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Villanova 'Nuisances': LMPD Stats Show a Student Problem, Commissioner Says

Township and university officials have convened to discuss nightlife behavior.

Villanova University students committed the majority of Lower Merion Township's 'nuisance offenses' in the past three months, and the school must do a better job with discipline, one township Board of Commissioners member said at Monday's meeting.

Of 186 arrests for disorderly conduct, public urination, public intoxication and underage drinking in August through October, 110 involved Villanova students, Commissioner Scott Zelov said, citing data researched by Capt. Bill Boegly of the Lower Merion Police Department.

"That is just about 60 percent, which can not continue," said Zelov, who represents the area of Bryn Mawr—a pub-packed stretch of Lancaster Avenue—where most of those arrests typically happen.

In a Patch email interview after the meeting, Zelov said he and Commissioner Phil Rosenzweig (who represents the township's Rosemont and Villanova sections) earlier this month "met for about an hour with Paul Pugh, Dean of Students, and John Stack, Vice President for Student Life."

Zelov has spoken often this year, both at BOC meetings and to Bryn Mawr's civic and business associations, about his frustration with students' behavior and how often he hears from residents who feel likewise.

"VU student conduct is having an enormous negative impact on our community, primarily in Bryn Mawr, and it has to stop," Zelov told Patch. "Our police department is responding, and it is now time for Villanova to do more."

Villanova media relations officials have not responded to Patch's request for comment.  

Zelov characterized the township-university meeting as "constructive and frank" and said Villanova officials agreed to explore the feasibility of some ideas township officials presented for mitigating problems.

"In addition, we requested that they inform the community about their current procedures for addressing disruptive student conduct," Zelov said.

What do you think? Are Villanova students causing too many problems or are they being unfairly singled out? Are township and university authorities approaching their behavior in the right or wrong way? Tell us in the comments section below.

JEFFREY November 16, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Who said the LM police was passing the buck to the university? No one. Don't know what article you were reading. The university does have a stake in this as far as they say behavior such as this is not tolorated and will have consequences. Don't see any consequences yet, year after year of these misdemeanors occuring.
bill1chair November 16, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Students are wandering the streets drunk because they and their friends live in that area and that's where they are going after drinking. If the new campus housing is built and a late night shuttle is instituted, there would be a drastic reduction in these types of problems.
JEFFREY November 17, 2012 at 01:42 AM
After mulling over the stats, it shows the majority of students going back to their friends place or their dorms. More student housing will not change that one bit. However, I am in favor of more student housing but unless VU has their own bars and pubs (will never happen) nothing will change the fact that these irresponsible students will continue to go "off campus" to drink and be merry. They need to be responsible citizens everywhere and be held accountable for their actions. They all know better than to drink excessively and they certainly are aware of the consequences for inappropriate or illegal behavior. Unfortunately, they see other adults, perhaps their own parents act unresponsibly and now they must pay the consequences for anything and everything they do wrong. It may take some of them legal action against them to wake them up and smell the coffee.
sayitasitis123 November 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM
mildred, prohibition has been tried. It didnt work. Maybe stop serving Villanova students at midnight until the situation improves? Art
JEFFREY November 18, 2012 at 02:21 AM
To sayitasitis 123 (Art): As much as I think something has to be done about this illegal activity by some VU students, it is illegal for the bars and pubs to stop serving VU students at any specific hour if they still serve others. We will continue to look for better ideas that can legally be enforced. Keep those ideas coming.

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