Unruly politicking in the land of students

The “unruly party ordinance” is another policy that discriminates against students.

In a column that ran in the Nov. 16 edition of the Daily, Paul Zerby, Ward 2 Minneapolis City Council memberwho represent the University and surrounding area, said “there is probably no issue that has absorbed more of my attention than the relation of the University and its students to the city and the neighborhoods surrounding the University.” He is absolutely right. However, his tenure has been more disservice than favor to the student community.

In that column Zerby went on to list three “specific examples” that he believed his service had “benefited” students, one of which was the discriminatory housing ordinance that prevents reasonable numbers of unrelated tenants from living in off-campus units. With the proposed “unruly party” ordinance it seems Zerby has created another way to discriminate against students.

Under the proposed ordinance, properties that are deemed “unruly” would be posted with a placard that labels them as such for 18 months. Additionally, landlords would be fined $150 for the first violation and more thereafter. These fines would no doubt be passed on to student-tenants and further hinder already tenuous relationships between landlords and students. What’s more, the fines grow exponentially and would place the undue burden of being labeled as “unruly” on new tenants moving into a previously offending property. If the ordinance is truly aimed at improving the neighborhood as opposed to targeting students, which it clearly does, why not impose constructive penalties like the community service hours Minnesota Student Association has suggested, in place of revenue-generating fines? Better yet, why not focus attention on the recent surge of robberies in Ward 2?

There is an obvious separation between students and the current leadership in Ward 2. Students make up a majority of Ward 2 residents. It is hoped that when Cam Gordon replaces Paul Zerby that disconnect will fade away and become nothing more than a bad memory. Until then students should be compelled to make their voices heard on this issue Monday morning from 10:30 to 11:30 at Zerby’s City Hall office, Room 307.