The Department of Public Safety has sponsored a university-wide initiative encouraging students to be “better neighbors” after receiving multiple complaints from residents around campus.
“Students are going in and out Ward Gate late at night, and we don’t think they are (being loud) intentionally, they just need to realize that their voices carry late at night, especially when they are in large groups,” Assistant Vice-President and Director of Public Safety and Security, Patrick Linfante, said.
Linfante said for some reason his office is receiving noise complaints more frequently this year, and as a result, the department has created a series of posters to placed around campus. They have also partnered with multiple groups across campus, including the Greek community and the Student Government Association.
“We just want students to be good neighbors and keep the noise down when they go to out late at night,” Linfante said. He also pointed out that students are encouraged to travel in groups, but to also remember that groups can cause more noise.
Sergeant Joeseph Levanda of the South Orange Police Department, who has worked the night shifts and answered citizen complaints, said that in many instances, its not the parties that cause the problems.
“I’ve seen many instances where the party is quiet; it’s the guests coming and going that generate the noise,” Levanda said.
Linfante and Levanda both asked students to remember that residents are often on “different clocks” than students and have young children that may be hard to go back to sleep after being awoken by students.
Linfante and Lavanda also said that citizens have complained about students littering, destroying property by passing through residents’ yards, upturning flower pots and urinating in public.
“Each call is generated by a citizen complaint,” Levanda said. “The officers are just verifying whether or not a violation is occurring.”
Alex Dean, President of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity said that he thinks complaints about littering and noise are valid. He only takes issue with the number of complaints that are made.
“People have a right to not wake up in the morning to broken glass on their front lawns,” Dean said. “These neighbors have a right to quiet, but they should also expect some noise. I’m not saying that giving a raucous party a noise violation from time to time isn’t uncalled for, the cops are doing their jobs, it happens, but when people call the police on kids playing guitar hero, that’s just stupid.”
The noise, Dean said, will always be a problem unless a “college avenue” is created in town. As far as littering goes, he said that people having parties could do a better job of collecting solo cups as people leave parties.
Brenden Higashi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.