There's a new team in town: Positive Team Presence
The UMass Student Government Association is taking the $160,000 Davis Report on the Blarney Blowout to heart -- as well they should.
In response they created "MinuteMarshals", now renamed "Team Positive Presence", a group of fellow students who will be embedded into the potential party scene as peer counselors hoping to deescalate things before they get out of hand.
Naturally they will also use Social Media prior to events to send a message about being responsible and maintaining control.
Walk This Way group on Fearing Street last Labor Day weekend
The peacekeeping program will be in addition to and a step up from "Walk This Way", where a group of students stand out on late night weekends in heavily traveled corridors just off campus to request the herds keep quiet when traveling through residential neighborhoods.
Town Manager Musante report to Select Board last night
This just completed Fall Semester has been the quietest in memory, with noise/nuisance tickets and arrests down dramatically, so this new program comes at an opportune time.
But the true game changer -- also heartily endorsed by the Davis Report -- is the hiring of an "off campus Resident Assistant".
Boston College has successfully used the program for many years to keep peace between off campus students and nearby neighbors. The Off Campus RA is an official representative of the school and as such wields far more authority with potential miscreants. Either abide by his/her wishes or risk being expelled.
UMass has already acknowledged they will probably make such a hire. Since Team Positive Presence hopes to be in operation by the Super Bowl, it would be nice if UMass hired the Off Campus RA before the weather gets warm this coming spring.
Because even with Team Positive Presence and Walk This Way crews, plus an Off Campus RA, they still would not have stopped the Blarney Blowout last March.
Only Mother Nature, conjuring up a blizzard, could have done that.