Walk-by noise stirs Burlington Neighborhoods

The semester is finally coming to a close. With the pressure building upon the approaching dates of final exams, students usually want nothing more than to kick back with a cold one, and enjoy the sun. However, sometimes a cold one turns into a few, and a few turns into twenty (or more). Before you know it a troop of college kids is charging down the streets of Burlington yelling, and dancing with the excitement of the warm weather. Ah, to be young. Unfortunately, the troops of young people are not the only ones around. Many of these people work five days a week, and even have families. Another shocker is many of them do not participate in thirsty Thursday festivities. Thus walk by noise is a large problem in the city of Burlington. “I’ve lived in Burlington since 72 and in all that time there hasn’t been a lot of contention between students and residents downtown and I think that’s a positive thing, that the university has been welcomed…” Mayor Bob Kiss said. However, there may be a few people in Burlington that would disagree. Students that live off-campus experience it first hand. Students are more sympathetic usually, than the many Burlington citizens. There has been a charge by the Burlingtonians against the university, and Champlain College, to do something in response to us rowdy youngsters. As the population of UVM grows, so does the noise. There has been a coalition formed by university and the city of Burlington in response to the citizens’ request. The Community Coalition meets once a month in order to discuss walk-by-noise and potential solutions. “The Community Coalition is a diverse group of UVM students and administrators, City Hall staff, City Councilors, police, neighborhood representatives, and landlords who meet regularly to create ideas and programs designed to build community and facilitate positive interaction between the university’s students and city residents.” Gail Shampnois, the coalition co-chair, said. One item on the coalition’s agenda is the “Walk-By Awareness” campaign. “The Coalition developed a poster and cards with a “Have a Heart” message and he off-campus late-night shuttle schedule that were posted in the Pearl Street Beverage store and other places that get student traffic.” Gail reported. “Coming up we are planning some neighborhood corner lemonade stands to talk to students and neighbors about the issue and to spread the news about this year’s Spring Move Out event.” Stacy Miller, the director of the Department of Residential Life, sent out an e-mail to all on-campus students mentioning the “Have a Heart” Campaign, which is staffed by the Community Coalition. We understand that people may be unaware of their impact and want to remind them that our neighbors are ‘just a wall away.'” The Burlington Police Dept. statistics show that the numbers of parties at off-campus houses has greatly decreased. A continuing challenge, however, is walk-by disruptions. The police are more concerned with these types of disturbances, rather than house parties, as the spring semester comes to a close. Living in a city with a large university requires some compromise. College students cannot be blamed for the noise problem in Burlington entirely. In fact, some might claim that the noise problem has decreased greatly in recent years. However, it is undisputable that as the temperature rises, so does the level of activity in the downtown scene. With college kids triumphing over one of the most difficult parts of the academic year comes noisy shenanigans, and