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Suffolk U.'s Move Probably Won't Give the North End a Break

Suffolk University is shifting its locus a little bit to the right, away from Beacon Hill and more toward downtown Boston proper. In the process, the university's constructing a new building at 20 Somerset Street (creating a public park in the process, too). It's also selling a couple of buildings, on Derne and Cambridge streets, and converting a couple of others into administrative offices from their current classroom use.

And, boy, is Beacon Hill relieved! "For the residents in the area, it's become the equivalent of living on a college campus," State Representative Martha Walz of Beacon Hill told The Globe's Casey Ross. "Suffolk's decision to pull back from the area will improve the quality of life for residents..."

The North End, though, may be out of luck. Suffolk's eastward shift moves the school's students away from Beacon Hill, sure, but still keeps them very much in walking distance of the North End's hang-outs—and they love to hang out there. The neighborhood has of late had a notorious hate-hate relationship with the students of Suffolk U., with merchants and residents blaming them for everything from vomiting on stoops to vandalism (usually of the shattered glass variety) and loud noise late at night.

Local pols have responded with calls for fining landlords of rowdy tenants and police have beefed up their patrols in the North End, even alerting Suffolk administrators to miscreant students (though it's not entirely clear it's even Suffolk students doing the vomiting; it may be recent alumnus). The partying, meantime, continues largely unabated, and the Suffolk move will do little to curb it. Geography is destiny.
· Suffolk University Shifts Core of Campus Downtown [Globe]
· 'Cause a North End Party Don't Stop! Despite Cops' Efforts [Curbed Boston]
· North End to Drunks: Knock It Off or Go to Jail [Curbed Boston]