Dear St. Thomas Students:
We hope you had a great summer and want to welcome you back to this neighborhood for fall semester! The key word in that previous sentence being “neighborhood”. While you are here, aspiring to higher thinking and planning your future, we ask that you consider your actions when walking, biking or just plain stumbling through the neighborhood. We ask that you treat our yards and streets with the same respect that you would your own home, wherever you might hail from. We won’t bore you with a list of the blatant vandalism that occurs most weekends, but we trust that you wouldn’t throw garbage on, vomit on or vandalize your own parent’s yard.
We live here because we like the area; however, we don’t like your actions from time to time. They frustrate us and set a bad example for everyone – including the many children that live here and your fellow students. Now we understand the freedom you feel while at school. The fact is, many people in this neighborhood attended St. Thomas – and came back because this is a nice place to live. But with that freedom hopefully comes maturity. I won’t bore you with the various items (some disgusting) found in our yards–except for the poor fella who left his clothes and underwear on our front porch along with his cell phone. We just couldn’t resist calling the listing “home” in the cell phone and telling his mother where his personal items currently reside.
We aren’t objecting to the fact that you throw parties or walk around the neighborhood – this is where you live, as much as it is where we do. We object to the fact that you want to be considered – and treated – as adults, but you don’t seem to act like them. Have you stopped to consider that there are people asleep in those houses you walk by, talking on cell phones, at 2 a.m.? That maybe you don’t need to slam your doors shut, after leaving them in front of our houses for 2-3 days at a time so you don’t have to pay for the ramp parking? Do you really think that is how adults act? Please realize that others live here, besides you. This is a diverse community – ethnically, economically and demographically – and that’s a good thing, but it requires respect from all parties to make it work well.
You chose St. Thomas for various reasons. One certainly was the urban setting, the wonderful campus and the surrounding beautiful neighborhoods. Help us keep it that way. Please don’t destroy what you value.
And if in the future you decide to return to live here–as so many have–because this is a stable, wonderful place to live with access to all the amenities the Cities have to offer – and a large number of private Catholic schools for your children to attend from kindergarten through college – we would welcome you. But we would also hand you some ear plugs and garbage bags and warn you to “brace yourself—they’re back” when fall comes each year. Which is unfortunate for all of us.
Elaine Weber Nelson
Class of 1986