Duke Cracks Down On Off-Campus Partying
Posted August 29, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. — Keg parties, loud music and out-of-control crowds are keeping some Durham residents up late at night. It is a dilemma many college towns face every year.
is taking some extra steps to turn down the noise and mend the fences between neighbors.
While walking down some of Durham's nicest streets, passers-by will see cigarettes, beer bottles and even underwear littering the sidewalks and yards.
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Neighbors say rowdy Duke students turn their neighborhoods into nightmares when the weekend hits and they are tired of it.
"It's been as bad as people urinating in our driveways and on our cars -- not very pleasant," said Marie-Louise Catsalis, who has lived near the university for two years.
As a result, Duke campus police have joined forces with the Durham Police Department and the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement to crack down on the complaints.
This past weekend, close to 200 people at some of those parties were cited for underage drinking -- most of them Duke students. At one of the busts at
1206 Markham Ave.
, 87 people were cited.
Some students, such as Duke senior Daniel Narvey, say they feel they are being unfairly targeted. Narvey hosted one of the parties targeted by law enforcement over the weekend.
"There was absolutely no reason for police to be here," Narvey said. "No one was drunk. No one was making a scene."
This year, for the first time, Duke students cited for off-campus violations will not only have to deal with the matter in the court system, they will also have to deal with it on campus.
"We will process them through our disciplinary system as though they were living on campus," said Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for the university's student affairs department.
University administrators admit it is a tough balance -- supporting their students while also being a responsible member of the community.
"To have hundreds of students cited over the weekend is overwhelming," Wasiolek said. "We're learning from it and we hope they're learning from it."
Neighbors like Catsalis say that while they are fed up, they do not want to ban the parties outright. They just want students to get a crash course in responsibility and respect.
Earlier this year, Duke got national attention when police broke up a rowdy party that featured female students wrestling in baby oil. As a result of that and other complaints, Duke plans to hire a liaison to find ways to improve the relationship between neighbors and students who live off-campus.