Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Student arrest spurs questions about zero-tolerance policy

Sam Guzik | Student Life

Seniors Wyatt Crane (left) and Andrew Weisberg (right) look on at a University City City Council meeting Monday after speaking about what the city’s zero-tolerance policy implies for students in the area.

On Monday night, senior Wyatt Crane spoke at a University City council meeting about the increasing frequency of the University City Police Department’s invocation of the newly enacted zero-tolerance policy.

Two days later, Crane was arrested outside of his Kingsbury Boulevard apartment after being issued a citation for noise from a gathering that he said he did not even attend.

Crane and fellow senior Andrew Weisberg mobilized dozens of students earlier this week in the hopes of making peace with residents and the city government. His arrest is symptomatic of an increasing number of student arrests that have come at the helm of the city’s zero-tolerance policy, which was enacted this March.

Under this policy, the University City Police Department issues a summons every time it responds to a reported noise disturbance.

Crane said he was walking home around midnight after doing his laundry at the nearby Greenway Apartments when he saw a police car in the back of his apartment and an officer standing on his third floor fire escape balcony.

The door to Crane’s apartment was locked, and no one answered when the officer knocked.

Crane approached the door and the officer asked him if he lived in that specific apartment. Crane confirmed that he did, but explained that neither he nor his two roommates had attended the gathering.

The neighbors across the hall—who are close friends of Crane—had used both of the apartments to host a gathering of approximately 20 people.

Since the noise was emanating from his apartment, Crane said he took responsibility and cooperated with the officer as he was issued a noise citation.

According to Crane’s account, the officer took out handcuffs after issuing the citation and asked him to put his hands behind his back.

When Crane asked why he was being arrested, the officer said that he was “carrying out the procedure under the zero-noise tolerance policy.“

Senior Micah Kroeze, who lives across the hall from Crane, said he watched as Crane was issued a citation and went back inside. Fifteen minutes later, he was shocked to learn that Crane had been arrested.

“For the first 15 minutes that I was there, the officer was not arresting him at all, he was just taking down his information,” Kroeze said. “An arrest was never mentioned. There was no way in my mind that he was being arrested.”

Both Kroeze and Crane said that the officer never read Crane his Miranda rights—as all police officers are required to do under federal law.

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  • Senior says:

    I am appalled by the way that UCity and WashU have handled this situation. I was mugged at gunpoint in December right outside of my apartment, and I could see the police station from where I was made to strip in the freezing cold. WashU didn’t even take notice of the case until I wrote a letter to the Chancellor, and UCity has been slow to follow up.

    Given my own experience and the increasing incidence of violent crime, how can the City justify focusing on noise complaints when people’s lives and personal safety are increasingly at risk?

    I do not condone excessive noise – I understand how difficult it can be do to deal with it – but the selective enforcement and mixed priorities are wrong. Why do the police not enforce the noise ban on the Loop proper? Why are drummers there every Sunday, without the permit required by City ordinance, banging away as students try to ignore the noise that permeates their apartments?

    The City needs to prevent violent crime first, and then work with students – who are themselves residents and citizens – to come up with an appropriate policy.

    For now, though, be sure not to scream if you become the victim of a violent crime – you’ll probably be arrested.

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  • relatively recent grad says:

    My recommendation: move North of the loop. Cops won’t give a shit about your nice, hard working, lower middle class African American neighbors. Fact: the last night of my living roughly a 3 minute walk from Delmar North of loop, our buddy’s car had a brick thrown through it. We called the cops and somehow it came up that we were WU-affiliated. They arrived in 2 minutes max and launched a manhunt on the 13 year olds we saw running from our house in the distance. We then spoke with our neighbors. They said they’d had a brick thrown through their window by the same hooligans. They’d called 15 minutes earlier. Cops didn’t show til we called. Just N of Delmar is not nearly as bad as people think; neighbors even appreciate you because most people there are poor grad students or long-time owners who aren’t terribly concerned with gentrification issues yet and thus don’t bother the WU kids. Leave the pricks of Kingsbury behind and head North. Even the other side of Kingsland is way better and still safe. Plus, once you start moving, WU will step in. Those apartments are able to get the shaft by law enforcement because no matter what, kids return to those apts each year. The Kingsbury scene has steadily eroded each year and people in the know have begun moving 3 blocks to the North. Time to move in exodus and send a message. Once that happens, the neighbors and the property owners will flip out that the WU kids have left and the REAL crime has increased.

