With the new noise ordinance being enforced, many students I’ve interviewed said they felt they have become a target for police. A common opinion was that this is a college town and that older working residents should know what to expect living amongst students or driving Hathway on a Friday night. A young woman pointed out that we already contribute to much of the economy here and the new fines are just a new ploy to shake pennies from students’ pockets. Another person even went so far as to say the whole Madonna area should be devoted to elderly residents and families and all the homes near downtown and campus should be devoted to student housing.
While I do agree that a certain atmosphere is to be expected from living in a college town, I’m personally confused as to where the line should be drawn. The number of noise complaints have actually decreased in the past year, so I wonder, why the stricter ordinance?
From an older resident’s standpoint I can see how noise at 2 a.m. might push one to call the cops, especially if they have children or have to wake up early the next morning, but I feel a lot of this tension can be solved with students making peace with their neighbors as soon as they move in or just giving notice before they throw a party.
Several friends of mine who have gotten to know their neighbors have said this has actually made them more understanding and has gotten them out of several tickets. However, their biggest concern is just dealing with the cops who might show up. Without a warning, you really are at the mercy of the cops.
One student also pointed out that having your home being placed on the “unruly premises list,” and possibly even receiving a sticker to notify cops of your previous violations, is giving students a scarlet letter and creating a witch hunt for violators.
Now, I expect the number of violations will go down, but personally I am more interested in seeing how students’ social habits will change, how much money will be generated from these tickets and beyond ASI, if more students will become active in standing up for their rights.
The ruling on the unruly gatherings ordinance, which could allow cops to enter your home and ticket everyone at a party who is underage and drinking, is almost upon us. Students are upset, so I wonder why no one has acted against this?