Volume 94, Issue 37

Friday, November 3, 2000


Editorial Board 2000-2001

Can't we all just get along?

Editorial Cartoon

Can't we all just get along?

As the municipal elections gather steam, the relationship between students and London homeowners has once again become an issue on the campaign trail.

Students, by their very nature, do not make the best of neighbours. Many fail to keep their properties at even the basic levels of cleanliness. A molding sofa rotting away on a front porch, a flower garden consisting of pizza boxes, or legions of garbage bags scattered across a front lawn, are just three of the common images which are sure to make many London residents shudder.

Another common complaint is student noise levels. If you are an elderly citizen, or a working mother and father, and you have the house party of the decade going on next door at 12:30 a.m. on a Thursday night, then you may not harbour too many kind thoughts towards your student neighbours.

The residential area surrounding the bars on the Richmond Row area has been coined the "piss and vomit route" by some members of the London community, due to the late-night antics of students returning home in drunken revelry. The common defence is that students will be students, but for many homeowners, that doesn't cut it.

A key question emerges in the battle between students and their community neighbours: What is Western's duty when it comes to students and the surrounding community? Does Western's responsibility for student conduct end at the borders of campus? The revised version of the UWO Student Code of Conduct would seem to tell us no, by effectively holding students accountable for actions which take place off campus. The conflict of interest should be noted.

The fact of the matter remains that if you are a homeowner living close to the London bar scene or in predominantly student areas, you should expect noise and a possibility of disturbances. These communities should understand what they are getting into by having students reside in them.

That being said, there is an element of class students should present to the public and a level of maturity which goes beyond urinating on someone's front lawn. If neighbours are concerned, then there is obviously a problem and students should do their part to try to help solve it. Ladies and gentlemen, many of us are between three or four years from entering the "Real World" We all have to learn how to co-exist in that world with others.

If we aren't mature enough to realize every member of a community must consider the welfare and rights of other community members, then we're going to have trouble being accepted our entire lives. In the end, homeowners can be a little more understanding and students can be a little more upstanding.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000