Something special happened on Sept. 6 in the Lory Student Center
Ballroom. It was groundbreaking for the city of Fort Collins. No
students were there. For the first time in city history, a
Neighborhood Summit was held to find out just what was going on in
the neighborhoods around Fort Collins. It was a chance to find out
what the major issues of the city are and to brainstorm plans of
action for those issues.
Take a guess as to what was the number one concern of residents.
STUDENT RENTERS! Us. We were the most mentioned, most talked about
and most importantly, the most complained about. The problem was
that there were none of us there to defend ourselves
Some (but definitely not all) neighbors from around the city
verbally attacked the student renters, calling us a nuisance. They
mentioned the big, loud parties, the uncut grass, the dirty
properties, the run-down homes, the four or more unrelated
As the saying goes, it is only the squeaky wheel that is heard.
Most student renters do not fall into the first four categories. It
is the students that have the waist-high grass and the monster
keggers who stand out and are noticed by the neighbors.
Many students break the “more than three unrelated residents”
ordinance. Almost all of the complaining residents talked about the
city ordinance that forbids more than three unrelated people to
live in a house together. Neighbors practically begged for more
enforcement of that ordinance.
I hate that ordinance. I can imagine other students do, too.
However, there were none of us at the summit to tell them that it
is an absolute necessity for us to break that ordinance. We cannot
afford to live in a five-bedroom house with only three people in
it. It is just not feasible.
Are you getting mad yet? Are you at least a little perturbed?
Good. You should be.
Students are the most unheard group of people in Fort Collins.
We lack representation in local government and we are barely here
long enough to make a mark on the community. Here is your big
chance. I’m going to give you two ways to be heard.
This semester, I’m taking a seminar class that is addressing
this huge local issue of students as neighbors. The class is
HPCC392, “Community in America.” We have set up an e-mail address
where you can send in your stories, good or bad. We want them all.
Send us anything that you have seen or experienced that has to do
with student and non-student relations. Maybe you have a great idea
of how students can be better neighbors. Send it to us. The e-mail
address is: CSU_renter_vent@yahoo.com. We want to know anything
that you have to offer about this issue.
The second option involves your student government, Associated
Students of CSU. They are holding another summit, this time with
students as the participants. It is called the Solutions Forum and
it will be held on Nov. 20 in the East Ballroom of the Lory Student
Center. This is an excellent opportunity to get your ideas out
there to ease the tension between the student renters and the
permanent residents. If you are interested in attending this
summit, contact Derek Breier, the ASCSU director of community
affairs, at 491-5931.
So now that you know what’s going on, what is your plan of
action? Don’t just sit there, complacent with your Ramen noodles,
your horrendous neighbors and your Key Light. Write us an e-mail.
Go to the forum. Use one of the two outlets I have given you to let
us know how you feel about your neighbors. Tell us if your
neighbors are straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie or if they
are more like Ward Cleaver and family. One more time, the e-mail
address is: CSU_renter_vent@yahoo.com