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Thursday, September 29, 2022

New Mile 21 Programming Engages Students on Marathon Monday – The Heights – The Heights

Boston College administrators and student organizations should be commended for the success of their student programming on Marathon Monday. 
The campus-centric activities—which included Breakfast Bingo, Mile 21 Field Day, and a live concert by Jason Derulo in the Mod Lot—refocused Marathon Monday behavior away from overcrowded parties off campus and toward celebrating the runners and Greater Boston community. This sets a strong precedent for future collaboration on events that require compromise from both students and University administrators.
Students typically cross Commonwealth Avenue early in the morning to party at off-campus houses before runners arrive. The University and Boston Police Department received a large number of complaints about student behavior from local residents after the last marathon in October, according to an April 14 email sent to the student body. 
“Boston Police is expected to have zero tolerance for disruptive behavior and underage drinking in the neighborhoods,” wrote Tom Mogan, associate vice president of student engagement and formation, in the email. “It is critical that all students are respectful of our neighbors who live close to campus, as well as their property.”
To address these concerns, administrators consulted student groups and leaders to create on-campus programming that would alleviate the strain of off-campus celebrations. This collaboration is exemplary and should be employed more often to implement well-informed solutions to other issues that directly affect students. 
Crowds of students enjoyed lawn activities, food trucks, and raffles on Maloney Lawn throughout the day. Despite arriving on stage more than an hour late, Derulo’s performance had no major technical issues, maintaining the excitement of Marathon Monday while also drawing students away from the off-campus neighborhood. 
The efforts of administrators and student groups—including UGBC, the Division of Student Affairs, Campus Activities Board, BC Athletics, Campus Ministry, and BC Recreation—eased the tension between BC and the surrounding community by incentivizing appropriate behavior and crowd control. 
These student-led groups strategically used their resources to reinforce a sense of safety and community during Marathon Monday celebrations. It is refreshing to see student leaders effectively bridge the gap between students and administrators by maximizing the potential of their financial resources
The collaboration of these groups also helped connect the BC community. Administrators cheered on runners—many of whom are members of the BC community—alongside students at Mile 21. 
This Marathon Monday was a strong example of the BC community coming together to celebrate a Boston tradition and support marathon runners. Increased communication and collaboration between University administrators and student-led organizations will improve the highly anticipated marathon experience for students and improve BC’s relationship with the Greater Boston community. 
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