Police prioritize safety over curbing partying during Freshman Freeze

    With students back on campus and the Freshman Freeze in full effect, off-campus residences can become morasses of loud music, gallons of jungle juice and the kids from your PA group that you never expected to see again. The Evanston and Northwestern University police departments know this, but aren’t too concerned with stopping it.

    “Our first priority is the safety of our students,” said Daniel McAleer, NUPD deputy chief of police. “Are they being victimized by people coming outside of our jurisdiction or the city, robbing them or stealing their stuff … that’s still our first priority.”

    While it may seem like the police flood Ridge, Sherman, Noyes, Garnett and other streets with patrol cars, neither the NUPD nor EPD expressed concern over an increase in students drinking in off-campus residences during Freshman Freeze.   

    In the areas surrounding campus, NUPD serves as the “assisting agency” to the EPD. According to McAleer, NUPD can issue citations and arrest individuals off campus in coordination with the EPD. On campus proper, NUPD retains primary jurisdiction.

    In an email, EPD Cmrd. Jay Parrott stated that “with school back in session, it is common for both Evanston Police and university police to have an increased presence for not only disturbances but also for student safety.”

    If a citizen complains about excessive noise emanating from another residence, EPD will generally issue a warning to the offender, Parrott said. Repeat offenders risk citation and, if they do not cooperate with authorities, arrest. The Evanston city code prohibits loud noise outside or near residences during nighttime hours.   

    “We try to minimize complaints by making sure enforcement action is taken when necessary,” Parrott stated.

    If a student is cited or arrested off campus by EPD, there is a procedure in place to transmit all relevant information to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. However, the office will generally only take disciplinary action for alcohol-related offenses. McAleer said that a number of such incidents have already occurred this year.


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