Neighbors point fingers

Blaming students for nuisance ignores U’s community contribution.

This fall, neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota have experienced a jump in nuisance crimes, such as noise and open container violations. Some area residents are justifiably upset at finding revelers urinating in their yards or party debris in the street and blame the TCF Bank Stadium and students. However, it is important to keep an appropriate perspective. Violent crimes are down significantly and arrests were lower this year than last yearâÄôs home opener at the Metrodome. Moreover, crime peaked during the away game versus Northwestern; University police blamed this on an influx of non-students into the area. Residents living in surrounding neighborhoods knew their proximity to the University when they decided to move in. In fact, without the University as a neighbor, the area would be less appealing culturally, intellectually and economically. The director of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, Melissa Bean, condescends students and their contribution to the community when she claims that there is âÄúno adult supervisionâÄù and implies that students do not take pride in the neighborhood or their homes. Bean further asserts, without evidence, that there is a slippery slope between nuisance and a repeat of last yearâÄôs Dinkytown riot. As a solution, she has suggested a zero tolerance policy for âÄúany partying.âÄù Bean must remember where it is she lives and that her neighborhood association is funded by property taxes paid with studentsâÄô rent checks. Setting up a police state is no solution for less serious nuisance crime. Rather, there must be mutual respect and understanding between students and neighbors. Condescension and over-policing only create resentment and distance that goal.