Students, residents express concerns

Tension remains between student and permanent residents in Burlington, which was a significant issue during this year’s Burlington city council elections, residents say.

Noise is one of the largest sources of conflict between students and permanent residents.

“A lot of times, it’s not party noise but the walk-by noise,” Ward 8 city councilor Adam Roof said. “It’s a really tough problem.”

Junior Jesse Schandler said he and his roommates had friends visiting earlier this semester when they received their first noise complaint from a neighbor.

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Adam Roof talks about student-resident relations in City Hall Oct. 28 As the current Ward 8 city counselor, Roof focuses on accommodating different lifestyles. OLIVER POMAZI/The Vermont Cynic

“At first they didn’t confront us,” Schandler said.  “They called our landlord, and our landlord then was in touch with us, and he tried to deal with the problem.”

Schandler said he and his roommates would have preferred if the neighbor had approached them first, instead of going directly to the landlord.

However, Schandler said that the issue was ultimately resolved.

“My roommate went and knocked on their door and spoke to them about what happened, and what we can do in the future to make sure things like that don’t happen again,” Schandler said.

Debra Roseman, a permanent resident, said that during the day she and her neighbors will greet one another and are friendly.

However, when alcohol and a large amount of people get thrown into the equation, her interactions with students have consisted of being sworn at, yelled at and threatened.

“At night, the cookout of eight with a few beers becomes a bacchanal of 30 with voices escalating, girls screaming, bottles breaking, music escalating, guys urinating in my driveway and bushes,” Roseman said.

Adam Roof, the City Councilor for Ward 8, said he believes the solution to the problem is to bring balance to the neighborhoods.

He suggested building housing downtown for younger Burlington residents, not just students.

“I’m trying to bring balance to neighborhoods, not just for residents, but really for students as well,” Roof said.  “Everyone has a stake in this game.”

There were originally 14 councilors, with two representing each ward.

Now there are 12 councilors, eight of which represent each ward and four represent the north, east, south and west districts.

With the new ward and districts in place, Roof said he plans to work with his fellow councilors to solve the problems