Scranton’s Hill Section Residents Meet With University Officials Over ‘Rowdy’ Off-Campus Parties

SCRANTON -- Officials from the University of Scranton, the city, and residents of the Hill Section met Wednesday night to discuss the growing concerns with off-campus college parties.

Residents say those parties are getting increasingly out of hand and want the university to do something about it.

It's back to school for the University of Scranton, and in the nearby Hill Section, where many of its students find off-campus housing, the negative effects of student life are already showing as beer cans and garbage are left strewn in yards and on porches.

Residents of the Hill Neighborhood Association met with university officials over the growing anger they're feeling about the off-campus college parties.

“I've had kids in my backyard urinating. I see them out there doing drugs,” said one resident.

Residents say the parties go late into the night, are loud, rowdy, and at many parties, fireworks are being set off.

“People are really frightened by all the fireworks and the crowd sounds, the smashing glass,” said resident Karen Waldeck. “I've lived here a long time. This is the worst it's been.”

Video taken by a resident of the annual midsummer bash thrown by students on Clay Avenue on July 16 show a very large crowd gathered at a house; police estimated roughly 400 people were there.

The next day resident snapped several pictures of all the litter left behind from that bash.

Everyone at the meeting, which included city officials and Scranton police, agreed that party crossed the line.

“We did notify Scranton police of midsummer,” said University Police Chief Donald Bergmann. “I don't think anybody anticipated it was going to be as big as it was. I've never seen it as large as it was.”

“We knew it was going to be a headache, and I want to say by 4:30 we had the party shut down and everybody out of there,” said Scranton Patrol Officer Nick Hurchick. “I never saw that many kids in a confined area in my life.”

University officials say this is a step to make their students better neighbors.

“We're a Jesuit and Catholic university, and again, we hold our students accountable and we have high expectations for them,” said Julie Schumacher Cohen, the director of Community and Government Relations.

“They teach us you have to be men and women for others, and that includes your community, and that includes respect your community, doing what they see is best, as well, because it's not just our world,” said university sophomore Natania Feliciano, who says she’s glad the university’s taking a role in building bridges.

The Hill Neighborhood Association says it plans to continue holding these joint meetings with city officials, city police and members of the university to resolve these issues.

39 comments

  • just kill em

    just kill some with a well placed explosive devise. They always go back to the same places. Geezzz you people are stupid!

  • Judy

    First of all, there is no way that party was “shut down at 430.” I drove through around midnight and there were still cops and cop cars there. The fireworks were a new addition this past year probably starting around d the St. Patty’s day parade parties. They are loud and annoying and they scare the elderly people that live close by. People at the parties do indeed urinate in the parking lots and yards surrounding the area. They break bottles, yell obscenities, and throw things at people who need to walk to their cars in those parking lots. There have even been “couples” spotted having sex in the bushes. They totally disrespect the neighborhoods, the city, and their school. One would think the officials at the school would try to find a solution to improve the reputation of the school.

    • Bob Smith

      That’s horrible! This is Scranton NOT San Francisco. I would suggest for police chief to discuss with the Dean…… And set up a meeting with student there.

    • J.

      Couples having sex in the bushes? There are many more townies having sex in public places than students. Students have places to do that if they want to. Maybe the city should start looking at their own residents

      • Calvin

        There are countless videos and pictures of townies partaking in these acts. Stop blaming the college students because of whatever built up resentment and jealousy you have towards them.

  • Otter

    You can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

  • Otter

    I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did.

  • Doug Neidermeyer

    And most recently of all, a “Roman Toga Party” was held from which we have received more than two dozen reports of individual acts of perversion SO profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here.

  • Elmer W.

    I have found 4 pizza crusts in my yard so far this month. I’ve called the cops and all they tell me is to put a no trespassing sign. That is ridiculous. A sign will not stop pizza crust. I can’t even clean it up because of the ants. Move the college they don’t do anything for the city but cause problems. Close all the bars too.

    • Calvin

      Let’s close all bars and all pizza places! That’s a great idea! Hurt he already struggling Scranton economy!!! You people are brilliant!

      • Bob Smith

        It’s city council and mayor decision to shut down any business. If we file a petition….. It’s no guaranteed.

