Neighbors, leaders meet to discuss solution to rowdy UWM students on east side

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police, UW-Milwaukee police and neighbors have been working to curb the commotion near UWM's campus after loud partying near the school has reportedly become a nuisance for neighbors. At a meeting held Tuesday night, October 2nd, some neighbors said they feel more needs to be done.

Milwaukee police have been working alongside UW-Milwaukee police in an operation that has involved arresting and booking students, versus simply issuing citations. This, after complaints from neighbors of drunken and disorderly behavior.

In mid-September, 40 were arrested on Milwaukee's east side -- 26 of them UWM students.

In early September, 39 were arrested -- 25 of them UWM students.

The students have been booked on charges including underage drinking, excessive noise and disorderly conduct.

Nancy Jaeger lives on the east side and was one neighbor at Tuesday night's meeting who said she has had problems with UWM students.

"I`ve had drunken people on my porch and when we went out to confront them, they vomited all over. Playing loud music at 2 a.m. I`ve had a canoe put in my back yard. I`ve had flowers destroyed, people urinating on my yard," Jaeger said.

Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac hosted Tuesday's town hall meeting, where police, neighbors and city leaders discussed ways to tame out of control students.

"On the east side it`s the most serious issues we have to confront and I`m glad we`re all doing it together. We look at the owner occupancy rate in these neighborhoods and we look at the number of noise or quality of life tickets in those neighborhoods," Kovac said.

Kovac said he wants the owner occupancy rate to stay above 50% in the neighborhood, so it can be an appealing place for folks to raise their families.

Kovac says the concern isn't just for neighbors, but for the students as well. Kovac says the drunken disorderly behavior can lead to violence or crimes.

The Department of Neighborhood Services is helping target the behavioral issues by implementing the residential rental inspection program.

"We can go back to the landlord and see what is happening at their property and ask them to bring the tenants to bear and ask them to change their behaviors to stay within the norms of polite society,"

At the meeting, officials and neighbors discussed what resources are working and what resources are not. Increased police presence has helped some, but folks like Jaeger feel now it's time for the university to get involved.

"I just wish the university would strengthen their discipline for students on campus. The chancellor needs to send a stronger message. He should be sending a message that part of becoming a college graduate is learning to become a good citizen and respecting laws and ordinances in place," Jaeger said.

UWM Vice Chancellor Tom Luljak has said university officials warned students about the police crackdown via email, and says UWM supports Milwaukee police in this effort.

"Nobody wants to see anybody get in trouble. What we want to do is just make sure students behave responsibly. All of us have to be responsible for our actions, and sometimes it takes a lesson that the university is serious about this, and so is the city," Luljak said.

UW-Milwaukee has a student body population of over 30,000.

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