Northwestern official warns students of Noyes Street complaints


Ebony Calloway/The Daily Northwestern

Some residents of the Noyes Street area have told Northwestern administrators that students are making noise late at night. Officials offered mild fall weather and efforts to encourage students to walk in groups as potential reasons for the uptick in complaints.

Maddie Elkins, Reporter

A University-wide effort to encourage students to walk in groups late at night for safety may be having an unintended side effect, according to a Northwestern official.

“I think one of the issues that’s come forward this year compared to last year is that the noise complaints this year have sort of switched from being more about large parties to being more about individuals walking on city streets late at night,” said Anthony Kirchmeier, director of off-campus life.

An email sent Thursday to off-campus students asked that they make efforts to be quieter when walking in groups at night.

The email came as a result of complaints from Evanston residents in areas west of campus between Noyes and Foster streets, as well as in the downtown commercial district. Kirchmeier said these residents have complained of being woken by noise from people walking through the neighborhoods.

Kirchmeier said he believes the nice weather this fall has encouraged students to stay out later, which has led to more noise on city streets. The University is in constant contact with city officials, and residents have also contacted administrators directly with complaints. He said the email was an attempt to respond and “make this a better community for all.”

“I think part of the issue about the louder noise, or what’s perceived as louder noise in the neighborhood, is we’ve kind of encouraged people to travel in groups off-campus so that they have friends with them, and it’s better for safety and that type of thing,” Kirchmeier said. “But the fact that they’re walking in groups, you know, voice levels just get raised.”

Kevin Harris, Associated Student Government’s community relations vice president, said ASG has been actively working alongside Kirchmeier to address complaints. He said that although students are encouraged to walk in groups, they should be conscious of their neighbors who go to sleep earlier.

“I think that is something that students do forget,” the Weinberg sophomore said.

Kirchmeier said noise complaints on days with home football games are down for both parties and groups. He praised Fitzerland, the new student tailgating area, as having decreased the amount of party-hopping and social hosting that has bothered residents in the past. He was unable to say whether this effect is true for Fall Quarter in general.

“I’ve noticed it,” said McCormick junior Casey Riscoe, who lives near Noyes Street. “Definitely since the start of the year, I’ve noticed more people around the area near North Campus. It doesn’t really bother me, but I can see people being bothered by it, especially on the corner of Noyes Street, just with the traffic.”

Others, like McCormick junior Jason Arnold, haven’t noticed any change in noise levels at night.

“I live on Noyes, and I haven’t noticed it,” Arnold said. “That’s probably because I have a higher tolerance for noise and am up later. I can understand why they would be upset, because if people are going to bed at 9 or 10 o’clock and parties start later than that.”

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