Government Schools

Mayor’s Column: Welcome to Boston

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (Mayor’s Office of Photography)

Welcome to Boston: Your Home for the Next Four Years and – We Hope – Longer
by Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Hello students, and welcome to Boston. Like you, my Administration and I are looking forward to the school year. Boston is the world’s greatest college town, and you are a big reason for our city’s vibrant atmosphere. We hope your time here will be safe and rewarding. From Fenway Park to Franklin Park, and from the North End to Mission Hill, Boston has a wealth of diverse culture to explore. We’re a global city with a small town feel.

Come this fall, many students will be living in a new environment for the first time. Whether you’re living on-campus or off, I want to make sure that the City is a trusted resource for you, and that you participate in our civic life while you are here. Register to vote. Get to know your elected officials. You are Boston residents, and have a say in how we move this City forward.

We’re taking steps to connect with you and make sure your experience in Boston is positive. We work with local property owners and colleges and universities to ensure safe living conditions. We have established Boston 311, a convenient way to report non-emergency concerns in your neighborhood, like broken streetlights or a missed trash pick-up. You can call 311, download the BOS:311 app, or tweet at @BOS311.

It’s estimated that out of the 148,000 students who are enrolled in colleges and universities in Boston, more than a quarter of them will live off-campus. To ensure your safety, I have requested all colleges and universities share student addresses with the city. That helps our Inspectional Services Department (ISD) monitor student housing and ensure all units are registered and up to code. Your safety is our top priority.

So if you are living off-campus, make sure your apartment has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Your apartment must also have an easily accessible second egress. If you’re having issues with your landlord, reach out to the City of Boston’s Rental Housing Center, which mediates housing disputes free of charge, at 617-635-4200.

In September, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, the Boston Police Department, the Boston Public Works Department and ISD will all be out in force in our neighborhoods, so flag them down or call 311 with any issues you encounter. Along those same lines, the BOS:311 app will have a specific section for reporting student issues. It’s there to help you, so use it!

In addition, get to know your Neighborhood Liaison. These personable and approachable men and women serve as our eyes and ears for the neighborhoods, and they are your direct connection to my office and City Hall. To determine your specific Neighborhood Liaison, visit http://www. .

And during your stay here, get engaged. Make Boston your hometown. Boston is a great city for students, because everything is easily accessible by walking, biking, or taking our public transportation system, the MBTA. Take advantage of this great amenity during the school year to explore the City. For information on everything transportation related, including carsharing and parking, check out

Living on your own for the first time can be daunting, but here in Boston we are a community and we stand together. We are always here for you. To learn more about student living in Boston, visit:

Welcome. Have fun. Stay Safe.