In response to neighborhood complaints, Chapman considers requiring students to register rented homes

At the Orange city council meeting Oct. 13, community members discussed the possibility of registering all houses rented out to Chapman students, a policy that Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, is considering implementing.

If Chapman requires students to register their addresses when they rent a house, in the event of an emergency or multiple noise complaints, Public Safety will know which students are living where.

“We’re seriously considering requiring students to provide their local address,” Price said. “It’s frustrating now when there are people really frustrated with a specific house and we don’t know with any certainty who lives there and to what extent they are Chapman students. Even if there was a report two months ago, we don’t know if the same students still live there.”

According to Price, many universities make students provide local addresses. Chapman used to do so, but stopped requiring it because the university can now communicate with students through email instead of snail mail.

Price said that neighbors often complain about the same house, but its residents aren’t considered repeat offenders, because multiple people live in the same house who all receive warnings from the police on different occasions. He gave the example of a house that had five police calls in a period of 18 months, with no repeat offenders.

“We typically focus on repeat offenders,” Price said. “We lay out the expectations the first time, but if there is another problem, then we take further action. In that case, no one had a second violation, but the neighbors who live in that area are understandably frustrated because the house kept having calls, but we just kept getting different students notified,” Price said.

If the university had students’ local addresses, the administration would be able to email all of the members of a house that has received a warning, making all of the residents accountable for any noise complaints.

Chapman has been looking for ways to solve this problem with the neighbors, but Price believes that the issues aren’t entirely on the university.

“My personal opinion is that we can’t solve it ourselves and that we would be better served by reevaluating of city ordinances so that the city can have greater leverage with landlords who aren’t taking the problem seriously,” Price said.

According to Price, some landlords don’t set standards for residents that describe what will cause them to get evicted. He said that these houses cause more problems because it’s not regulated what the residents can or cannot do.

Students had mixed feelings about having to give the university their local addresses off-campus.
Sara Delucchi, a junior health sciences major, believes that it is a bit excessive for students to have to give Chapman their local addresses. She explained that these properties are no longer affiliated with the university and that students living off-campus are trying to be independent and should know how to deal with the repercussions of throwing a party.

“Neighbors would definitely like this,” Delucchi said. “If they are trying to limit the amount of partying in the neighborhood, this is definitely an effective way to do it. People won’t want to ruin their reputation with Chapman, so they won’t throw parties.”

Delucchi, who lives off campus, said that she has good relations with her neighbors. Whenever she or her roommates plan on having people over, they let their neighbors know and give them their phone numbers in case it gets too loud. They tell their neighbors to call them instead of calling the police and they will turn off the music and quiet down.

Reyna Bhakta, a freshman health sciences major, believes registering addresses would provide a safer solution.

“It won’t be of any harm,” Bhakta said. “If anything happens and they need to know where you are so that they can send help, knowing where you live will make it easier.”

Other students feel like giving Chapman their addresses would be an invasion of privacy.

“I don’t think that they should require it, unless the students want to provide the information,” said Sylvia Nhan, a freshman health sciences major. “These students are living off campus. They are more independent.”

Kristi Kayoda, a freshman integrated education studies and strategic and corporate communications major, worries that this information would lead Public Safety to patrol certain areas around campus more.

“These houses aren’t Chapman property,” Kayoda said. “I feel like people wouldn’t want to throw parties as often if the university knew where they live. They’d feel constantly watched.”

To read a column about Chapman students’ relationships with Orange residents, click here.

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