Tag Archives: Father McFarland

Main South reacts to Holy Cross president’s comments re: Main South

editor’s note: we missed this one, but it still may be of interest to folks …

Subject: Main South reacts to the President of the College of the Holy Cross, Father Michael McFarland, and his comments on Main South and Clark University in today’s T & G article.

When: Today, December 8, 2pm

Location: Front gate of Clark University, 950 Main Street

Worcester City Councilor Barbara G. Haller will be joined by Main South residents and leaders to make a statement about remarks attributed to Father McFarland, President of the College of the Holy Cross in today’s article in the Telegram & Gazette by Jacqueline Reis.

Councilor Haller explains, “Main South residents understand that the College of the Holy Cross is working on improving its town-gown relationship, especially with it near-campus neighbors. Holy Cross has our full support in this effort and we wish them every success. That being said, the residents and business owners of Main South take great umbrage over Reporter Reis’s attributing Fr. McFarland with commenting that ‘there’s so much other crime in Clark’s Main South neighborhood that drunken students aren’t as remarkable as they are near Holy Cross.’”

Haller continues, “After reading the article this morning I emailed Father McFarland with my sense of insult over these remarks. Father McFarland responded quickly with an apology and a request that I convey his ‘sincerest apology to the people of Main South.’ Today’s event is intended to extend this apology as requested.”

“It is equally important to correct the record regarding Main South and Clark University student behaviors. While Main South does indeed suffer from crime problems it does not distract residents from reporting poor behavior, regardless of whether it comes from Clark students or not. In fact, the cooperative partnerships developed by residents with Clark administrators and the Worcester Police Department means that problems, when they arise, are quickly identified and dealt with. In my memory there has never been one occasion with hundreds of Clark students taking over a street in Main South with openly inebriated misbehaviors. It is incorrect for Father McFarland or anyone to imply that this is the case and that neighbors just don’t notice.”

Haller adds, “I am pleased that Father McFarland has recognized the mistake of such characterizations and am pleased to share this with the community.”

A change of tone! Father McFarland’s complete/unedited letter (of remorse) to Worcester City Council re: Holy Cross college partiers

November 16, 2010

Dear City Councilors,

On behalf of the entire Holy Cross Community of faculty, staff, and students, I thank you for recognizing the progress made over the past year in improving communication and addressing neighborhood concerns about the off-campus behavior of some Holy Cross students.

I want to assure you that concerns have been heard and the College takes them very seriously. There have been some setbacks, but we are addressing them with both immediate actions and sustainable change.

In cooperation with Worcester Police, the College has already taken steps to control student behavior in the neighborhood and we have begun work on a more comprehensive plan to advance relationships of consistent and mutual respect in the College Hill neighborhood. We remain committed to following up on every incident of off-campus misbehavior and applying appropriate sanctions.

Our goal is to implement additional practical and enforceable changes to how we respond to behavior that disrupts the College Hill neighborhood.

While these changes will take some time to develop and implement, we look forward to sharing the results of our collective efforts with you.

As President of the College of the Holy Cross, I take responsibility for and will lead these efforts; but the enforceablility and good working relationships required for real progress is dependent on the continued involvement of the reliable and accountable expertise of leaders throughout the College. To that end, I am joined by Timothy R. Austin, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean; Michael Lochhead, Vice President for Administration and Finance; Jacqueline D. Peterson, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Paul Irish, Assistant to the Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Conduct; Robert Hart, Director of Public Safety; Ketherine Robertson, Special Assistant for Community Relations; and others throughout my administration.

The success of this effort relies on the College, City officials, Worcester Police, neighbors and students working together in mutually respectful and collaborative ways. We have indeed made progress in addresssing quality-of-life issues for our closest neighbors, and we look forward to building on what has been accomplished.

Very truly yours,

Michael C. McFarland, S.J.
President [College of the Holy Cross]

“The Purple Letter” (aka letter to Holy Cross pres. from Worcester City Council)

editor’s note: This letter (below), signed by the Worcester City Council, will most likely be discussed tonight at Worcester’s City Council meeting (7 p.m., Channel 12 on your TV, if you don’t want to make the trek to City Hall). It was mailed to Father McFarland, president of Holy Cross college, November 15, 2010.