  • Nostalgia

    Apparently these people have never heard of the 516 Taylor Ave crew, those dudes parties harder than anyone I have ever seen, and were good dudes that let everyone treat their house like a home. Brian, Vic, and Gavin are legends of that hill section!

  • Nostalgia

    Apparently these people have never heard of the 516 Taylor Ave crew, those dudes parties harder than anyone I have ever seen, and were good dudes that let everyone treat their house like a home. Brian, Cic, and Gavin are legends of that hill section!

  • James

    Half of the kids partying here aren’t even University students. Students and random kids from the area show up uninvited to off campus parties and trash the streets and try to fight University students. The fireworks have happened a select few times so the lady who spoke about the fireworks is exaggerating greatly. If these people want to keep complaining they’re welcome to lose all of their business in the area. Us students bring so much money into the Scranton economy so maybe some of you should wake up. Not condoning the trash and noise. You want it fixed though? Tell the townie kids to stop showing up to our parties to pick fights and trash the place. Get control of your own kids first then talk.

    • Ted

      “Us students bring so much money into…..”. “Us” students? Really? Sounds like you’ve spent too much time partying and not enough time paying attention in the classroom.

      • James

        Yes, us students. Grammatically correct. Putting a period outside of a quotation mark isn’t though buddy. Would love to sit down and hear you speak, Ted. Nice try at an insult though buddy. Time to accept that this is turning into a college town. If the city wants any economic growth they need to understand that. Get your townie teenagers away from our houses and parties because most of them only steal and cause fights.

    • E

      Why would college students want to associate with the local alcoholic trash that become angry and act aggressively towards anyone who is more intelligent, possesses more skill and has accomplished more in life than them? Your area’s local residents are low income, low class, mouthy trash so why would a person with a future want to associate with you? Simple answer is they do not lol.

  • Donamick

    Boy i wish there could be a follow-up to this story because we’ll never see one. I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen here okay? Nothing! nothing’s going to happen here because those people that are making all of the noise and having the huge parties are the rich Folk who are bringing in all the money to the university and Scranton. where do you think they’re buying that beer and their food and possibly some of their clothes- Scranton. and that’s all Scranton want’s is money they don’t give a flying f*** about the Hill section. I called the cops and told him that the guy across the street was blowing the horn every single morning at 6 a.m. he’s from somewhere else too. The scranton cop told me “too bad” I’m sure that horn blowing every single morning is upsetting a lot more people in the neighborhood than just me

  • TRKRGR

    college kids……….what a waste. They should have to work for 4 yrs after high school, grow the f*** up a little, then go back to school and get their degrees when they see the world as more than party time on mom and dads dime.

    • E

      Awww don’t be jealous because you grew up poor and were too stupid to apply for student loans to better yourself. Are you one of those local yokels who claims that student loans are a form of “welfare” ha ha ha! I’m guessing you’re just a stupid local drunk who blames your abusive daddy for your white trash behavior. 😀

  • wannabeinformed

    Good!! I’m glad the residents of Scranton are fighting back!!!
    These so called students have zero respect for property, or the city. They trash up the whole neighborhood, burn couches, etc etc.
    Makes me wonder who the he// raised them to think they’re above society, just because daddy dearest forks over the $$$$ so pretty boy and baby girl can go to university.
    Seriously, FINE them, FINE them, FINE them, or charge them with doing community service!!!! Kudos to the residents!!! Stand up for Scranton!!!!

  • Stumpy

    Probably gonna hurt the little snowflakes feelings when laws and rules are enforced. Restock the “safe space” rooms on campus with tissues, coloring books, puzzles, pillows, blankets, kitties, and puppies. Enforce the lawl and let the cry-fest begin.

    • JD

      Enforce the law and they’ll protest. And the liberals and the media will be all “boo hoo” about their first amendment rights and cover the story for weeks! I wish I had an answer, but I don’t.

  • Alfredo

    They can’t police after their priests. Does anyone actually think they can control teenagers? Not holding my breath.

    • Bob Smith

      Just call police to have them arrest for trespassing and you know their parents failed to teach them to respect private property too.

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