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Duke: Shared responsibility needed in student complaints

Posted April 10, 2009

— Duke University says there must be shared responsibility in dealing with noise complaints regarding students who live off campus.

Residents of the Trinity Heights neighborhood on the edge of Duke's east campus have complained to the university for years about students' behavior off-campus and late-night partying.

"It's not every weekend, but on the weekends where it does happen, if you get up at three or four o'clock in the morning it's terrible," resident Steven Leypoldt said.

The complaints have prompted Durham Mayor Bill Bell to send a letter to Duke President Richard Brodhead saying students are allowed to go "seemingly unscathed."

The Trinity Heights area Duke officials meet on student noise complaints

At a meeting this week with city leaders, the university asked that landlords also be held accountable for what happens on their rental properties.

"If Duke owned those homes – absolutely, we would be responsible for them," said Michael Schoenfeld, Duke's vice president for public affairs and government relations. "We don't. But those who do should have some amount of responsibility and accountability for what happens on those properties."

Duke believes it has already been promoting responsibility in area by helping facilitate the development of homes for faculty and staff.

"It's not perfect. No neighborhood near a college will ever be perfect," Shoenfeld said.

About 800 Duke undergraduates live off campus.


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  • HangOn Apr 13, 2009

    Did a college just spring up overnight?
    Did you think about this when you moved beside duke?

  • Boogalooboy Apr 10, 2009

    exactly, call the police... i attended a city council meeting ,where H. Clements was whining about duke dealing with the noise...they don't own the homes so let the city enforce the policies/statues of the city. the student newspaper, The Chronicle, ran an April Fool edition where the neighborhood had a block party early on a Sunday morning with loud music to annoy the students... Stevie the whiner needs to take this into his own hands...sounds like a great Sunday a.m. to me..

  • 2headstrong Apr 10, 2009

    Off-campus adults are not the university's responsibility. Have a noise complaint? Call the proper people to deal with it - the police.