Ann Arbor residents of all types reside among students and, for the most part, knew what they were getting into before they moved into predominantly student neighborhoods. In general, people that live in the area say they actually love the abundance of students and that it is one of the reasons they stay.
However, people that have lived in Ann Arbor for a long period of time say that over the years they have seen student behavior getting worse and worse.
“The maintenance of student properties is getting worse and the level of filth in general is rising,” said chemistry Prof. B.J. Evans, who lives with his wife Adye Bel on Oxford Street amidst a cluster of fraternity houses.
“It”s not the students” fault, but the idea of leadership that the fraternity system strives for is not working. They need the alumni involvement that used to be present in order for them to properly manage a household,” Evans said.
One night this past weekend, Adye Bel Evans said, she and her husband caught three young girls urinating on the side of their garage.
“Things like that did not used to happen,” she said.
Still, some families enjoy having young people around.
“The house on the corner used to play their music really loud it was good quality though. They had good speakers so we enjoyed it,” said John Ducmanis, who lives on Wells Street with his wife where, they said, there is a good mixture of students and families.
Connie Burke, a former University student, met her husband while at school and decided to stay in Ann Arbor after graduation.
“For the most part it”s a positive place to be. We still love football Saturday and being around young people. Sometimes it”s even nice to be relied upon,” Burke said.
As far as partying goes, she said she doesn”t mind the noise as long as it is limited to the weekend. In the 20 years Burke and her husband have lived on Fourth Avenue, they have only made a few complaints to police, and in all cases, they did so after asking the students to comply first, she said. Burke also said she sees more alcohol consumption in recent years then ever before.
For students who live next door to families, having late parties seems to be their only concern.
“There is one guy who lives on the corner who warned us to wrap up our party before two,” said Elodie Baquerot, an LSA sophomore who lives on Division Avenue. “He was nice about it but whenever we throw a party we have to keep him in mind.”
One almost trivial issue many older Ann Arbor residents have with students has nothing to do with disrespectful behavior. “I share my driveway with the kids next door and every year their cars are nicer then mine.” Burke said.
“Look at all of these sport utility vehicles outside of the fraternities. It”s impractical. They could easily walk or bike to their classes from here. I bike to my classes,” Evans said.