The rites of spring on college campuses at Division I schools seem to have picked up where they left off from the pre-COVID-19 times: March Madness, spring break and house parties.
When it comes to Manhattan College, Jasper fans celebrated a near-miss on the basketball court as the women’s team fell short of being invited to the NCAA Tournament berth.
It’s that third spring tradition — house parties — that continues to cause consternation for neighbors surrounding the college’s off-campus housing. In what seems to be repeated year after year is the return of both indoor and outdoor parties, keeping locals up at night with blaring music and the aroma of what were once illegal substances wafting through their windows.
This time, one specific party in question took place on a rooftop with reportedly more than 100 students in attendance.
“This lowers our quality of life,” one neighbor, Christian Thompson, said. “They drag out these (huge) speakers to play music. There are broken bottles on the sidewalk. You can smell the marijuana in the air. All this, while there are children in nearby apartment buildings.”
During this latest party April 9, Thompson had to leave his co-op to study — yes, he takes classes at Manhattan College.
The response from the college’s public safety office and the 50th Precinct? There was nothing they could do. It’s a house party.
Unfortunately, this scene is not unique to life on Waldo Avenue and West 238th Street. Just last year, The Riverdale Press reported similar complaints on nearby Greystone Avenue.
The response back then was the same as it was this time.
“I’ve called their public safety (division), and at first they said they would do something about the noisiness,” one Greystone neighbor said. “But then the last time I called, they said they couldn’t do anything about it. They seemed to have washed their hands” of the situation.
This time around, neighbors are passing around a petition to officially complain to the Manhattan College administration. They hope to get some important face time so that the school can do something about regulating such behavior — even if it occurs at a private residence.
Besides being a bad neighbor, the large, loud parties can create serious safety issues, especially if they take place on a roof. Let’s not forget what happened at a party in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in 2003 when 13 people died from a roof collapse during a party.
Manhattan College administration, please reach out to your residential neighbors to address the semi-annual issue (the fall has a spate of parties as well). They deserve to be heard.
The people hosting these parties are your students.