University Heights drunkenness crosses line

Editorial Staff

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The calendar has just recently changed to September, which means that all the local colleges, from SUNY Buffalo State, to University at Buffalo, Canisius and Medaille Colleges, are back in session.

So cheers to a new semester. But for University Heights residents, cheers to college students urinating on their sidewalks, drawing graffiti on their houses, trampling flowers, damaging cars and the official end to a peaceful, quiet summer.

The Buffalo News captured some of the scenes at University Heights two Saturdays ago. A reporter and photographer took to the streets that surround the UB campus and saw students drunkenly stumbling around the neighborhood, blasting music and shouting out windows. They saw homeowners out on their porches keeping a watchful eye on their property while trying to deter these activities at the same time.

One encounter between a homeowner and a group of students sums it up quite well.

Early Saturday morning a young woman walking with a group of students stopped, pulled down her shorts, squatted and just… started peeing. On the sidewalk. One neighbor shouted over to the young woman.

“Oh, no,” the woman yelled to the bare-assed young woman. “What are you doing? You are not.”

“This is our neighborhood. You don’t do that here,” she said later.

The young woman pulled up her pants and walked away. But a young man taunted the neighbors.

“That’s what you get for living here,” he said.

Does he have a point? Maybe to an extent. It’s college, you cannot expect the students to act like angels, be in their dorms before 11 o’clock each night and never do anything wrong. But, the homeowners shouldn’t have to deal with that on a nightly basis. The police need to do a better job patrolling the area, so that partying can still take place but in a controlled way.

But seriously? Residents should get used to young women peeing on their sidewalks because that’s what they get for living there?

Listen, we all like to toss back some cold ones after a long week of classes. There is no changing that. College kids are going to drink and sometimes act like idiots. But there is a certain maturity level we should all have and simple respect for others.

Rather than the young man saying “That’s what you get for living here,” he should have been taken away in handcuffs and the neighbor should have shouted “That’s what you get for going to school here.” Why? For being so unbelievably rude to someone who has a young “woman” urinating on her lawn. If only having no manners was a crime.

Yes, neighbors of colleges should realize what they are getting themselves into. There are going to be parties. Students are going to be loud, and things may get a little out of hand. It’s inevitable.

But that certainly doesn’t mean things should get so out of hand that students are damaging other people’s property. Some neighbors may have not had much of a choice with their living situations. They can’t take the full blame for where they are living. They shouldn’t have to take any blame.

Perhaps the police should better patrol college-student-populated areas. But they can only do so much, especially when outnumbered by a bunch of college students.

If you want to go out and have a good time, fine. But be respectful of property and mindful of neighbors. Keep it classy.

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