Manhattan College students kicked off their homecoming in typical fashion this past week, as part of a syllabus week that was laced with student write-ups on campus and increased police presence off.
Several students received some form of disciplinary action for alcohol violations in residence halls in the first few days back at MC, as to be expected with the lack of caution that often arises during syllabus week, while spirits run high and the workload for most students is still relatively low.
Mikel Gritsko, a junior and resident assistant in Chrysostom Hall, offered some insight into how some new students often overestimate their abilities when handling alcohol on campus.
“Being in the freshman-exclusive dorm definitely requires a heightened sense of awareness, especially during syllabus week,” said Gritsko. “They’re excited for college and their newfound freedom, and they have a lot of extra time on their hands during the add/drop period. […] To discourage this behavior I try to make my presence known around the building so that the residents give a second thought to violating policy.”
Details regarding specific incident reports are kept private for confidentiality purposes. Statistics are published by the school, however, and according to the latest annual security report there were 297 liquor-related disciplinary actions or referrals reported during 2016, of which 295 occurred in residence halls. This number is up from 163 violations the year before.
Yet last weekend’s shenanigans did not cease in the dorm buildings.
The NYPD’s 50th precinct responded on multiple occasions to trouble outside Fenwick’s Bar and Grill at 432 W. 238th St., one of the most popular bars within walking distance of campus and situated directly across the street from Overlook Manor.
The first incident occurred last Saturday, after a verbal confrontation inside the bar resulted in a fight between two patrons outside the establishment, during which one individual was struck with a bottle. Police arrived on scene shortly after.
Cops made return appearances on at least three other occasions throughout the week, causing the crowds of students who often hang out outside the entrance to disperse.
The bar has undergone raids and seen frequent police presence over the years; yet Joe Crotty, the bar’s owner, believes that Fen’s shouldn’t be the center of blame when police arrive on scene.
“They’re loud, they’re drinking in the street, we get the blame for it. If we don’t let someone in because they’re not over 21, they go to the deli, they buy their beer and they drink it in the street,” said Crotty, who added that staff at Fenwick’s often ask students to move away from the bar if denied entry. “50 kids out in the street, we’re asking them not to be in front of our location and they don’t listen. […] It looks bad for us. It looks like they’re our clientele.”
Crotty maintains that the relationship between the bar and the 50th precinct is a benevolent one, and that communication between the two is continuous.
“We call them most of the time. I actually called them [Saturday]. […] We try to do our part, we work closely with the police, we’re at community board meetings, we follow all the rules and regulations that they want us to.”
All in all, this year’s return to school seemed to have gone over like any other.