WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) - While it’s only been six years since their last world championship, the feeling around New England these days is almost the same as it was in 2004, when the beloved Boston Red Sox vanquished an 86 year “curse” to win Major League Baseball’s World Series.
Naturally, college students in the region are growing restless with anticipation.
Regardless of whether the Red Sox win the title this evening, tomorrow night, or if they lose the series to the St. Louis Cardinals, campus security units across the Commonwealth are bracing for what could be wild, loud celebrations at best… and drunken riots at the worst.
Westfield State University has had issues with rowdy, out of control students in the past due to Red Sox World Series victories and New England Patriots Super Bowl wins, and they hope to quell any potential unruliness should the Sox clinch another championship this week, which would be their first World Series championship won at Fenway Park since 1918.
In a statement released by WSU Spokesman Molly Watson said, the university “always pre-plans an emergency response for major, individual events like homecoming, commencement, or large athletic team meets.”
“For a Red Sox World Series win, which we would consider a major event, we have developed specific operational and emergency plans, which identify and anticipate any potential concerns,” the statement said. “If any information is received by any law enforcement sources or via internal communications, the university’s operational plan for this event would be activated. Mutual aid from outside law enforcement agencies would be requested to include any assists.”
Beyond this pre-planning, university officials look to talk to students and “keep our eyes and ears open to ensure any plans or reactions to a win are appropriate and maintain the safety of our students.”
According to Westfield State’s Vice President of Student Affairs Carlton Pickron, the feeling around campus is that students are just trying to have a good time.
“The pulse we’ve been getting around campus has been that students are just trying to enjoy the games,” said Pickron this morning. “All the residence halls have events going on. It’s normal 24-7 public safety.”
Pickron added that, for those rooting for the Sox, the Cardinals, or even those who no skin in the game, the hope from the university remains the same.
“We want students to enjoy the games responsibly and to have fun while respecting everyone’s allegiances,” he said.
In a statement emailed to students prior to the start of the World Series, Pickron asked students to demonstrate “dignity and respect for one another regardless of which team in Red you are cheering for.” “Let’s not give Public Safety or Residential Life anything to do during the World Series games and after.” he said.
Captain Michael McCabe of the Westfield Police Department said they have made contingency plans for tonight and tomorrow night and have readjusted available officers .
“We will be ready if there is any sort of problem,” he said.
Media Credit: The Westfield News