But the university and the city started a partnership in which permanent residents meet and get to know their college neighbors shortly after the students moved in. These residents even speak at orientation, directly addressing the issues they faced.
The residents also went as far as to invite students over for snacks and conversation, and to this day many students share with their friends how they love so-and-so’s chocolate-chip cookies.
I doubt this venture reduced drinking among the students living their who decide to drink, but it has helped reduce the number of incidents - at least in those neighborhoods where this occurs – in which students destroy property.
It’s really quite simple. A group of students go downtown and drink, and on their way home, some of them, possibly drunk, get that urge to destroy property or scream at the top of their lungs, but then they remember, “Wait, this is Erica’s house,” or, “John’s kids are sleeping right in that room and if we scream we are going to keep them up.”
Obviously not all students participating in this destructive behavior are affected this way and behave this way, but if some of them are and the amount of destruction or dangerous behavior reduces, then this partnership is clearly working.
The students are less likely to behave the same way if they suddenly feel invested in their neighborhood and if they know and can put a face to neighbors they have spoken with. Suddenly, some of them start to recall who they are negatively impacting, and they happened to like Marie and her yummy brownies and how nice she was to all of them.
I’ve heard some people in various parts of the city complain this year about noise and property destruction. I know where I live there are a group of students who party loudly each weekend, driving their cars dangerously down the road and at times making a mess.
Stephen Bartlett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org