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Mayor Walsh convenes meeting with college and university leaders

June 4, 2014

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh met with representatives of Boston’s 22 colleges and universities to address the safety of students living in off-campus housing.

“The City of Boston and its academic institutions must work together and take action together to protect students from irresponsible landlords,” said Mayor Walsh. “There are small steps we can take now to make large strides in the safety of students who are living off-campus.”

The meeting included representatives from the following: Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts; Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology; Berklee College of Music; Boston Architectural College; Boston College; Boston University; Emerson College; Emmanuel College; Fisher College; Harvard University; Massachusetts College of Art & Design; Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences; MIT; New England Conservatory; Northeastern University; Roxbury Community College; Simmons College; Suffolk University; Tufts University; UMass Boston; Urban College of Boston; and Wentworth Institute of Technology.

At the meeting, the college and university representatives expressed support for Mayor Walsh’s emphasis on student safety and resolving quality of life issues in Boston’s Neighborhoods.   Mayor Walsh called on attendees to submit the addresses of students who are living off-campus to the City within 30 days.  This information, already being collected by colleges and universities in Boston, will allow the City to ensure that landlords are adhering to the city’s zoning regulations, which limits the number of full-time undergraduate unrelated students sharing an apartment to four, preventing overcrowding, unsafe living, and dangerous egress conditions.

Mayor Walsh also requested that colleges and universities identify a common set of information to be included on student IDs such as the student’s date of birth and enrollment status; explore launching a collaborative cross-sector partnership to create more on- and off-campus housing specifically for students; and encourage colleges and universities to update materials provided to students and parents regarding off-campus housing to include detailed information about safe and healthy housing, and the steps they can take to protect themselves from unsafe living conditions.

During the meeting, Mayor Walsh laid out a plan to meet again with the most senior executives from all of Boston’s universities before student move-in this fall to discuss progress on the initiatives and partnerships begun today.