SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 6, 2014

Concern after off-campus incidents lead to arrests in Beverly

BEVERLY — Last month, it was a student from New Jersey charged with random attacks on fellow students, leaving two of them seriously injured, after leaving a party.

And last weekend, it was a series of arrests at two off-campus house parties. One of them required the response of nearly the entire on-duty shift of Beverly police to the scene, and it was the 25th time police had been to the apartment since the start of the school year in September, police said.

To one Salem District Court judge, it seemed, the Endicott College students have been “thumbing your nose up” at the neighbors who live in the neighborhoods.

“I want to be very clear,” said Salem District Court Judge Matthew Machera during a hearing Tuesday. “This may seem like a joke to you, but people live here and work here in this community and I’ve got better things to do than to have to deal with people who ought to know better.”

To Endicott College’s president, it points to a larger issue, of underage drinking and of the effect of social media.

“I think the biggest problem we have is that college kids can no longer have a small party,” said Endicott College President Richard Wylie. As soon as someone posts a photo on Facebook, Twitter or other social media, dozens of others will show up.

“If 15 people know a party is happening, 100 will show up,” said Wylie. And the combination of large parties with unsupervised underage drinking is, he suggested, a problem across the country, not just at Endicott.

Beverly police Chief John LeLacheur said he’s met with officials from the college since being sworn in and continues to work with the school.

Like Wylie, he believes the problem is common, recalling his work as a state trooper in New Hampshire dealing with rowdy students.

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