Universities are preparing for possible trouble ahead of the final games of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. The University of Massachusetts has been the scene of riots in the past over major sporting events.
UMass police Chief John Horvath said the university was prepared for any problems on Tuesday. He said there would be a different approach to students than what they used in the past. Instead of police outfitted in riot gear standing on the outskirts, police would take a less threatening approach to keep tension down.
Also new this year was a party scheduled on the southwest concourse for Game Six Wednesday night. Horvath said the program was not a police initiative; instead, he credited students with the plan. The party includes a large screen for students to watch the game, free food and activities. If there is a Game Seven, the event would also be held on Thursday.
Horvath said parents and students spend a lot of hard-earned money to attend classes. He said the university wanted to change perceptions of the campus and focus more on the quality education students received.
Other universities are also gearing up for potential trouble. Westfield State University is planning for the event. University spokeswoman Molly Watson released a statement that said they always prepare an emergency plan for major events. Director of public safety for the campus Michael Nockunas said he was coordinating plans to ensure there was communication and coordination between the campus police and outside agencies if needed. He also noted there had been no major troubles with students on campus for some time.
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