Mayor makes thoughtless proposals

Column: Unfiltered Commentary

By on October 29, 2015

The city of Hamden is at it again. From the Planning and Zoning Commission to the mayor himself, everyone wants Quinnipiac students either gone or under stricter regulations. Last week, the Chronicle interviewed the current mayor, Curt Leng. Leng came into office in May and has decided to chit chat with students, including us, informing us about his new policies.

If you read the article, you would have noticed that the mayor suggested that students apply to live off-campus in non-Quinnipiac housing.

The current way to go about living off campus is by looking at houses that you like, contacting the landlord and then signing a lease. The same process that everyone else in the community and state goes through when looking to rent a house.

Good ‘ole Leng wants students to be the exception to that process. Direct quote: “That allows the university [to have] some more control over real problematic locations,” Leng said. “Because the vast majority of our off-campus students are not causing problems in our neighborhoods, but the ones that do and do repeatedly should be dealt with.”

By making students apply, you are taking the aspect of living off-campus away. Students move off campus so they don’t have to abide to university rules. It’s called “growing up.” In fact, it’s what real real people do all the time. They live in rented homes and when they throw parties and the music gets too loud, the police come and tell them to turn it down.

If students were written up freshman year, this in no way affects their ability to live off-campus. Would you make grown men and women apply to live in a rented home even if they have previously gotten arrested? No. And the mayor is saying we should make kids apply to live off campus if they’ve caused problems previously? Doing so is treating students like they’re a different type of resident completely.

Leng also said he wanted to have the university discipline the students who cause problems for police and residents.
Cause problems…for the police. Isn’t their job…to solve problems…in the community? Hm. No wonder Lahey is peacing out to North Haven.
I just want to address that Lahey said in an interview with the New Haven Register that of the 1,300 students who live off-campus, most of the problems involve about 40 of those students living in eight to 10 privately owned homes. I’m pretty sure the police can handle this one on their own.

“If someone’s just making some noise, I’m not looking to have them arrested, to have them have a record,” Leng said. “Whereas if we’re working together with the university and we have a number of problems in a particular house, we could have a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ type of rule where the university then says ‘Look, you didn’t follow our code of conduct and you can’t live in the neighborhood.’”
What are we, in the third grade? These students living off campus are paying monthly rent, paying for cable and Wi-Fi, paying for gas, food, cleaning their houses and you want to enforce a three-strike system?

What really kills me is that he wants RAs to patrol those areas with the cops — good one. I’m an RA and if he thinks I’m going to go to a privately-rented house party to tell students to quiet down with the Hamden police next me, he’s very wrong.

The town keeps blaming Quinnipiac for the students living off-campus who are rowdy and it is literally the Hamden police’s job to address these problems, just like every other town. Well if they’re going to blame us, it’s time we speak up for ourselves.

As some of you might know, the elections for the Mayor of Hamden are coming up and we have the ability to vote. I suggest you search the Internet to see what these candidates are saying and make in impact in your community by utilizing your right to vote.

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About Sarah Harris

Managing Editor
Email: editor@quchronicle.com
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Year: 2016
Major: Print journalism