By: Dante Barboy, student
There has been a lot of talk within the Towson University community lately about Bill 90-15 sponsored by Baltimore County Councilman David Marks regarding “unruly social gatherings” and how that might affect TU students and the area around campus.
I believe that the penalties that David Marks proposes for complaints made by residents of the area (six neighborhoods in East Towson will be used to test the program) are unreasonable and harsh. And no, I’m not just saying this because of the $500 charge that will be issued as punishment to party hosts.
First off, I would like to point out that the whole issue of complaints for gatherings that are out of control or disruptive is subjective.
In townhouse neighborhoods, one can hear just about anything within one’s block that is just a bit loud.
With this being said, there is a pretty strong possibility of there being complaints for parties that aren’t even all that loud and completely in control, just because one might think of a little bit of noise as disruptive.
What one might consider out of control and bad behavior might not be the same for somebody else. This bill would allow residents to complain for situations that aren’t serious whatsoever.
Another problem with this is that landlords will be affected by the possibility of a decrease in the demand for housing from students that will look to avoid these situations.
At the same time, they won’t look to students as tenants when renting, if harsh sanctions will be applied on them.
And of course one can’t forget how rebellious many of us young people tend to be. We don’t want people limiting our freedoms, that goes without saying.
I understand the position that neighbors are in, and I am considerate toward it. I also get that the town and the school are growing at a very rapid pace. However, as a community, we have to face the reality that Towson is very quickly becoming a college town, if it isn’t that already.
You can’t live around college students and expect them to not have their fun.
I am not condoning chaotic gatherings, but I am conscious of the fact that partying for students is a natural behavior.
In conclusion, I hope that we as students can work together with neighbors and public officials to come to a different solution regarding this matter, or at least work to revise the bill, to make the sanctions applicable to extreme misconduct only.