To the editor:
(re: “Manhattan College must take control of off-campus students,” Nov. 9)
Thanks to Karolina Janik, Councilman Andrew Cohen and The Riverdale Press for keeping this important neighborhood issue alive.
The blame is easy to parcel out, but obtaining a fair, just and realistic solution has been evading us since the ‘80s.
However, neighborhood residents should never resign themselves to the burden of having to protect, provide services for, and then clean up after cursing, rampaging drunk students who litter the neighborhood with their trash, vomit and urine.
The students engaging in this behavior are not yet adults. When given freedom and anonymity, they will not exercise restraint. All of us are in some way in loco parentis. Manhattan College, however, needs to take leadership, and stop denying the fact that their existence is the sole reason we are having to deal with these issues.
Here are just some of the actions that can be effective, but only when applied simultaneously and consistently:
• Pre-emptive police patrols on designated evenings known to be high-student traffic.
• College familiarizing itself with problematic off-campus student residences and requiring local addresses on file for all students.
• Active and effective college investigations of reported misbehavior with appropriate consequences.
• Collaboration and community between Manhattan College public safety and the 50th Precinct.
• Students organizations that will repudiate the behavior of their peers. There are Manhattan College students who are ashamed of the behavior of their fellow students, and do not like to be stereotyped and profiled when they are not the perpetrators.
In the past, they have organized and looked for ways to apply pressure to their more immature peers.
• Neighbor activism. Reporting incidents to 311 and to the college. Notifying landlords of problem tenants.
Keep shining light on the problem through whatever means possible.
• Community board monitoring establishments that are serving and selling alcohol to underage drinkers.
Just like laundry, these are things we have to keep on doing.