Chapman will start issuing fines to students who receive multiple noise complaints in an attempt to improve relations with Orange residents, according to Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students.
While the Orange police typically fines residents $500 for noise complaints, Chapman will charge students who are repeat offenders a fine of $400. For each additional offense, the fine will increase about $200.
“We’ve been monitoring this and trying new things for a while now,” Price said. “I recognize that telling students not to socialize is not a realistic answer in itself. That being said, they could still be better at the socializing that they’re doing.”
While the university does not carry authority off campus, Orange police officers will call Public Safety if they believe a violation involves Chapman students. Last year, Public Safety responded to 91 of these calls regarding students.
Price said that many neighbors feel disrespected by Chapman students.
“If the students are trying to be respectful – they’re taking in their trash cans, they’re keeping the yard nice, cleaning up after parties – if they do those things, most neighbors will be slow to call the police,” Price said.
Kyle Mendoza, president of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, said that the fines seem fair and make sense to him, but does not completely agree with the new policy.
“In practice, I feel as though if you are going to pay a fine it should be to OPD (Orange Police Department), not the school,” Mendoza said. “In regards to Beta, social functions have never been of paramount concern to us.”
Teault Marcille, social chair of Phi Kappa Tau, agrees with Mendoza.
“OPD has jurisdiction over the city, not the school,” Marcille said. “If OPD is the one to respond to the party, then they should be fining us, not Chapman.”
Price announced at his State of Student Life Address Sept. 18 that Chapman is planning to offer a good neighborhood class, which would teach students how to maintain a positive relationship with their neighbors. The class will be available in October, and the administration is considering reducing fines for students who have taken the class.
Price attributed Chapman’s problems with Orange residents to two main issues.
“One thing, we live in a neighborhood that is particularly sensitive to this type of thing,” he said. “Secondly, it’s a historic neighborhood with people who’ve lived here a long time.”
Price also mentioned that there aren’t many other places for students to go if they want to attend a party, besides The District Lounge, which is limited to those older than the age of 21, and venue parties, which are sometimes far away.
“We want to make it less attractive for students to have parties in the neighborhood, but realistically, we need to find alternatives for students who want to socialize with their friends to find other productive ways to do it that are not readily available right now,” Price said. “Certainly, some of our students make poor choices, but I think in general, our students’ behavior is not much different than students at other universities.”