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  • Jill says:

    As an alumni of Washington University (was there 2000-2004), I find this all quite unbelievable! When I first came to the university, I couldn’t imagine ever living in the Loop neighborhood, Washington Ave., etc., because it was very dangerous over there!

    During the 4 years that I was at WashU, the University began buying up property between main campus and Delmar, fixing it up somewhat, and encouraging students to live there. The influx of students (and exiting of some of the worse elements) made that neighborhood safer and safer, and my last year there, I did live on Wash Ave (in Greenway, which had just been renovated from a hell hole to a very nice apartment complex, by the university.)

    When I lived there, 2003-2004, I don’t remember ever seeing children playing outside, toys being left around, etc. It still wasn’t that kind of neighborhood.

    If it has now become such a neighborhood, even through this period where the whole country has gone into economic decline, and neighborhood after neighborhood is becoming more and more dangerous, I think it’s clear that the University and it’s students are responsible for this change, and should be recognized for their efforts!

    If the students were to all move out of the area, and Washington University were to sell all of the university-owned property, flooding the market with somewhat run-down apartment buildings throughout University City, it doesn’t take a real estate genius to figure out how much harm that would do to the neighborhood. Property values would plummet, and that “bad element” that I remember from only 10 years ago would be back.

    I currently live in a high rise in downtown Chicago, where none (or very few) of the residents are college students. Still, we have the same issues – one resident is loud when another wants to sleep, one resident smokes while another wants to not smell smoke, etc. There is a fine line between being able to exercise your own rights in your own space, and not being able to disturb others. There needs to be compromise – residents need to try not to disturb their neighbors, but the neighbors need to realize that they live in an urban area with tight quarters, and if they don’t want to be aware of their neighbors, see them, hear them, smell them, etc., they need to choose a different place to live. It is universal, and doesn’t apply only to University City.

    Permanent residents, try to remember that your neighborhood wasn’t always safe, and that the university had a big hand in making it safe for you. Students, remember that you are living in a neighborhood, and just as you wouldn’t want your neighbors to wake you at 6am when they’re on their way to work, you should try not to wake them at midnight, when they’re sleeping.

    And, finally, perhaps the university should consider re-opening the Rathskellar, so that students have a place to go on Thursday nights, in the middle of campus, insulated from UCity. Current students probably don’t even know what I’m talking about, but alumni who started in 2000 or prior fondly remember Thursday nights at the Rat.

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  • Avoiding the Loop says:

    Instead of fearing a citation or arrest if my friends and I want to hold a conversation on our walk to the Loop, we will be sure to take our business elsewhere.

    There are plenty of other vibrant places to go on weekends that are not so prejudiced against students- hopefully other students will realize this, Loop establishments will notice the decline in business, and people will begin to lobby Ucity for justice against the zero tolerance policy.

    Honestly, this has spun out of control.

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  • jaded student says:

    First of all, let me state that both sides are at fault for this situation. There are undoubtedly students who live in that area between the Loop and the University who are too loud. They should get noise citations, especially after 10 PM. There is no need to scream and yell at a party at 3 AM. However, the permanent residents making the complaints have been living in an urban area that is next to the Loop for years. Every time I walk through that neighborhood, I hear restaurants/bars at the Loop making lots of noise late at night. Why aren’t the police called on these establishments? They seem to be making as much if not more noise than students walking through who do get cited by the police.

    I have three suggestions. First, the students living in this neighborhood should call the police on the Loop establishments. They are in U City city limits, and are therefore under U City police jurisdiction. Once business owners get cited and fined, they will be more likely to lobby U City to change its policy, since a large part of U City’s economy is the Loop. Second, WashU students should boycott the Loop in protest of the zero-tolerance policy. This combined legal and economic hit will be enough to cause U City to re-examine its policy. Lastly, students living in that neighborhood should call the police on permanent residents who let their kids run around wild, have parties, mow their grass, etc. If the police do not respond, U City’s policy is under violation of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law to everyone. Legal action against the city can then be taken. Hopefully, the policy can be changed and people can start being neighborly to each other. WashU students need to quiet down and realize other people have a right to relative peace and quiet. Residents need to actually go over and talk to students and politely ask them to quiet down if they feel there is too much noise.

