WU students react to University City’s zero-tolerance policy

| Staff Reporter

Students returning from spring break were greeted with an e-mail sent by Residential Life concerning off-campus behaviors.

“I want to make you aware that the University has received numerous complaints about student behavior while traveling back and forth to campus through University City neighborhoods,” Justin Carroll, the associate vice chancellor for students and the dean of students, wrote in the e-mail.

Some students echoed Carroll’s sentiments, citing the surrounding community’s cooperation with the University.

“The Clayton community has been pretty welcoming to Wash. U. students as a whole and with that I think that the student body should respect their community,” sophomore Kieran Holzhauer. said “I think that while students should be respectful of the community, residents must also realize that they live in a college neighborhood. I can see the no-warning policy backfiring if Clayton residents make frequent unreasonable complaints.”

The e-mail addressed complaints raised by residents in the University City neighborhood where many families with children and senior citizens reside. Inappropriate behaviors include loud groups of students moving and standing on public streets or alleys late at night, littering, vandalism, public urination and public consumption of alcohol.

“I feel that it should be a mutual relationship with both parties contributing to resolve the situation,” sophomore Stephanie Poindexter said. “Should students minimize the noise at 1 a.m. and not vandalize the community? Of course. Should residents complain about noise level being a little too high at 10 p.m. or a student consuming a beer can while having a chat with a friend at the corner of the neighborhood? Probably not.”

According to the e-mail, University City police have indicated that they have adopted a policy of zero tolerance of behavior that disturbs the residents. To resolve this concern, they will be issuing citations or executing arrest warrants for behaviors that might have been tolerated in the past.

“I understand where the residents are coming from with the complaints,” sophomore Ira Blau said. “However, complaints such as public consumption of alcohol are not really big problems to me as long as they do not lead to destructive behaviors. Wash. U. students should have more awareness and conduct themselves appropriately in different situations off campus and to represent Wash. U. in a positive manner. I think that Wash. U. perhaps should intervene in the matter more directly such as more patrol by WUPD [Washington University Police Department] around the area, and show that Wash. U. is taking the issue seriously.”

Carroll warned students about receiving citations or being arrested by University City police.

He wrote, “In addition to large fines, you may have a police record that could affect your applications to graduate school or even future employment opportunities.  In addition, if your actions violate the University’s student judicial code, you will likely be subjected to additional sanctions.”

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