Of the University’s 17,000 students, only 15 have been issued nuisance party violations over the last year and a half, Student Legal Services attorney Rodney Fleming said.
Fleming spoke last week at a People of Engagement Bowling Green meeting, an active community group that encourages non-partisan, grassroot initiatives about nuisance parties within the city.
He said 10 students were ticketed for nuisance parties in 2015, and five students have been issued nuisance party tickets in 2016.
According to the Student Legal Service’s handbook, a nuisance party is defined as a social gathering (two or more people) in which two or more violations related to partying occur. Violations include: excessive noise, underage consumption, illegal open container, illegal sale, public indecency, littering, inconvenience and alarm to persons or damage to property, among several others.
Fleming said at the meeting, Student Legal Services was created in response to housing issues faced by students in the early 1980’s. Students at the time felt that landlords were taking advantage of them.
“It’s evolved into something more than just that. The notion is still for students to pool their money to participate. We look beyond the reason students have come in for,” Fleming said.
Student Legal Services is available to all students who have paid the participation fee at the beginning of each semester.
Fleming said the services has been reaching out to students, but student participation has been low. They have tables at Campus Fest, send Campus Updates and hold workshops for students.
“We would only have one student show up,” he said. “Students aren’t ready a lot of the time to hear the info.”
While participation is low, once students use the Legal Services, they aren’t likely to need the services again.
“Ninety percent of our clients never come back. They go on to be successful contributors to society,” Fleming said.
Fleming added that many students are not used to operating in the real world during their first year off campus, so education is a primary mission of Student Legal Services. However, educating students can be difficult because of the turnover universities experience. Many students are off-campus Bowling Green residents for two to three years, and leave upon graduation.
Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards commended Fleming for the work he does.
“He is truly a servant of the students,” Edwards said.