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  • Digs says:

    @ anonymous…I think YOU are missing the point. You will be hardpressed to find a student, especially those concerned with this issue, who would deny that excessive noise is a problem. I don’t think students would complain (well, they would, but the arrest would be justified) if they got arrested for excessive noise. This policy has scared students into submission, but at what point does it go too far?

    I’m actually surprised to find that you were sympathetic to the cause at any point, given your accusatory comment. The issue, as it currently stands for most students, is the very real possibility of getting arrested for not committing a crime.
    To address your point of “blaming residents”…we’re not blaming the residents, but at the same time they need to realize the area they live in is not conducive to “peace and quiet”. Students need to be more reasonable with noise, but if these residents expect pure peace and quiet then I’m sure there are plenty of suburban utopias to settle into. Before you come back at my point, I’ll counter with the point that I grew up in a house that is still owned by my parents right by the Loop. You think they expect peace and quiet? Nope, but its part of the neighborhood, and we got used to it.

    Of course, that doesn’t give students a free pass, but I don’t feel it should give the police and residents free reign either. Call police and issue citations for real problems and out of control parties. Calling the police over wiffleball at 4 pm? Detaining somebody for laughing ONE BLOCK from Blueberry Hill (geez, I wonder what the Loop would be like today if nobody patronized that place)? Being issued a citation for noise violation to somebody who was ASLEEP? These are all results of either the mentality of zero tolerance or the policy itself…and personally, I think you’re crazy if you think that these “offenses” merit such action.

    It feels increasingly like an “us vs. them” situation, and both sides are to blame. I know there is a large group of students hoping to achieve a resolution, and I am sure there are many residents who would do the same. However, both sides slander the other and paint the students as irresponsible and inconsiderate brats and the residents as senile and vicious. Ideally, noise would be at a minimum late at night, and neighbors would call the students directly to keep it down. Ideally, students would reach out to their neighbors and let them know when a gathering is to be expected…nobody trusts the other side, and until then there cannot be compromise.

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  • Paul says:

    Given that the university is clearly well aware there isn’t a quite area within two miles on a Friday/Saturday night I’m quite curious when they will decide to update Olin library’s night hours.

    As one of the many students who doesn’t get out more than two or three times a month, I would appreciate the university not taking the attitude that students SHOULD party on Fridays. While I have never filed a noise complaint, I believe any noise complaint filed after 8:00 pm (library closing hour) on a Friday should result in a fine against both the student and the university. I understand the university not caring about university city residents (after all, if you choose to live within a mile of an university…) but I don’t understand how the university fails to care about their most studious students. This news story simply highlights how the most responsible students are the least thought of.

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  • Response to UCity Resident says:

    UCity Resident:

    You mention the supposed “disrespect” of students living off campus, but your ignorant comments reveal the apparent disrespect of UCity residents for students (some of who are residents themselves).

    Rather than giving students a chance to live their lives in this city-which brings in extra tax revenue to benefit everyone- you seem to have lumped them all into one obnoxious category. Try getting to know students instead of stereotyping them: I’m sure you’ll be amazed by the talent of these young people whom you seem to loathe so much.

    In regard to your statement that “the current young generation does not even care about learning, just parties it seems” could not be further from the truth- consider the caliber of university you are situated near! For the record, I don’t drink and academics are of utmost important to me. However, I- like every other normal functioning human being- enjoy walking outdoors and should not be made to feel paranoid about having a reasonable conversation outside with friends.

    You also made another statement: “Every time I am trying to enjoy the peace and quiet of my home on a given evening, even the smallest annoyance outside reaches my ears.” May I suggest some Bose soundproof headphones? You live in an urban environment and there is bound to be some noise that emanates not just from other residents but cars, planes, children playing, etc. Unless you’re willing to call the police on a young toddler screaming at the top of his/her lungs, then I suggest you reconsider your support for the zero-tolerance policy.

