As city residents continue to file complaints about rowdy college students in their neighborhoods, members of the Common Council are struggling to find solutions.
It's fall and there are thousands of new college students in town and some of them are, again, behaving badly. That's especially true in University Heights where UB students are sometimes bused in for off-campus parties.
"This is an issue that we cannot continue to just put down the road, kick down the road, wait to the next semester that residents have to be disrupted," said Common Council member Rasheed Wyatt, who expressed frustration over his attempts to reach out to UB President Satish Tripathi. Wyatt says when he went to meet with Tripathi, only his chief of staff attended.
A UB spokesman says Tripathi did meet with Wyatt on Aug. 15 to discuss student behavior in the Heights and what steps are being taken to improve the situation and it is "not accurate" for Wyatt to say Tripathi refuses to meet with him. The spokesman says another "very productive" meeting with the Heights community a few days ago was attended by the president’s chief of staff and UB’s community relations director, which is standard protocol for such follow-up meetings.
Still there appears to be plenty of parties who can share in the blame.
"It's the landlords, really, who aren't complying with the wishes of the rest of the residents. And, that's where the problem is," Council Member Ulysees Wingo said.
"The problem is with these landlords who are renting these houses out to students and we can't really blame the colleges but we do need to partner with the colleges."
Wingo says there are troublesome college students in his Masten District from a number of local colleges and he's meeting with Canisius President John Hurley next week to talk about student behavior.
Meanwhile, Majority Leader David Rivera paints a different picture in his dealings with D'Youville College. The institution, Rivera says, has been reaching out to neighbors, holding quarterly meetings.
"We meet with block club leaders and stakeholders. They've been very responsive to both me and the residents and the block clubs," Rivera said.