The Letter:

Rev. Michael McFarland
President, College of the Holy Cross
One College Street
Worcester, MA 01610

Dear Father McFarland:

We, the members of the Worcester City Council, are frustrated and disappointed by the repeated examples of poor behavior by some students who attend the College of the Holy Cross. We write this letter to you to reinforce our support for City Manager O’Brien’s efforts to engage you personally and ask for your leadership to change the long-standing culture of disrespecting the neighborhoods of Mount Saint James. Continue reading “The Purple Letter” (aka letter to Holy Cross pres. from Worcester City Council)

Holy Cross and South Worcester

By Rosalie Tirella

A month or so ago, before all the hoopla at Holy Cross, I met with a South Worcester community leader. He has worked in South Worcester for gosh, I would say, more than two decades – and he has known the good people of South Worcester and the players of Holy Cross for just as long. He told me he sees Holy Cross in a sunnier light than I do (note: this man does NOT live in Worcester – he WORKS in South Worcester)

This South Worcester community leader said up until eight or nine years ago, the College of the Holy Cross didn’t know Cambridge Street or Hacker Street existed – the college was a world unto itself, sealed off from the gritty environs at its gates. Then HC President Father Brooks – a nice  guy according to my mom who “waited on” him years ago as a counter girl at Osacar’s Cleaners  – did zippo for the South Worcester neighborhood. Years and years went by with nothing from “The Cross.” The blue collar folks of South Worcester worked their blue collar jobs, lived in their three deckers, lost jobs, retired, had kids and grand kids, and not one of them had ever had any kind of interaction with Holy Cross, the institution. Yet Holy Cross college dominated the politics of this city – whether  grooming future Wormtown political leaders or in the 1950s getting the state to build the new highway, Interstate 290, around its football stadium, rather than through it – as the state did when it came to nearby Green Island (basically bisecting the poor neighborhood with the new multi-lane highway).

Except for the HC students who boozed it up all the time and raised hell in South Worcester, no “ordinary” person had any dealilngs with the Cross. When I first began my paper, InCity Times, I got an earful of those dealings. One of the first “issues” people in the ‘hood carped about was the party-hearty Holy Cross students who had been, for generations, wreaking boozy havoc in their neighborhood. One man, who had lived near Holy Cross for years, told me he sold his house years ago in disgust and moved to Auburn. He said he was sick of eating breakfast with his wife and seeing Holy Cross kids use his front yard as a short cut to class. Every morning. Plus: the noise, the beer, the disrespect during party nights – it was just too much for him. He and his wife left the city they loved.

One woman wrote me and told me of a Holy Cross couple who were actually coupling in the hallway of the apartment building where she lived – and where she was trying to raise her daughter. Yes, hallway sex, that’s a way to ingratiate yourself with people who are annoyed by you.

InCity Times reported these headaches, began clamoring for a PILOT program and things changed … .

According to this South Worcester leader, Holy Cross began to step up and do the right thing – in teeny ways. He told me of the students’ South Worcester internships and marketing studies, etc. Still, all of this paled to what Clark University has done for Worcester over the years – or even the Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences recently.

But this guy is an optomist. His latest idea, re: the neighborhoods and HC: Get Holy Cross to fund a branch library in South Worcester or Green Island. (All of Worcester’s were closed – except two – years ago) Take the big, freshly painted room in the South Worcester Neighborhood Center and fill it with books, chairs, tables and some older computers and/or laptops. 

I thought this was a great idea – and certainly affordable for HC. The same can be down in the Green Island Neighborhood Center at Crompton Park, I said. They have the space.

So why not, Father McFarland, take lemons and make some lemonade for HC and Worcester – specifiacally the poor neighborhood in which Holy Cross collge is located? My South Worcester friend said kids from Hacker Street or Cambridge Street don’t go to the main library on Salem Square – it’s just not part of their world. (Years ago their was a great city branch library on Southbridge Street – now the big building, across from Wendies, is a condo complex) So let’s have the Holy Cross/Caro Street Kids, put the beer bottles down, and start creating something special for South Worcester kids – a couple of branch libraries.

InCity Times/our volunteers will be glad to help. We can work on getting books, that’s for sure, thanks to Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo. Holy Cross will have to come up with the computers and laptops – and maybe some kids to man it during the hours its open. The branch libraries will be in rooms in the neighborhood centers, so the HC students will never be alone.

After we talked – this South Worcester booster and Holy Cross believer – well, his eyes widened, he seemed pumped. Even I grew hopeful.

For a few seconds.

Holy Cross college’s Father McFarland: Enabler extraordinaire

By Rosalie Tirella

This is why the College of the Holy Cross has so many problems with underage drinking/partying: Father McFarland, president of Holy Cross, is an enabler extraordinaire. When it comes to his young charges on College Hill, there is no limit to the bull he will throw at HC critics, no end to the denial of a reality that Worcesterites and even most Holy Cross students have acknowledged for years: HOLY CROSS COLLEGE IS A PARTY SCHOOL.