    Before UCity becomes a living jail, I suggest that all residents take part in a healthy, intelligent discussion. However, this will require open sets of ears on both sides- students need to respect the needs of other residents (no screaming at 3 am), but residents need to be open to reasonable compromise. How can you expect mutual respect when residents already have preconceived notions of student behavior? The zero-tolerance policy benefits nobody.

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  • anonymous says:

    I think you guys are all missing the point…this isn’t about living in an area by a college with the usual college noise…it is about EXCESSIVE noise that is unacceptable in any residential area. That is the issue. There is no excuse for excessive noise, especially late at night. I believe that the residents have a very high threshold of tolerance for noise and expect more noise than other areas. But it is absurd to think that excessive noise after 11 pm is acceptable in a residential community. It takes a lot to make a resident actually want to get out of bed and call the police. Shame on you guys who are making the EXCESSIVE noise and ruining it for everyone else! It isn’t the residents’ fault. You guys should be angry at your fellow students who are throwing this really noisy parties in a residential community. Those of you that heard the party admit it was EXCESSIVE noise. That is illegal. For those of you thinking there is the policy is illegal, being a college kid doesn’t entitle you to special protections. College kids are not a protected class and can be discriminated against legally in housing. That is what the law says. There are no constitutional issues here…there simply is no right to party and make excessive noise at late hours in a residential community in violation of local law. I simply don’t understand why you think you can act this way off campus when you can’t act this way on campus? Some of your comments are insulting to the residents and to their very real issues and problems that these noisy parties create (property damage included). I was sympathtic to your situation until I read the comments. You lost me when you started acting like you were entitled to party at all hours without consequences and blamed the residents for living in their homes. I simply expected more from WashU students. I am very disappointed and will now write Ucity in support of this policy because now I see that if these comments exemplify the attitude of the students that live in that neighborhood why such a policy is needed.

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  • Now, I can understand if they are going to arrest someone who is persistently noisy or who leaves beer bottles or other trash around, but if someone who’s walking around outside is talking or laughing a little too loudly, they should at least be informed that they are being too noisy and given the opportunity to make less noise; only if they continue, should they be cited or arrested.

    It seems completely silly to give a citation or arrest someone for being noisy, when they do not even know that they are being too loud, especially when volume is purely subjective.

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  • JS says:

    To “U City Resident”

    I find it hard to take your ideas seriously, since most of what you said is completely unfounded. First of all, Wash U students work extremely hard and wouldn’t be students at Wash U if throwing parties was our only concern. Secondly, admitting that you agree with a legal double standard devalues your argument; just some advice–it’s probably better to outwardly promote equality for all groups under the law. It seems bigoted and backwards to admit otherwise.

    I also must comment on your last point, the absurd proposition that off-campus living should be banned. I think it’s worthwhile to take a step back and consider why you live in this neighboorhood, UNIVERSITY City, in the first place. It’s pretty? safe? community-oriented? white-washed? Whatever your reasons, I would invite you to consider how the university presence has preserved and created, rather than destroyed, a lot of what you love about this place.

    If you weren’t aware before, Wash U has a lot of money, influence, brain power, resources, the list goes on. With the 11,000 strong (not including faculty) sprinkled around a 3-mile radius of the school, we are literally pouring all of these riches right into your laps. Don’t be so presumptuous to assume that your community would be the flourishing residential area it is without us.

    I find it interesting, as many others have illuminated, that you seem to find students to be “the enemy.” You must wage war against us. If you are going to frame this as a battle, I must encourage you to actually consider us a friend. A buffer zone that separates you from the crime-laden streets of everywhere-else, St. Louis. The exact people you are targeting–the student residents of Washington Ave and Kingsbury– are actually your incidental protectors. We get our places broken into, our car windows smashed. We get mugged and raped in the basement of our apartments. Not you.

    I walk around the homes in the U. City area and notice a car window is down, only a screen separates the hallway of a home from the outside, a brand new IMac is shining in the window. And I realize that the students take the beating as the barrier separating residents from Delmar and beyond. And the residents get the protection. With Wash U and U. City cops patrolling the area, your neighborhood becomes pretty damn safe. Wash U acts as a bubble of defense, and beyond that sphere of influence, things don’t look so good (north of Delmar, east of Skinker).

