Are NU’s Wildcats Too Wild?
EVANSTON (CBS) – It’s Homecoming weekend in Evanston as the Northwestern Wildcats prepare to take on the Michigan State Spartans.
But there’s another showdown on the horizon between some who live around the campus and rowdy students, CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.
For many college students, a big game weekend like this one means good football, and lots of parties. While students may see the parties as a rite of their college passage, some people who call the quiet neighborhoods around Northwestern home say the parties and some students are getting out of hand.
On most days this stretch of Maple Avenue looks like a picture-perfect neighborhood. On game days, the picture’s not so perfect.
Frustrated neighbors snapped photos after a recent party to show city and university officials just what they’re dealing with. They say the pictures don’t even tell the whole story.
“When it gets out of hand, you will see public urination, vomiting — the noise gets really loud,” says Matthew Doherty, who has lived in the area for 24 years
Doherty says it’s not just a handful of students.
“Within a block, block and a half radius, you might have six, seven or eight parties, and some of those would have up to 200 students each,” he says.
After numerous complaints, Northwestern’s dean of students, Burgwell Howard, sent an email apologizing for the unacceptable behavior.
“When students cross the line in terms of issues of noise or trash or their conduct that would violate any city codes, that’s where we want to make sure that we step in,” Howard said.
Some students have apologized to their neighbors in letters and face to face. Many neighbors say they accept the apologies but hope the students will take it a step further and change the bad behavior.
“Oftentimes, they’re simply not aware of how loud they are. They’re not aware of how far it carries,” Doherty says.
“They don’t think if they walk down the street for a block calling to each other and shouting and laughing they might wake up 30 people,” said Lisa Pildes, who’s lived in the area for 30 years.
But on the eve of the big homecoming game, she and many of her neighbors are just bracing for what tomorrow will bring.
“The kegs are already in the backyard waiting for tomorrow, and the tables and chairs, so everybody’s getting ready,” she says.
The students aren’t the only ones getting ready. Evanston police say they will have a zero-tolerance policy for any of the rowdy behavior. Northwestern University police will also be on the lookout, and next Tuesday, the university plans to hold a town hall meeting with students to discuss the off-campus partying and other issues.