August 06, 2007

Good to know their priorities are in order

I just received this email from the Notre Dame undergrad student government. The subject line was `URGENT - South Bend Party Ordinance'.

Hey everyone -

I hope all of you are enjoying your summers and getting ready for another great year at Notre Dame. I know classes are still a couple weeks away, but Maris and I wanted to inform you of some recent developments in the City of South Bend.

Last Friday, Student Government received word that Common Councilmembers Timothy Rouse and Buddy Kirsits proposed an ordinance regulating special events in residentially zoned areas of the City of South Bend. This ordinance, if passed, will directly impact ND students. Maris and I will represent the students at the Common Council meeting on Monday, August 13th. We encourage any and all interested students to join us.

Here is a quick summary of the ordinance as it is currently written:

Who does it affect? Students who reside in “boarding houses” (houses with more than 2 non-relative residents)

What does it require? Individuals holding special events (ie. parties) where alcohol is served with 25 or more non-resident guests must file an application with the Board of Public Works 10 business days in advance at a fee of $15. This application is then distributed to the SBPD and the area neighborhood association, among others.

What will it cost you?
Violations by individuals who file applications:
1st violation - $50
2nd violation - $100
3rd violation - $200
Chronic violations (more than 3) - $2500; loss of right to hold special events

Failure to file:
1st violation - $500
2nd violation - $1000

As this directly affects students, we encourage you to direct any of your questions and concerns to members of the South Bend Common Council.

So, basically, the urgent news is that the city is working on a law which, if passed, will put a very small hurdle in the way of students having large parties in residential neighbourhoods. What a grave injustice. Certainly it's far more serious than the sexual assault epidemic, the crappy health insurance for grad students, or the way the University treats the staff.


MosBen said...

I'm not sure what "violation" means in this context. It doesn't seem to be a violation of proposed ordinance since there are different fees if you've filed applications or not. Does this mean violations of other ordinances cost different amount if you've filed for the party or not?

Otherwise, though there are certainly other things which are more important than this, it's certainly an issue that will affect lots of students. Just because it's not the most important issue of the day doesn't mean it couldn't or shouldn't be addressed.

Goddess Cassandra said...

I'm not sure about Notre Dame, but here at UND a similar noise ordinance was aimed, not at parties, but just at students in general. It's been pretty well established that students will be called for violating "noise ordinances" when they aren't making any noise at all (I once got called for a D&D game, for chrissake). Beware of dismissing this as people trying to have "parties".