When I further explored the South University Neighborhood and spoke to people living in the area, it became apparent that Eugene’s new Social Host Ordinance is the hot topic around town.
I spoke to a student Chloe, who lives by 24th and University Street. She spoke about how she loves the neighborhood, being close to a park, and the overall beauty of University Street. However, as a student, Chloe does sometimes feel threatened and concerned about having fun as a typical college gal.
“I think Eugene is having an issue with being a college town, as well as a place to raise children,” said Chloe.
“I understand that is important for students to respect the neighborhood, but I think students are always targeted.”
As of now, Chloe’s residence is in between a house were students reside, as well as a vacant house. Chloe said that she isn’t so concerned throwing parties since the other house is not occupied as of now. But, a family is moving into that house soon and she thinks her house party days will be over. Chloe did mention that whenever they have parties they always try to let their neighbors know ahead of time.
“When we communicate with the community they understand,” said Chloe. “They see that we are students trying to fun, but also want to be responsible.”
I also spoke to a middle-aged man name Brad, who was walking his dog along University Street. Brad was a resident of the community and spoke with me about the changes he has seen in the community since the Social Host Ordinance.
Brad believes that students have been more cooperative since the new law. He says that students have always been receptive to warnings about calling the authorities, but Brad has found himself being less disturbed by the parties.
Lastly, I talked to another student Megan West. West’s opinion of the new law came as somewhat of a surprise.
“I believe that the Social Host Ordinance can be positive,” said West. “Some students, but not all, believe they can act a certain way just because they are in college. But, young adults need to also be accountable for their actions.”
Megan believes the punishment for students is too server. But, partygoers have also kept West awake in the middle of the night before a big exam.
“There are times I have been annoyed of noise around campus, but fining students with hundreds of dollars seems too harsh.”
It is evident the mixture of college students and families in the South University Neighborhood have caused a discrepancy in the safety and peacefulness of the community.
(last names omitted by request)