We’re Not Gonna Take It

Another parade has come and gone, and while the confetti remains, the city is picking up the pieces after another drunken escapade of vandalism and hooliganism in the name of “celebration.” Many of us are sick of riotous college students, and politicians are finally taking action. City Councilor Michael Flaherty is calling for the schools to pay for damages caused by their undergrads, and State Representative Peter Koutoujian is appalled that a long-lost cousin threw his name around to get out of trouble.

All we can say is, it’s about time.

Flaherty lays out a good argument for fining colleges that are not able to control their special little snowflakes:

“Students attending the city’s colleges and universities are frequently the perpetrators of celebration-related disruptions, which often result in arrests, injuries and costly and expensive damage,” Flaherty said in ordering the hearing.

Flaherty pointed out that “local colleges and universities are already paying less than their fair share of city taxes.”

That’s right. It’s suckers like us who foot the bill for the relatively small number of kids who can’t control themselves in a crowd. We think it sounds like a good idea, but Mayor Tom Menino isn’t convinced.

“Listen, I’m as sick and tired of kids running around causing problems as anyone,” he said. “Of all the kids out there that day, having 21 college kids be problem is a lot better than what we’ve seen in the past. But if they don’t get the message and if this continues to be a problem we’ll come up with other ways to get our message across.”

It is going to continue to be a problem, Mayor. The Patriots are undefeated and are headed for the playoffs, if not another Super Bowl championship. The Red Sox have decided they rather like winning. Even the Celtics hope to be contenders this year. With a spate of winning sports teams, the city and colleges need to work together to send the message that rioting won’t be accepted strongly enough so it permeates the Bud Light haze of a riled up kid.

Perhaps Menino isn’t fed up with the drunken celebrants, but Koutoujian sure is. Representative Koutoujian’s 19-year-old cousin, Peter Koutoujian, tried to scare cops out of arresting him at Tuesday’s rolling rally by saying “My cousin is a state rep. I’ll have all your (expletive) jobs.”

How did Representative Koutoujian react?

“This young man called me this afternoon to apologize. This is a cousin who I have never met or spoken to him before,” the lawmaker, a Waltham Democrat said. ‘’I feel very strongly that what he did is wrong. He will have to answer for his transgressions in court. I do not condone these actions and I told him that personally.”

It’s going to be a little awkward at the next Koutoujian family reunion.

This is a chance for the city to say, ‘No more’ to the charming little brats, many of whom were underage, and to make the colleges and universities accountable for their charges’ behavior. Or, the mayor can continue to pretend that it’s not a big deal, lest he upset the precious universities.