Archive for Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A lesson in being a good neighbor, as KU resumes

August 15, 2012


This morning, a group of about 50 volunteers from Kansas University fraternities will be carrying a message to their fellow students living in the Oread Neighborhood: Be a good neighbor.

They’ll be informing students about noise ordinances, asking them to pick up after themselves and to be considerate of those living around them.

It’s the first in a series of new Good Neighbor initiatives designed to curb issues that can arise among students and the permanent residents living nearby. City government leaders and KU officials have worked together to launch the program.

“We see this as a figurative and literal first step,” said Tim Caboni, KU’s vice chancellor for public affairs, who has been working with city leaders during the past few months.

KU has set up a website,, with a variety of resources for students, including information on city ordinances, tips on managing the landlord/tenant relationship and links to on-campus resources that can assist with issues that may arise.

Lawrence City Commissioner Hugh Carter said he has been working on a plan with KU officials after attending a conference in Colorado that addressed a variety of town and gown matters. Those discussions have been positive so far, he said.

“We’re still in the beginning steps,” he said. “But it’s a very big step.”

Carter said the university and the city are working on a hotline for residents to call to report issues they may have with students in the area. A board with representation from the neighborhood, landlords, student residents and other stakeholders could help address communication issues between students and their neighbors, he said.

“Hopefully, what we’ll end up with is an ambassador program,” Carter said, adding that such a program could help compile a database of phone numbers for residents in the area.

Caboni said KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little is supportive of the new collaborative efforts with the city.

“We’ll grow from here, get better from here and build from here,” he said.

Candice Davis, co-chairwoman of the Oread Residents Association, has seen her fair share of issues during her 14 years in the city. While some students are good neighbors and add to the vitality of the neighborhood, others can pose problems, she said.

“We see young people doing things they would never do if they were at their parents’ house,” she said.

Trash is a big issue, said Davis, who occasionally sees the remnants of a fast-food meal left just feet from a Dumpster. Other times, parties will run late into the night with noise levels that disrupt sleeping neighbors.

“I think they forget that they are actually in a neighborhood, and there are people that live here and own property,” she said.

Davis said she welcomed the proposed changes.

“We’ve tried to do this for a long, long time,” she said.


Sharon Roullins 5 years, 10 months ago

This sounds like a great idea. I wouldn't mind seeing this type of initiative in my neighborhood. The students seem to be unaware of the noise ordinance.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 10 months ago

This sounds like a great idea. I wouldn't mind seeing this type of initiative on campus. Students can get very sloppy in classrooms and when grabbing a UDK.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 10 months ago

I know it's fashionable to trash the KU kids for the city's problems. In my neighborhood, it's the neighbors themselves. The 24/7 noise ordinance does apply to: kids who scream unabated for hours. I mean scream. It applies to the 50 year old who just started violin lessons and loves practicing (that was a euphemism) in her front yard. It applies to the 70 year old hard of hearing but still trying to hear her opera records. It is the neighbor who works on his motorcycle and tests drives it at loud speeds. Yard work and construction work is not covered, but most of the sustained noises we all make without consideration to our neighbors is a violation. As for trash, don't get me started. Just yesterday in our neighborhood an older man on a scooter heaved an empty water bottle in my neighbors yard and acted like it was his perfect right.

I know the new and the young drivers can be totally clueless. The late night partying irritating. But let's as a community show each other other to be considerate. Might be good for all of us.

valgrlku 5 years, 10 months ago

As a student myself in a mostly student neighborhood, I find that it's often not so much not knowing about noise ordinances, etc. but that, even after being notified that X behavior is illegal/annoying/what have you, many of the residents just don't care and continue to do whatever they want, regardless of consequences. At least, that's been my experience over the past decade or so of living in student areas. There are some responsible/considerate students living in town, but my neighbors sure struggle in that area. Bad neighbors are bad neighbors, regardless.

It seems common sense that it's wrong to litter, have people screaming/yelling outside at all hours of the night, and parking on other people's property, but apparently, it isn't. I even caught one of my student neighbors trying to steal water from my outside spigot, during move-out, so that he could power wash their deck. Who would think that is ok??? Rant over. Happy Thursday to you all!!

Hooligan_016 5 years, 10 months ago

I just hooked up my 220W subwoofer to my computer. Come at me, bro!

MarenBradley 5 years, 10 months ago

Great news for our neighborhood! Thanks to everyone involved. I have been impressed with this year's crop of Oread-dwelling students already.

ThingTwo 5 years, 10 months ago

@Hookigan_016 I'll bring the Skrillex!!!!!!

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