Remove Anti-Homeless Spikes Outside Berklee

Remove Anti-Homeless Spikes Outside Berklee

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Zach Alfred-Levow started this petition to Roger H. Brown and

Recently, Berklee College of Music installed wooden spikes on a ledge at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street, the center of their campus. This ledge is known as a traditional spot for several homeless people, so the spikes are clearly designed to deter the homeless from congregating there. While it is true that many homeless people may pose a safety risk to the campus, this act is humiliating and serves to further erode a sense of dignity to the local homeless population. Homelessness is a complex issue, an issue that cannot be solved overnight, and an issue that does not need to be the college's main focus. However, many of the student body may come from non-urban or affluent backgrounds, so this may be their first experience interacting with the homeless. If their first experience is defined by the college cruelly turning away the homeless, it may impact their lifelong experiences with the homeless, and even their compassion towards the homeless and impoverished. 

While the spot in question, and the subsequent congregation, may be a problem, it requires a different, more creative, and more compassionate solution. Berklee College of Music should be an example to the Boston community, not only for its excellence in music and education, but for how it treats the most desperate of its citizens.

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