By Elijiah McGuire-Berk
On Sept. 2, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Xavier Cole along with various leaders in Chestertown held a meeting to give off-campus students advice regarding how to live in town without being inconsiderate to their neighbors and the community. Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker, Student Government Association President Taylor Frey, Zoning Administrator for Chestertown Kees de Mooy, Representative of the Washington Avenue Neighbor Association Collin McRae, and Director of Public Safety Jerry Roderick all spoke during the meeting.
Since last semester, there have been changes in the ways that the police department handles disturbances such as loud noises and rowdy parties. Roderick said, “I don’t want to dampen your experience. I want you to have a great time here in college… but there are regulations and rules and one of those…is that you’ll have to get along with the neighbors that are near you.”
He pointed out that the ordinances of the town are the same as they were last year. First offences for disturbances will receive a warning, followed by a citation and a $500 fine.
Roderick warned party hosts about rowdy guests, noting that it is the responsibility of the resident to keep track of everything.
“If you’re on the lease, you’re responsible,” he said. He recommended that off-campus students get to know their neighbors and let them know when a party or get together is going to occur. He invited any students with questions or concerns to head to the police station located at 333 South Cross St.
Next to talk was de Mooy, who spoke of things to be proud of in Chestertown, like cleanliness. He advised students to be attentive of litter around their properties and to dispose of it in proper waste containers. “We have one of the highest rates of recycling in the state of Maryland, and I would love it, if you live off campus, if you would take your beer cans, get a recycling bucket from the town, and use that.” He advised students to be aware of pickup days for trash and recyclables.
McRae spoke from the perspective of a year-round resident that lives near the college. He welcomed the off-campus students into the community and said that neighbors are more than willing to look out for each other. He said that everybody has responsibilities and described Chestertown as, “…a residential district, not ‘Animal House.’”
After McRae, it was Frey’s turn to speak. He called off-campus students to run for SGA to represent off-campus students. Anyone interested in running for the SGA should contact email@example.com.
Roderick warned students that getting into legal trouble could have unintended consequences later in life. He also said that Public Safety is more than willing to inspect off campus students’ houses to make sure that they have adequate locks and fire protection. He said, “Last year we didn’t have any complaints from residents; let’s keep that going.”
The final speaker was Cole. He pointed out that students can lose their off-campus privilege and be forced to live on campus if they prove to be too much of a disturbance to the local community. It hasn’t happened yet, and he said he doesn’t want it to.
An off-campus living guide will be emailed to off-campus students. It contains advice pertaining to how to be a good member of the Chestertown community.