During a TV newscast last night, which pretty much recapped the point we made about the rowdy/booze-fueled parties HC students hold on Caro Street, the TV reporter tried to get a quote from a Holy Cross official – most likely the school’s president, Father McFarland. On our tv screens we saw pictures of trash on Caro Street, a huge banner hanging from a three decker front porch on Caro Street advertising a party. You would think the school president would do the mature thing … .

But how did Father McFarland react to these TV shots – Worcesterites’ reality?

Neither McFarland nor any HC p.r. flak, for that matter, would show his/her face on TV. How sad when you compared McFarland’s silence and the TV shots featuring Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien looking exasperated and telling the camera that for the past three weeks Holy Crss students have been out of control on Caro Street – doing things like “urinating in bushes.”

Holy Cross release a “statement,” a blurb thrown up on the TV screen with no name attached. The statement pretty much sounded like a spoiled kid. It said Holy Cross college was pissed that City (Worcester) officials would talk so critically of their students! And if they continued to do so, HC’s and Worceter’s relationship would not move “forward.” Meaning they would pull the plug on whatever good they are doing in town.

No apologies. No, reaching out to the community. No promise of educating HC students. Nothing. Just blasting the city – and then threatening the city.

Jesus would be ashamed of these Jesuits.

Holy Cross does not pay PILOT! WPI, MCPHS and now Clark University pay PILOT!

Holy Cross has the largest endowment of any Worcester College – millions, upon millions, upon millions of dollars! Yet Holy Cross does not offer full scholarships to poor South Worcester kids who ace their reportcards and are good enough (all A’s) to attend Holy Cross but cannot afford to pay the steep tuition. Clark University has a great program that does just this – gives full scholarships to high achieving Main South kids – ultimately lifting poor Main South families out of poverty and creating a lot of good will in the ‘hood (and city). Truth be told, Holy Cross is the biggest cheap skate college in town! HC has even closed all worker holiday parties (like cafeteria workers) to Worcester kids. They used to invite our inner-city young ones!

Who does Father McFarland think he is? When his puss is plastered on the cover of the Telegram and Gazette and the paper’s website, when his school is featured on the TV news and other websites (like ours) and more – with EVERYONE TELLING HIM TO GET HIS STUDENTS UNDER CONTROL AND STOP THEIR PUKING, PISSING AND PRANKS – he shuts down. Just like the wizzened, dried up, loveless, arrogant man he is. What was the name of the priest in The Scarlet Letter?

Father McFarland needs to listen to the community and react appropriately.

Holy Cross college: even its students admit it’s a mega-kegga all the time!

By Rosalie Tirella

Interesting stuff! Even the students at Holy Cross admit that booze plays a major part in their lives at HC. I just visited a very interesting website – unigo.com – a website where kids rate their colleges, talk honestly about the schools they attend. It’s meant to be read by other college students or high school kids who are thinking of attending various colleges, including The College of the Holy Cross. The straight dope – for their pals.

Depressing fact that District 4 City Councilor Barbara Haller and half of South Worcester have been wrestling with for years: kids at Holy Cross love to party. At unigo.com, Holy Cross students even list the name of the street – CARO STREET!!! – where the Holy Cross partying happens! Wow! Caro Street – a kind of landmark for budding alcoholics! Tell Father McFarland! Let him learn – or stop denying – the truth.

Read what the rest of the world is reading about Holy Cross and its environs in unigo.com:

“The social scene at Holy Cross is largely run by students involved in athletics, perhaps due to the lack of Greek life on campus. Much of the partying takes place on Caro St, where several upperclassmen live in off-campus houses and throw big, loud parties that can spill into the street.

“There aren’t frats or sororities, but there’s Caro St. off-campus apartments people go to, and sports houses that function kind of like frats or sororities,” writes a senior sociology major.

Alcohol has a definite presence at Holy Cross, and students who like to party will go out several nights a week. “People tend to party 3-4 times per week, and drink excessively on the weekends,” reports a junior majoring in political science.


Here’s more:

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest score, the students at Holy Cross rate alcohol/alcohol use a whopping 8!

Take that, Father McFarland!

Out of the mouths of coddled babes … .

And from another Holy Cross student: “Sports are very popular at Holy Cross. Unfortunately, on the weekends much of the fun revolves around drinking, so for those of you who don’t drink, try to be prepared for that … .”

Yeesh ….