College, neighbors struggle to curb student noise


With school back in session, Riverdalians who live near Manhattan College students’ apartments and favorite haunts say their evening peace and quiet from Thursday through Saturday is at an end. The school’s administration is taking steps to discourage students from being loud, strewing trash and performing functions better done in the privacy of a bathroom along West 238th Street and Greystone Avenue, though officials and residents say getting students to behave is a struggle.

“It does get really loud. I really empathize with the neighbors. It’s like a wall of noise out there,” said Michael Carey, the college’s dean of students.

He added that since residents stepped up their fight against students’ noise last semester — organizing a petition demanding “a culture of respect in the neighborhood” and contacting local news outlets — the college has launched something of a crackdown on rowdiness pouring out of bars like Fenwick’s at 432 W. 238th St. and the school’s own Overlook Manor apartment building for juniors, seniors and graduate students, located nearby.

Mr. Carey said the college has worked to track who lives where off campus, so when the school receives noise complaints, it is easier to identify the responsible parties. He said since the start of the semester on Aug. 31, he has adjudicated three noise complaints involving students who live off campus, two of them on West 238th Street.

The dean said he follows up on every complaint he receives from community members. While he noted residents actually e-mailed or phoned in fewer complaints last fall than the same time several years earlier — dropping from 36 to about a dozen complaints per semester — he speculated that residents have simply gotten out of the habit of making specific complaints.

“We follow up on any complaint that’s made. We follow up for sure,” Mr. Carey said. “I know people sometimes feel it’s not that way.”

Manhattan College, Michael Carey, Jean Rincon, Judith Kahn, Paige Hughes, Shant Shahrigian
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