This is an opening video with a few clips I got for an introduction to the story. I put it on youtube to make it easier to view!
—–> FAKE IDS
Boston: America’s Most Renowned College Town
Boston is comprised of over 60 colleges and universities and over 250,000 students. City school students are faced with both a blessing and a curse- city nightlife. Some of the oldest bars and pubs in the country were derived in Boston, along with trendy nightclubs, such as The Estate and Royale, which are springing up throughout the city. For any student under the age of 21, Boston is a tease and the ‘solution’ for years now has become to create fake identities to be a part of the exclusive nightlife scenes.
Dean Elmore, Boston University’s Dean of Students, promotes a healthy social life for students and has admitted to liking the fact that he sees students out at bars on campus. As a regular at T’s, Elmore realizes it is safer for students to drink in a more controlled environment rather than a frat house. However, the downfall is the consequences that come with obtaining a fake ID for the purpose of underage drinking at a popular bar such as T’s, putting both the student and establishment at risk.
According to students, Greek life is not so much of a presence in a city school because of the amount of bars and clubs in a place like Boston. In schools such as Indiana University and Gettysburg College, located in isolated places of Indiana and Pennsylvania, Greek life is all they have. Although it doesn’t stop under-aged students from drinking, it prevents the purchasing or obtaining of fake IDs, a felony in many states across the country, including Massachusetts.
Boston University Police have taken measures in preventing the use of fake IDs by promoting their “Cops in Shops” policy. Scanners were put into major liquor stores and grocery stores such as Blanchard’s and Shaw’s. These policies have decreased the use of fake IDs in these specific establishments, however it excludes bars and nightclubs.
Adler Giersch Blog Blog Adler The Art of Attaining a Fake ID
Students have two options when it comes to fake IDs. One way of attaining the counterfeit ID is by ordering one with a false birth date with the students’ picture.
“Having your own name and face on the ID is better for certain bars, where the bouncers can’t tell the card is fake, but look to make sure you’re not using someone else’s,” says Maddy Silverman, a sophomore at Boston University. “A backup credit card of other form of proof is easy to show if it is your name and face too.”
The most popular manufacturer of fake IDs, according to freshmen and sophomores at Boston University is called ID Chief, a company in China that illegally ships the IDs overseas. The IDs are stuffed into teddy bears, pen cases and other random items in order to get past the authorities. The price tag of generating a new identity this way is up to $175, but includes two copies of the fake IDs in case one gets lost or taken.
“I can pretty much get in anywhere since I look exactly like my big sis. When she turned 21 she gave me her old ID and since Arizona IDs don’t expire for years, I never get questioned,” said Christy Siegel, a junior at Boston University (name changed). Under aged students are constantly on the lookout for other student doppelgangers over the age of 21 that are willing to give the younger students theirs. “I use my older cousin’s ID to get into bars since she looks the most like me,” says Laura, a student from Simmons College.
Bars: The Victims of Fake IDs
Giersch Blog Blog Adler Adler “It depends on the bar,” says Will Boscow, a Junior at Boston University. “If you’re going somewhere like Tavern in the Square it has to be a real ID- those bouncers can tell if it’s fake,” he says, recalling commonly known knowledge on Boston University’s campus. Tavern in the Square, known notoriously by students from Harvard, Boston College and BU refer to the Thursday night hangout as TITS for short.
“I have used every trick in the book on these kids. If the photo on the ID doesn’t look like the person, I usually have them call a friend that they are with to see what name pops up on the phone,” laughs Jamal, a 2 year employee and bouncer at Tavern in the Square.
Daisy Buchanan’s been a popular hangout for college kids around the city for decades, located on trendy Newbury Street. The bar was raided several times by undercover police within the past three years, where a large percentage of under aged students were being served.
The owner of Daisy Buchanan’s, Joseph Cimino, stated “I love all of the people who come in here and I wish the kids would respect me enough to not come if they aren’t of age. It isn’t fair and my staff and I are suffering the consequences.”
The bouncers and owners of bars around Boston are acutely aware of the growing issue and cracking down on underage students with fakes to avoid raids and run-ins with the authorities. Being held responsible for providing alcohol for the under-aged students illegally can mean the demise of their jobs, establishments and further charges.
On September 13, 2013, the Licensing Board of the City of Boston threatened Daisy’s with a four-day suspension. After getting caught serving alcohol to minors, whether they realized it or not, the establishment has been stricter than ever, using a scanner to prevent as many under aged people as possible.
Consequences: The Domino Effect
What students who haven’t been caught with fake IDS YET, the consequences are just as severe. Getting caught with false identification by a liquor store or bar goes back to your school. If the ID has the correct name of the offender, a report it sent back to judicial affairs at Boston university where at a minimum the student faces a 250 dollar fine, along with a full year on probation.
While Tavern in the Square is known for its strictness, places like Cornwall’s, located right in Kenmore Square, and T’s Pub, located on the west side of BU’s campus on Commonwealth Avenue, are a hot spot for under aged students, according to several sources at BU.
“If your ID is real, but not your face, it’s usually pretty easy to get into T’s depending on whether it’s crowded or not, but if it’s fake you are taking a big risk,” said Nick Hopcroft, a Junior at Harvard. Harvard has less of a problem with fake ids due to the popularity of finals clubs and sports team parties that stay secluded to Harvard’s campus, preventing Harvard students from venturing past campus very often. It is also a requirement for Harvard students to live on campus all four years, where at BU students can live in apartments around the city and are constantly exposed to Boston’s nightlife.
“You need a pretty good ID around Boston to get in almost anywhere, but everyone takes the risk because it’s what everyone is doing- the place to be is at the bars,” says Christine Silen, a senior at BU. “You don’t want to be the only one sitting home on a Friday night because you don’t have an ID to get into a bar.”
The amount of fake IDs circulating the Boston area is larger than most, creating more unseen problems. Students above the age of 21 have made various complaints concerning how out of control underage drinking, specifically at bars is and how it is affecting them personally. The domino effect from the explosion of fake IDs has made bars and nightclubs stricter, creating problems for those who are of age.
“I went to Dillon’s, a bar on Boylston Street with my friends and the bouncer wouldn’t let me in. They claimed it was a fake ID even though I am over the age of 21 and took my ID and didn’t give it back until after the police arrived,” recalled Paloma Colon, a senior at Boston University.
Although Boston is known for its stringency when if comes to getting into bars and clubs, it has not prevented students from obtaining fake IDs and has deterred of age students from certain places. Boston does not have 18+ clubs, giving under-aged students slim pickings for their social scenes. Is this part of the problem and can it be a solution? It is up to Boston to decide.