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“‘Sorry, we were drunk’”: Residents face property damage at the hands of students

With restrictions on bars and large group gatherings still in place in Oxford, many locals and students are resorting to throwing house parties and causing property damage as a result.

Jordan Lynn-Reumkens, a 24-year old who has lived in Oxford her whole life, has seen property damage to her house and other property her whole life. When Lynn-Reumkens was 10, she recalled students destroying the Halloween decorations she had set up in her family’s Oxford residence.

“We were always really enthusiastic about Halloween as a kid, and one time we bought a lot of decorations for our house,” Lynn-Reumkens said. “I remember waking up one day, and pretty much all of them were gone. A few days later we received them in big black bag with a note taped to it saying, ‘Sorry, we were drunk.’”

Since then, property destruction has not been a taboo concept to Lynn-Reumkens, especially this year.

“I’ve definitely seen pumpkin smashing, car drive-bys where people are ripping off side mirrors,” Lynn-Reumkens said. “We’ve all been young and dumb and drunk and have made dumb mistakes, but I think you have bad days and good days with Miami students.”

Another Oxford resident and former Miami University professor Dale Ehrlich said Miami students are what drove him to live near Hueston Woods instead of closer to campus.

While living near Miami students, Ehrlich said students would urinate on his house late at night walking home from parties.

“I’m typically a night owl, and on hot summer nights, I’d keep the windows open,” Ehrlich said. “And of course, it was typical for guys to piss against the side of my house, and so basically I was a couple of feet away from them hearing this at like 3 a.m.”

Ehrlich also recalled a time in which he had to direct a drunk student out of his house after he opened his unlocked door late at night and wandered into his house.

The final straw for Ehrlich was when he claimed a student dumped a 64-ounce soft drink into his convertible, staining the interior of his vehicle permanently.

“I moved to a much easier location after that near the Hueston Woods golf center,” Ehrlich said. “And while sometimes I can hear coyotes howling out here, I’ll take coyotes over frat boys any day.”

Phoebe Harvey, a junior public health major, said she's seen more broken glass, vomit in public places and destruction to home property this year. 

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Oxford Police Department did not respond immediately for comment.

“Because of COVID, we’re all stuck in our houses bored as hell, people are cooped up in their houses, bars changed from 18 and up to 21 and up, and that leaves out about two-and-a-half grade levels who don’t have an outlet on the weekends,” Harvey said.

To help, Harvey posted a message on the Oxford Talk Facebook group offering to help clean up messes local residents have. 

While she said no one had taken her up on her offer, she hopes other students will help her in cleaning up messes.

“I don’t really have much else to do, so I thought why not make their days better,” Harvey said.