Indiana Daily Student

IUSA, city warn residents to keep noise levels down

Bloomington targets housing around campus

Loud music booming vibrations throughout the rooms of a house morning might produce a well-attended party in the wee hours of the morning. But those same vibrations might draw a fine.\nThe IU Student Association collaborated with six neighborhoods surrounding IU's campus and passed out 5,000 doorknob hangers last night in an effort to educate the community about Bloomington's "Quiet Nights" initiative. \nAccording to Bloomington's city government Web site, "Quiet Nights" is a taxpayer-funded program that incentivizes the city's noise ordinances, giving money to the Bloomington Police Department for enforcing the late night rules. \nThe citywide mandate requires residents to curb noise coming from their homes between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Every resident found to be violating the city ordinance can be issued a $50 fine.\nA noise violation is defined as any noise of continuous or intermittent nature, which persists for a period of 15 minutes and can be heard by a person outside the immediate premises from the location of the noise.\nIUSA President Alex Shortle said IUSA's mission is to bridge the gap between students and members of the Bloomington community.\n"We are letting students know how to protect themselves," Shortle said. "If students respect their neighbors, they will be respected." \nPhil Worthington, president of the Garden Hill Neighborhood Association, said IUSA produced and distributed doorknob hangers to the Garden Hill, Old North East, Bryan Park, Elm Heights, East Side and Green Acres neighborhoods -- the areas surrounding campus. \n"When you're calling the police, it means one thing," Worthington said. "The situation is already out of control. We're taking proactive measures. We want to lessen calls to the police."\nWorthington said subwoofers are the most recurring complaint among Garden Hill residents. He said the speakers penetrate walls and vibrate windows, even when they are not played loudly, and make it difficult for residents to sleep and study.\n"It violates your legal right to privacy," Worthington said. "There are conflicting lifestyles in a college town."\nThe Garden Hill neighborhood is predominantly made up of students who rent property, Worthington said. He said about 23 residents are homeowners, amounting to less than 5 percent of the neighborhood's population. \n"Our mission is an educational one," Worthington said. "If that gets them thinking about being considerate, that would be great. It is a program to prevent problems."\nIUSA Vice President Will Leckey said about 40 members of IUSA helped distribute doorknob hangers.\n"IUSA wants to educate students," Leckey said. "Residents need to keep noise to a minimum and show general respect to neighbors." \nLeckey said IUSA does not necessarily agree with the "Quiet Nights" initiative but wants to make sure students are aware of the consequences of making a great deal of noise. He said when police investigate noise complaints, often other citations, such as alcohol-related violations, are handed out.\nShortle, Worthington and Leckey roamed the Garden Hill neighborhood at 8:30 p.m. last night. They made their way down the vehicle-lined streets and placed doorknob hangers that warned what could happen if noise is heard from outside a home. A party, in honor of a televised football game, was the only occasion for music heard.\nMark Hooker, a retired professor of the IU Russian and East European Institute and representative of the East Side neighborhood, said subwoofers are the biggest problem in his neighborhood as well. He said about 60 percent of the East Side neighborhood is made up of resident homeowners.\n"'Quiet Nights' has been effective when people understand it costs them money," Hooker said. "This is for people who aren't considerate of their neighbors."\nHe said it is important for students who live in neighborhoods to understand what is expected of them. \n"Many people aren't aware they can get in trouble," Hooker said. "It's about being a good neighbor"

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