Letter: A matter of civility and respect

One issue that we always find ourselves dealing with at the beginning of each school year is the behavior of students in our St. Paul campus neighborhood.

Students have a lot of energy, and especially at the end of the week they are ready to relax, to get together with friends and to party – and that’s fine. Neighbors know that is going to happen. They once were college students, too, and they know there always will be a certain level of activity.

The majority of students are respectful of neighbors’ privacy and property, and I appreciate that. I always suggest to students that they should treat neighbors like they, the students, would want to be treated if they owned a house near St. Thomas and had young children.

Despite the best of intentions, there have been a significant number of disturbing incidents in the neighborhood over the past month. Many of them have to do with noise – music or conversations that become too loud, go on too late and include profanity. Other complaints have to do with littering, trespassing, stolen or damaged property such as election signs, and urinating in yards or on the streets.

These incidents simply aren’t acceptable – and from my perspective, I believe they can be easily avoided.

If you are going to have a party, please alert your neighbors in advance and promise that you will hold down the noise. Then ask your guests to do the same. Make sure your yard and the vicinity are cleaned up afterwards.

If you are walking or driving in the neighborhood, please stay on sidewalks and streets and, again, hold down the noise. Loud music, conversation and horn honking aren’t appropriate later in the evening because they do disturb what should be a peaceful and tranquil neighborhood.

It all boils down to, as I mentioned earlier, the need to honor and show respect for your neighbors’ privacy and property. I ask you to do your part.

John Hershey

Neighborhood Liaison

One Reply to “Letter: A matter of civility and respect”

  1. Well, it sure seems like I hit a nerve with my open letter to the UST student body. Just to clarify, I was directing the letter specifically at those students who feel their rights as individuals to do whatever they like pre-empt anyone else’s. Certainly, this is not the entire student body and I’m sorry if anyone took it as such. There are a few students whose behavior overshadows the majority and therefore becomes the focal point of the issue. While I suppose I am “super old” at 46, I do understand college students, since I teach at both the Carlson School at the U of Mn and occasionally at St. Thomas. I have defended college student behavior to my neighbors and explained that a diverse community is part of the reason we moved into Merriam Park to many friends who have the incorrect impression that living so close to a college sucks. It doesn’t – and nor are most college students rude. All I was trying to get across was the need for everyone to realize that we all need to live together – and that means respecting each other – your right to party, my right to sleep peacefully at night.

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