December 3, 2012
Charlottesville City Council made noise Monday night on the topic of noise, as they received a report on the long-debated noise ordinance for the Venable neighborhood.
Mayor Satyendra Huja said he's never seen so many University of Virginia students show up for a council meeting. They were making sure their voices were heard in the ongoing debate over the ordinance, which would include jail time for repeat offenders.
"Some of the neighbors were feeling the police would give a noise ordinance citation and especially some of the fraternities were building it into their budget," Charlottesville Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos said.
"It's going to build quite a bit of unrest and distrust between the neighbors and the fraternity men and the non-fraternity men who are just living in the community," said Andrew Colberg, president of the university's Inter-Fraternity Council.
Police have stepped up enforcement of the law over the last three months, issuing 12 citations and 33 warnings for conversations in the Venable neighborhood over the threshold of 55 decibels, therefore threatening what a number of students describe as the culture at the university.
"Not being able to have tailgates, not being able to enjoy the community that we have here -- that's a major culture shock," Colberg said.
Students told council of their recent efforts in working with the community. The two sides agree they've come to a mutual understanding of respect.
"We just have such a great community there, and it's getting stronger every single day due to the actions that both the university, the Inter-Fraternity Council, student government, all the students have taken to go about doing that," Colberg said.
So for now, jail time for being too loud is still off the table until council makes more noise on the issue in a few months.