NU cracks down on violations by underage students

Elise Logemann was just sitting on her patio last springvisiting with friends and listening to music. But the fun didn’tlast after she was slapped with a noise violation by the City ofEvanston.

She soon found herself dealing not just with the city, but alsospeaking with a Northwestern residential life staff member.

“I didn’t appreciate it because I’m old enough and trying mybest to to be mature,” said Logemann, a Communication junior.

Had Logemann been under 21 when the incident occurred, and hadit happened this year, she could have wound up with more severeconsequences based on a new university policy.

University officials scan daily University Police and EvanstonPolice Department reports to look for students’ names. They havebegun to contact parents concerning their children’s illegal ordisruptive conduct after deciding on the policy Fall Quarter.

“We are committed to taking care of students under 21,” saidCatherine Whitcomb, NU’s assistant to the vice president forstudent affairs. “For people over 21 and living in the community,they simply have the law to deal with.”

After serious problems with off-campus parties and “barbaric”behavior in the fall that resulted in a series of communitymeetings on the issue, Whitcomb said the university decided to takemore action to monitor underage students.

“It was really lots of students who were totally out ofcontrol,” she said. “It was really ludicrous, ludicrousbehavior.”

Whitcomb said her phone was “ringing off the hook” with callsfrom neighbors living near campus for problems such as noise,vandalism and even a “river of urine down a driveway.”

William Banis, vice president for student affairs, sent out ane-mail explaining the policy in the fall.

“The university may notify the parents of students who are citedor arrested for violations of those, or other ordinances, byUniversity Police,” Banis wrote.

After meeting one-on-one with residential life staff to discussa report’s details, students might be required to inform theirparents of any violations. Parents must then call residential lifestaffers to confirm that they are aware of students’ actions.

Whitcomb said the policy, which follows run-ins with universityor Evanston police, was developed to protect students.

“It comes down to our complying with the law, but the bottomline is their safety,” she said. “It’s between them and the law andthem and their own health.”

Some NU students living off campus said university officialsaren’t the only local adults contacting parents when campus andcity police break up parties or issue violations. Angry landlords,too, have begun to call parents.

Logemann’s landlord contacted her parents after a party at herhouse was broken up by Evanston police — even though she is21.

Whitcomb said landlords often are not around, increasing thelikelihood that students will cause problems.