Not long ago, Castleton State College gave the town of Castleton $5,000 to better police the town in reaction to complaints about rowdy students.
At a recent Castleton Select Board meeting, it was brought to the town’s attention that the college’s Public Safety officers would be stationed on town streets with the goal to help maintain the peace between the college and the town.
Over the winter, two students were charged after they reportedly beat up two other students.
Just last month, a student, supposedly under the influence, ran streaking through the library and around campus.
So what’s going on at Castleton State?
Are students rowdier and more disrespectful than ever before or are they being scrutinized more than ever?
Depends who you talk to.
Some argue the police in town are part of the student rowdiness perception problem. It’s not uncommon for town police to stop students walking home from parties and give them tickets and drinking diversions.
It’s almost as if being responsible is a crime and it seems to encourage drinking and driving.
Some students say students are no worse than ever before, but they are being put under a microscope far more and that school and community officials are blowing their festivities out of proportion.
Castleton State College Public Safety Director Bob Godlewski thinks students were a little more rambunctious this year, especially the freshman class, which developed a bit of a mob mentality, walking in packs around town.
Seniors, who have been at CSC for four years, agree that students seem a little rowdier these days and a little less respectful of their neighbors.
Some say students have become less social drinkers and more outgoing partiers, and perhaps that has led to the behavioral issues and clashes with neighbors.
Regardless of the reason, students have damaged relations with community members and we would like to see that relationship mended.
It’s sad that we have resorted to paying the police department to watch over our students. It’s even worse that the college’s Public Safety officers have to help patrol the streets for students.
Even though it’s common knowledge that there will be drinking in a college town, including by underage students, we believe there must be a common sense answer to reign in bad behavior without excessive policing and measures that may lead students to make even worse decisions – by driving instead of walking.
We want students to respect residents – but we want residents not to broad brush all students too and we want students to remain safe.