    So if you want your neighboorhood to remain the kid-friendly, clean-living, wholesome place it is, I’d suggest you shut your ignorant trap about students living off-campus. Because if we’re gone, who do you think is going to move in? At that point, you’ll have much bigger issues to deal with than laughing and loud music.

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  • A different U City resident (and WU alum) says:

    First things first, I wish I knew last weekend there was a zero tolerance noise policy in U City. I had a late night out last Saturday night, and was hoping to sleep in Sunday. Instead, the folks standing along Delmar cheering on the marathon runners woke me up. I should’ve called the police on them; U City would’ve had to bring out a paddy wagon.

    In all seriousness, I have people over for BBQs all the time, we spend time in our backyard, and I think that students shouldn’t be excluded from spending time outside. But I think there’s some common sense things here that both residents and students are forgetting.

    For my fellow U City property owners:

    I hear people walking and talking in my neighborhood all the time. Welcome to an urban area. If this is loud enough in your bedroom that it sounds like the conversation is taking place next to your bed, maybe you need better insulated windows.

    U City is below a flight path to the airport, and every 15 minutes or so between 6am and midnight I hear airplanes flying low over my house. This is far more disruptive than any conversation on the street.

    For students:

    If you’re going to have a party outside, or play ball with your pals, or have a cell phone conversation, just be reasonable about it. But, remember that many of your neighbors have to get up at 6am to go to work. A thumping bassline, shouting, etc at midnight on a weeknight is not reasonable and I think the police are justified in paying you a visit.

    Remember that you’re always louder than you think you are when you’ve been drinking. My wife has to remind me of this all the time when we’re out.

    Also, your professors live in this same neighborhood. Making them grumpy by depriving them of sleep is hazardous to your academic success.

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  • frustrated says:

    Dear U city resident –

    You are a neurotic overstressed woman who is obviously unhappy for multiple reasons and I would ask you to pull your head out and try thinking about this situation from a perspective other than your own, which is clearly narrow-minded over-controlling. How come you can’t get it through your thick head that this is not just a family neighborhood? It’s next door to a friggin 11,000-student University! It always has been and guess what? IT ALWAYS WILL BE. If “even the smallest annoyance reaches your ears” then i would suggest moving out of a college living area, you whiner. I take pity upon your children.

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  • bduddy says:

    UCityResident: I am beginning to wonder if you are an actual resident or some twisted parody of one. If you are, please note that your ideas have very little basis in reality and absolutely no basis in the law; if you wish to live in a place with no “laughing” or “large gatherings… at any point during the day”, may I suggest moving to Siberia, for example? You will find those activities in any city in the U.S., certainly…

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  • google says:

    To UCity Resident:

    It’s my experience walking through that neighborhood (i don’t live there now, but I graduated from Wash U and am frequently in that nearby area) that the children and teenagers who live there make lots of noise, too. I frequently see toys, bikes, baseball bats, etc, scattered on lawns and sidewalks. Kids playing tag, hide-and-go-seek, basketball, and baseball in the lawns and in the street. There is lots of noise that comes from the kids just playing around and kids just being kids. Well, college students have a right to be college students, too.

    It’s a family neighborhood, but also a neighborhood of students. It’s a wonderful neighborhood filled with diversity of age and education.

    I used to live in the Moorlands (off Wydown and Hanley), which is filled with similar styles of homes, apartments, and residents. There is not as HIGH of a population of students there, but still quite a bit. There are noise issues, to be sure, but residents with complains are cooperative with the offenders and tend to COME OVER and tell people to quiet down.

    You live 1 mile from a University — you have to expect that students will live there and be college students. Wash U students are among the brightest and nicest kids in the country. You should be fortunate to live near such a wonderful school and reap the economic and educational benefits that come with living 1 mile away. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. There’s gotta be some give and take. We all agree that there is a reasonable standard of noise and courtesy, and the vast majority of Wash U student residents in that neighborhood will be respectful and comply with reasonable standards. However, ZERO TOLERANCE is not a reasonable standard! Life isn’t black and white and you simply cannot view college students and parties/noise in a black and white manner.

