front, reacts to John Fox's final statement of the night
Unfortunately that something "new" did not come out of tonight's meeting. To quote the cliche, "same old same old."
Almost all the townsfolk in attendance seemed to agree that unruly behavior towards Amherst police should have zero tolerance with instant repercussions. In other words, automatic expulsion. But Enku Gelaye, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students did not want to say what offense garners automatic expulsion, or even illuminating what line the five students (out of 652) did cross to get expelled. Although she did reiterate they take assault of any kind "very seriously."
An affable Enku Gelaye, perhaps too affable for chief disciplinarian
So yes, our gracious hosts staged a successful by-the-book community event, and they will no doubt sleep well tonight. And perhaps even some of the townsfolk in attendance will also sleep well tonight, content that at least their voices were heard.
Problem is, how well will they sleep this coming weekend?