As students return to campus for the start of the fall semester, their excitement may be diminished by certain regulations put in place. On July 11, Newark City Council passed a new law as a way to crack down on partying among college students.
The new law reduces the number of people allowed on a property from 150 to 50. The ordinance has been put in place due to townhouses and joint properties that allow for an overflow of people, resulting in large parties in places such as East Cleveland Avenue.
While some may say this is an understandable measure to alleviate the problem of underage drinking, others are left wondering if it’s truly necessary. It’s no secret that students aren’t fans of the police putting a stop to their fun, but the true problem lies in the fact that Newark faces more serious threats than frat parties.
Last year, students were met with a surplus of text messages from either the Newark Police Department or UDPD issuing warnings about people being hit with BB gunshots or robbed. Many times, the text was followed up with another stating that there was no further information available. If issues that are threatening students’ safety are as rampant as they were last year, should partying be the main concern?
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, similar ordinances were put in place in order to reduce the spread of the disease. While this was an understandable measure to take, it wasn’t as effective as it should’ve been. Students still found a way to host parties and gatherings despite how high the stakes were in terms of public health and punishment from the university.
If the threat of getting COVID-19 as well as facing punishment from the university didn’t stop students, what’s to stop them from finding a way around the new ordinance? Policing partying and underage drinking has never seemed to prove effective in the past and resources should be put towards serious threats on campus.
In addition to cracking down on partying, the city council has also decided that inflatable pools must be dealt with. On July 11, a law was signed banning inflatable pools from being in front yards. The ordinance had many students questioning the motivation behind it as it seems irrelevant in terms of crime and safety issues on campus.
The ban on inflatable pools came from complaints from neighbors and property maintenance. Issues such as bugs breeding in the pools or kids walking by possibly falling in them contributed to the ordinance. While these are relevant complaints and dangers, students are once again left wondering why they are being punished when there are more pressing issues at hand.
Unlike the new capacity ordinance, the inflatable pool ordinance does meet students halfway. Although inflatable pools are not allowed in the front yards, they are allowed in backyards.
With the start of the new semester, it seems like Newark Police Department will have their hands full. Students arriving back to campus will be eager to party as well as beat the heat, despite what the new laws say.
The Review’s weekly editorials are written to reflect the majority opinion of The Review’s staff. This week’s editorial was written by Lily Williams, managing opinion editor. She may be reached at email@example.com.