    Wash U students are not the enemy. You are not the enemy. Let’s enter into intelligent discourse so we can all make this community a better place. It is wrong and simply not-neighborly to to go to this EXTREME to enforce your preferences on other people.

    The city of St Louis and University City have enough problems as it is. Muggings, robberies, race relations, economic stagnancy, etc. These things all affect Wash U students who want to move off-campus. The last thing we want to have to deal with is a neighborhood that doesn’t even WANT us to live there. I know St Louis to be a nice, laid-back, neighborly city…. there’s going to be complaints and issues in any neighborhood with houses and apartments 15 feet from each other and next to a college. We appreciate your neighborhood and the chance to live there, and we do apologize on behalf of our Wash U community that there are certain people with repeat and flagrant offense, but enacting a zero-tolerance policy is simply extreme and not neighborly.

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  • Response to 'U City Resident' says:

    There is obviously a lot to say on this issue, and I would love to get into the details if I had time, but I don’t.

    I would just like to reply to the most recent post, by ‘U City Resident’:

    At WashU we take academics very seriously. We are under a considerable amount of stress. I would even posit the thought that we are under more stress than maybe you could imagine, ‘U City Resident’.

    We are allowed to party and laugh, as you say, when we have time, and are outside of class and done with our studies. As long as we follow the law, this is allowed. Anyone breaking the law, understandably, will be justly dealt with.

    Saying things like “the current young generation does not even care about learning, just parties it seems” does not make you sound educated, intelligent, cultured, or really anything flattering that you could think of. It makes you sound stupid.

    Saying things like “when they assemble large gatherings and play loud music” they should be arrested, it does not make you sound interested in compromise, tolerant, or particularly keen to the way law works. Rather, it makes you sound like a bitter simpleton.

    If these sentiments are indicative of U-City residents all over, and they continue to show that they want to deal with these issues in this general manner, then they should be prepared to deal with intelligent people, coming together to use their skills to challenge them on every level.

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  • U City Resident says:

    These students continue to disrespect the neighborhood and overstep their boundary. Ames Place is a family neighborhood filled with countless children and adults. I am proud to live amongst these people. However, the students who live on Kingsbury and Washington Avenue seem to ignore this fact. When I was a college student, the purpose of my enrollment was education. The current young generation does not even care about learning, just parties it seems. Every time I am trying to enjoy the peace and quiet of my home on a given evening, even the smallest annoyance outside reaches my ears. They walk past our houses, laughing and screaming at each other. When they assemble large gatherings and play loud music at any point during the day, those responsible should be arrested. It may seem like there’s a double-standard, but that’s because there should be! We must make an example of the trouble-makers so that no parties can be thrown in our neighborhood anymore. I am an avid supporter of the zero-tolerance policy and cannot see any other alternatives. I think the University must consider disbanding student living off-campus altogether if this disrespect continues.

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  • student says:

    I used to rave about washU. But then again I used to like washU. This policy is destroying the undergraduate experience. Now, when someone asks me about washU here’s what I tell them:

    “If your idea of fun is going to a frat party every single weekend (they’re the only people allowed to play music after 10PM), drinking with 3 people in your tiny dorm room (drinking in common areas is forbidden), or studying, then washU is the place for you!

    If you’re looking for a place where you can have fun and be free don’t come here.”

    Dear washU (student body, policy makers, alumni), You should be furious about the zero tolerance policy! Say goodbye to the well rounded student. Say hello to US news and world report ranking of top 5 universities…

    If that’s really what you want then maybe I came to the wrong school.

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  • huh? says:

    Huh? Whats the sound? Oh, its my excitement for living off campus next year evaporating.

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  • Jon says:

    This situation is out of control. The U. City police officers are making Wash U a significantly worse place to be, and word of this is being spread well beyond the city of St. Louis. If the University does not take action, they will suffer for it. Happy students = happy University, and right now students are not happy. I have many family friends who were interested in Wash U, but I am steering them away from it due the current state of things. The Wash U administration needs a serious wake-up call, their disregard for the well-being of their students is becoming glaringly clear.

