Sunday, September 19, 2010
Drunken SJU students add to vibrant diversity
From the Queens Chronicle:
Residents of Jamaica Estates have had a big bone to pick with St. John’s University, the city and elected officials, and Monday they got their chance.
The Jamaica Estates Association held a meeting that night at the Hillcrest Jewish Center to discuss off-campus student housing — where illegal drinking, all-night partying and worse have some residents afraid and others angry.
In recent years, although St. John’s officials say that “the student population of the entire university has not increased,” the volume of complaints has grown concerning about as many as a dozen one-family houses occupied by students close to the Jamaica campus.
The room was filled to capacity during the nearly three-hour meeting, at which scores of homeowners all but finished each other’s sentences, relating stories of loud parties and obnoxious behavior by St. Johns students and their friends.
City codes allow for only “two unrelated persons” to join another in renting a residential unit — so it’s illegal for four or more college kids to live in a one-family house.
Longtime residents insist that unscrupulous realtors are illegally packing college kids into houses on quiet residential streets, and their blocks aren’t quiet anymore. They complained of one such “animal house” on Aberdeen Road that was the recent scene of a drunken bash of some 300 St. John’s students and their pals.
Neighbors recounted public urination and vomiting; a passed out youth on a front lawn, window-climbing, sexual escapades, tipped over mailboxes, and in one case a woman being threatened by a student, who was placed under arrest.