EUGENE, Ore. — Some very vocal neighbors could claim a major victory over their much louder neighbors.
The Eugene City Council is expected to take up the social host ordinance Monday for a vote. It could mean the end of a long and controversial battle.
Neighbors of some University of Oregon students are fed up with noise and excessive partying, so they went to the city and worked to develop the social host ordinance.
It would let Eugene Police dole out harsher punishments for the hosts of unruly parties.
“It continues to hold accountable the people who are behaving illegally, whether it’s minors drinking alcohol or excessive noise,” said Carter Hawley, Police Commission Analyst.
Eugene Police say the problem isn’t just livability for the neighbors. Off-campus house parties usually include a lot of underage drinking.
“What this does is it also tries to get at the cause of the problem which is the party itself,” Hawley said.
But many UO students disagree. The last time the city council discussed the plans, students showed up in droves to show their opposition.
“Students really care about this issue. We’re not gonna stand aside and let the city and EPD and DPS have a say in this,” said Greg McAteer, ASUO legislative director.
That’s why student leadership at the university tried to spread the word about Monday night’s meeting.
“It’s really important that we get students there but also make students have a greater understanding of how this ordinance is going to affect them,” McAteer said.
The tension between community members and students led to a lengthy process in the city council that results in tonight’s vote. But there’s many who feel like the ordinance isn’t going to completely solve the problem.
“It’s upsetting that there has been some animosity amongst community members and students, and hopefully we’re gonna be working on ways to improve that,” McAteer said.
There’s been no shortage of controversy throughout this whole process, but students are optimistic that they’ll be able to collaborate more in the future.