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  • Devil's Advocate General says:

    @Student7:
    To be fair, this is just the University City P.D. and residents being intolerant. WUPD, with jurisdiction over campus proper, is a pretty sweet bunch of professionals. Rent’s too high in that part of U. City anyway.

    But all this highlights a particular insanity of the University City zero-tolerance policy. According to Student Life’s Wednesday reportage, the policy is “a policy under which University City police issue a summons whenever they respond to a reported disturbance.”

    Students clearly should not expect the fine men and women of UCPD to confirm whether or not there’s an actual disturbance before issuing a citation — or making an arrest. Apparently, “having dishonest neighbors with a chip on their shoulders” is now a citable offense within the borders of University City.

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  • Student7 says:

    And this is why i will never recommend Wash U. to prospective students. The cops and the school just make it impossible for college kids to be college kids. What ever happened to cops just tell people to quite down, and that was that. Apparently we now have to act like 8 year olds with 9 o’clock bed times. And if we make some noise its a $100 bail or a night in jail.

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  • Supporter says:

    The citation is totally fair- I passed by the building where I believe the incident occurred and there was excessive noise.
    Even so, the fact that the police felt the need to a) cite someone arbitrarily for the complaint and b) not only cite them but arrest them despite the fact that they were supposedly being entirely cooperative is absurd. I haven’t heard about this policy that Crane reports from his car ride but if that is true than there are much bigger, more formal problems that the students are dealing with than I had realized.

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  • ATTORNEY MATT STONE - AS '96 LW '00 says:

    CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION! BIG TIME LAWSUIT POTENTIAL!
    IT”S TIME FOR WASH U. TO FLEX ITS MUSCLE ON U. CITY for this unconstitutional behavior. I’d Call Prof. Stephen Ryals or fellow law school alum and local practicing criminal attorney Joseph P. Welch. The arrest is unnecessary and gratuitous overkill. This is deplorable. U. City P.D. needs to quit drinking that hater-ade. The dumb-a** policy apparently presupposes guilt based on a mere complaint. The officer seems to have admitted that Wash U. students have been singled out and targeted. I hope all current students and local alums note this egregious transgression and remember this in the years to come as they enter the local community in leadership roles and positions of power. U. City needs to focus on its drug problem instead, but I guess it is easier to roust cooperative college students who are probably innocent. Furthermore, I am concerned that the young man was further singled out for addressing the city council. This reeks of retaliation that tends to chill the efforts and ability for folks to exercise their First Amendment rights.In other words, as we say on the street, THIS IS SOME straight-up BULLSH*T! We are sending the wrong message to our young people: Dare to speak up and question authority and be punished. Maybe WASH U and U City need a TEA PARTY!!!!
    Disclaimer: I am not a Missouri attorney (licensed to practice in another state) and I make these remarks expressing my personal opinion under the protection of the First Amendment as made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. This is upsetting to me and my sense of fairness and justice. so there may be some typos due to my disgust.

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  • Devil's Advocate General says:

    Nitpick: The Miranda warning isn’t a requirement upon arrest. Its purpose is to warn those in policy custody about their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination; as such, police only need to Mirandize an arrestee if they intend for statements obtained during an interrogation to be legally admissible evidence for the prosecution.

    That being said, yes, U. City, targeted retaliation is exactly the way to solve your noise problem. Good grief. Somebody please call the ACLU or something.

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  • Jocelyn says:

    Two years ago, I hosted a gathering in my Kingsbury apartment on the night after the last day of spring classes and was issued a citation for a noise disturbance. While the police were called to our building because of a much larger, louder party taking place on the first floor, we understood the charge, everyone cooperated and went home, and I ended up going to court the day before graduation. The fine was $250.

    Any student living off campus needs to be aware of his or her neighborhood and be courteous to the families living around them. Good for the students that they went around to apologize the next day. We would often say hello to our neighbors, but got the impression that had no interest in getting to know us (their neighbors for one year), and that was fine.

    I also believe that U City police are quick to target Wash U students. There needs to be mutual cooperation in situations like the one outlined above. It certainly sounds like the students were cooperative, so why make an arrest when a citation ensures it won’t happen again? A date with the judge and 250 bucks certainly made the point for me and my friends.

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  • Hugh says:

    Boycott. Protest. Fight.

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