Dealing with noisy neighbors

Paul Dalsky and Paul Dalsky

Loud music, big parties, late-night trips to Wal-Mart, freedom.

This is the image of a typical college student’s dream life. But what about when there is no Resident Adviser to control things and no set quiet hours? Welcome to real freedom, the freedom that is off-campus living.

Along with the new responsibilities of living off campus comes the responsibility of being a good neighbor. This new, real-world setting brings with it the real-world rules and regulations. The Bowling Green Police Department can attest.

Officer Roger Kern, a patrolman for the BGPD, said the majority of calls from college students deal with neighbor issues, mostly large parties. When it comes to communicating, most people do not. He explained that living off campus is mostly about common sense.

“We do have ordinances. You can’t bother your neighbors,” Kern said.

When police get a call, they visit the location and give a disorderly conduct warning. If police do not have to return to the location that night, everything is OK. If police continue to get calls or continue visiting a location, they may take further action.

Just like in a dorm, problems arise between neighbors. Solving the problem is sometimes just a matter of communication.

Newlove Management owner Mary Newlove Noll pointed out that talking about problems might be all it takes.

“Sometimes the neighbor doesn’t realize how overly noisy they’re being,” Noll said.

She also mentioned that vacuuming at 3 a.m. is not a good example of using common sense off campus.

Newlove Management does not like to get involved in neighbor arguments because it could escalate the situation. Instead, Newlove tries to prevent problems by suggesting housing based on the buyer.

For example, Newlove would not recommend a mostly undergrad neighborhood to a professional couple. Instead, they know noise levels in different parts of town and might suggest a quieter area.

Because most students live around other students, finding a quiet part of town may be easier said than done.

For senior Lauren Riehl, who opted to live in a single-bedroom apartment to have a little more peace and quiet, dealing with neighbors has always been an issue.

Her apartment complex last year was filled with students who liked to listen to loud music and party into the wee hours of the night. In one instance, she said, the cops were called on one apartment from a neighboring apartment.

This year, Riehl finds herself dealing with fewer neighbors, since her apartment is in a house and not a huge complex. But her neighbors upstairs have gotten a little loud from time to time.

“Last week it was 4:30 in the morning and it kind of sounded like a pack of elephants upstairs, so I stood on my couch and banged on the ceiling a little, and they stopped,” Riehl said.

So when dealing with neighbor issues, handling it without involving the police or a landlord is a good place to start fixing the conflict, Riehl said. And if that fails, you can always bang on the ceiling.