Mayor’s Weekly Column

MeninoFacePicFrom the Desk of Thomas M. Menino
Every fall Boston welcomes thousands of new young residents to the city, bringing with them the excitement, anticipation, and promise of a new school year. With 34 colleges and universities, Boston is home to some of the nation’s leading academic institutions. Students come from across the country and around globe to study here and they all contribute to Boston’s diverse and vibrant culture. Whether living on campus or in one of the city’s neighborhoods, we want to ensure that students and neighbors enjoy a smooth transition this fall so that everyone can enjoy all that Boston has to offer, throughout the year.

Just as our universities do a great job of educating our young students, we must also educate the students about their rights as tenants and their responsibility to be a good neighbor. In many neighborhoods, college housing is in close proximity to residents who often have very different schedules than college students and they must remember to be respectful of the working professionals and families who are their new neighbors. Our city agencies work hard not only enforcing codes and keeping streets clean, but also to help resolve any quality of life issues for both new and long time residents. Residents are reminded that household trash should be placed outside on regularly scheduled pickup days to avoid violations, and to prevent bed bugs, never pick up furniture left at the curb for trash collection. If you have any concerns or suspect a bed bug infestation, notify your landlord and call the Inspectional Services Department at (617) 635-5322.

Boston is a safe city, but just like any metropolitan area, students should be aware of their surroundings and take basic precautions, particularly when out at night. Always stay alert, pay attention to your surroundings and walk in groups whenever possible. If you see anything suspicious, call 911. You can also use social media to follow Boston Police Department and other public safety agencies to get timely updates on important safety information in your neighborhood.

While students come to Boston primarily to study, I encourage them to take this great opportunity to explore and experience living in a world class city. Boston is home to some of the country’s greatest public spaces like historic Boston Common, the Public Garden and Franklin Park, and the nation’s first and oldest public library. As a student in Boston, you’re eligible to get a library card and enjoy the many great programs and lectures downtown and in the neighborhood branches. We also host many wonderful special events throughout the year.

There are many ways students can reach us with questions about city government or to report issues: (1) by phone 24/7 at 617-635-4500, (2) online at Citizens Connect, or (3) by reporting issues via our iPhone app; Boston Citizens Connect. You can also get updates by following city agencies and departments on twitter and facebook. Find us online at our Social Media Center.

Fall is an exciting time of year that represents new opportunities and a fresh start. I happily welcome our newest Boston residents to the city and wish them luck on their adventures.