Noise complaints on par with past years

Forty-six noise complaints have already been filed against students this year, but University Police Chief Dolores Stafford said the number of noise violations has held steady in previous years and she does not expect this year to be an outlier.

Last year a total of 628 noise complaints were filed, while 646 were filed the previous year, representing a difference of no more than 5 percent, Stafford said. Although Stafford said the majority of complaints – more than 400 – were made by members of the GW community against other members of the GW community, some of the most vocal criticisms of student noise come from Foggy Bottom neighbors.

West End Citizens Association Treasurer Sarah Maddux said she feels that the area where she lives, 21st Street near the intersection with F Street, is getting louder.

Thursdays are the worst, Maddux said, and the noise becomes so loud that it disrupts individuals staying in the State Plaza Hotel between E and F streets.

“Most of the noise comes in the evening; groups of students walk with each other screaming and yelling,” she said.

Maddux said she feels that a recent study naming GW as one of the “Top 25 Best Neighbor Colleges and Universities” is not accurate.

“What’s done by the University is citywide and it’s great, but it’s much different from the immediate area,” she said.

Michael Akin, GW’s executive director of Government, International and Community Relations, said keeping noise levels down is a challenge because of the turnover of the student body.

“Our efforts must be renewed year to year, in order to educate our ever-changing student body of their responsibilities to the surrounding community,” Akin said in an e-mail last week.

Akin’s office also runs a “24-Hour Community Concern Hotline” where GW’s neighbors can contact him with any concerns about noise or other issues.

“Each year we track issues reported via the GW Community Concern Hotline. In the last two academic years, there has been a 33 percent decrease in community complaints in the Foggy Bottom/West End area,” Akin said.

Neighbors are instructed to call UPD if they have complaints about students, but Maddux says that once UPD arrives on the scene, the students are usually gone.

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