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.