SUNY students lack respect for community

Recent outrage from Buffalo’s University Heights residents, who live next door to the University at Buffalo’s South Campus, brings attention to the national problem of college students disrupting the local neighborhood.

University Heights residents have long complained about the roving packs of young people who roam the streets in mass amounts in search of a party. On the way to and from the party the students cause problems such as public urination on business and homes, breaking bottles in the streets and on the sidewalks, and littering, sometimes leaving hundreds of red solo cups and drug paraphernalia in their wakes.

University Heights, long known to young people as a center for house parties, offers a little bit for everyone. Large Greek life parties with keg stands are held just down the street from punk houses, where if music is your thing, you can catch a $3 show in a grungy basement. If nightlife is your thing, Buffalo’s only subway line starts at South campus and leads itself down to the Chippewa or Allen Street scenes.

In all this fun it can be hard for college students to remember that these places they party in are real neighborhoods, full of all types of households, and not just a place to let loose on a Friday night.

According to Buffalo Police in February, larcenies and assaults in University Heights are on the rise, often fueled by partying students. Major attention was called to the area when University at Buffalo student Nicholas Arieno, 18, was found dead in a party house on Winspear Avenue.

The issue of students versus residents is not unique to University Heights. SUNY Cortland students went wild this weekend when their football team won the rivalry game. Students flipped at least one car, covered the streets in beer cans and cups, and trashed the entire town. The story garnered national attention when BuzzFeed picked up the story, illustrating the disaster with countless photos of property destruction.

This is a great time for Buffalo State students to remember that this area isn’t just theirs for nine months, but it’s also the permanent residence of many families for the rest of the year.

Echoes of the same issue facing University Heights residents can be seen just south of Forest Avenue, on streets such as Ashland Avenue, Hoyt Street or Claremont Avenue.

Though not all the red solo cups, broken bottles and EZ-Wides can be attributed only to Buffalo State students, let’s do our part, and be on guard for the neighborhood that graciously accepts us. This is a good opportunity to do your part, even when you’re not in your finest hour.

Next door to the frat house could be a family with small children or impressionable teenagers. They don’t need broken glass on the sidewalk Sunday morning.

In fact, no one needs that.

Let’s all help prevent a clash with the neighborhood before it happens, so we’re never in the same boat that students of UB and Cortland are currently in, being blamed for the demise of an entire neighborhood.

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