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Off-campus housing sees spike in noise, litter citations

By Jane Oetgen, For The Miami Student

College towns are notoriously loud and messy, but, this year, Oxford has outdone itself, as Oxford Police Department (OPD) has doled out significantly more noise and litter citations this year than previous years.

From August to November in 2014, there were 41 litter citations and 24 noise complaints in Oxford. During the same period this year, there have been 59 litter citations and 51 noise complaints.

The Associated Student Government (ASG) tried to inform students prior to Halloween weekend about the increase in citations and how to avoid experiencing this problem when hosting parties.

Kevin Krumpak, ASG Secretary for Off-Campus Affairs, said he thinks there are ways to avoid the current rise in citations, as well as safe methods of condoning parties that don't attract the police.

"The numbers (of citations) are significantly up, and it's interesting," Krumpak said. "We want people to know what's happening and how to avoid it."

Krumpak said he believes many of the citations are a result of this year's large first-year class. It is the largest first-year class Miami has ever had, and Krumpak thinks many first-year students are the ones to get cited due to their lack of knowledge about party etiquette.

First-year Andrea Lupariello said she believes her peers may not know enough, but they aren't the ones hosting the parties that are getting citations.

"Freshmen I know say that they just go from party to party until one works out," Lupariello said. "They usually don't even know who is throwing the party."

As for the citations given out to hosts of house parties, ASG members are unsure as to the reasoning behind their increase this year. However, they believe there are several social strategies to prevent the increase in citations.

Senior Megan Elam said she has had an issue with noise levels at a party, and an easy way to control this is to keep the speakers inside.

"It seems pretty obvious, but it makes a difference," Elam said. "It's also good to go to the neighbors around the house the day before the party and give them our number. That way if there is a problem, they can contact us personally before they call the cops."

Krumpak said communicating to neighbors, especially when they are Oxford residents, is important. Roughly 18 percent of the mile square is occupied by full-time Oxford residents. Although the area is student dominated, local residents still have a voice

"It's sad because people can feel like they get pushed out of living here as Oxford residents," Krumpak said. "The community members really appreciate when people let them know they are having people over."

Oxford resident Emily Murphee thinks the parties can get out of hand when it comes to noise.

"When we have these noise abatement situations, it always feels as if the DJ is in my bedroom with me," Murphee said. "It's amazing how the noise bounces off buildings and comes down South Main."

Another important guideline to follow is to have a point of authority within the organization delivering the party to monitor the party and speak with the police if they were to arrive.

Krumpak said if there is someone there that can handle the situation calmly, the police are less likely to give a citation. He also suggested having a sober monitor so they can manage any situations without the police needing to get involved.

"Believe it or not, the police have other things to do in Oxford besides just giving out citations," Krumpak said. "There are plenty of things outside the realm of the mile square that need to be taken care of."

But Oxford resident and Miami horticulturist Dan Garber doesn't believe the litter and party problem is as big an issue as it seems.

"Some days I would be like 'oh my God, how the heck are they gonna clean this mess up?" Garber said. "And they did. As far as I'm concerned it's a non-issue."