Town/Gown Relations Continue To Go Down

Two weeks ago, the rumor spread that Ian Carleton, the Democratic representative from Ward 1, was sponsoring legislation within the city to raise noise violations to $500 per person on the lease.

Carleton, whose Ward includes Harris/Millis, MAT, L/L and Main Campus was elected by a high percentage of students. So it shocked Carlton’s supporters that he approved.

But, the $500 penalty rumor was false and only mentioned during a conference of the Housing Ordinance committee for city council. These rumors demonstrate how bad relations are between the University and Burlington.

Mayor Claville and Burlington have often pushed through city ordinances that severely affect students. These ordinances include the functional family law which attempts to curb more than four students living in one house. Arrests and students taken into custody for drunkenness have increased along with University pressure to control its students.

Burlington residents should be upset when people puke on their lawns. But, what Burlington needs to realize is that students also live in this town. Without UVM students Burlington would not have a strong economy. Burlington would be an economically and socially depressed city.

But neither side wants to compromise. It appeared that relations were getting better with the new late night bus route on the weekends, but tensions are on the rise.

However, the University and town should encourage positive interaction between students and residents. Ways to improve relations include blue lights and better street lighting in college neighborhoods for security and maybe a University liaison to meet at once with neighbors and students.

As students we curse the residents and the city government for their anti-student ordinances. But we must cooperate and maintain civility and communication. And if you dislike passed ordinances, vote the people who make them out of office next March on town meeting day.