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Are 'Nova Students A 'Nuisance'?

One Lower Merion Board of Commissioners member said Villanova University must do a better job with discipline.

Although Villanova University's campus is in Radnor Township, many of its students live and gather over the Lower Merion border.

Villanova 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 a meeting Monday.

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.

"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.  

John Fisher, the Radnor Township commissioner whose ward covers much of Villanova's campus, said, "I am not aware of a specific nuisance crime issue associated with college students here in Radnor neighborhoods but with over 10,000 college students on the mainline it a real concern."

"Radnor police respond to numerous calls throughout the year on and around the Villanova campus related to student issues.Last year I collected Radnor police reports for the VU campus area and quickly ran out space on my desk."

What do you think about the impact in Radnor? 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.

The Swell Guy November 21, 2012 at 04:19 AM
BOB - RTPD is already suffering from a dangerously depleted level of man-power, and by 2013 - just 45 days from now - RTPD MAY BE DOWN TO ONLY 30 OFFICERS http://radnor.patch.com/articles/with-budget-cuts-looming-radnor-talks-staffing With our already burdened Police Force and Tax Fund, add in the CHRONIC NUISANCE PROBLEMS and CRIMINAL ACTIVITY coming out of VU - remember the 60% statistic as documented within the headline Article of this page - and it becomes clear where our limited resources are being wasted, and why you are not seeing the SERVICE you cite as the solution in your post. How can RTPD possibly deliver the proper level of service - when 60% of our Officer man-power resource is being literally wasted on Wasted VU Problem Students criminality? It is sad, but true - however, figures don't lie, and liars don't figure.
Forward Thinking Resident December 13, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Hi Joyce - you said it in the 5th word you used. Accident, I don't know if Villanova was at fault here.
Forward Thinking Resident December 13, 2012 at 05:13 AM
@The Swell Guy, move if you aren't happy with the area you live in, Villanova University has been in Radnor Township since 1842, which I'm guessing was here when you decided to move to the area. There are plenty of other townships that will gladly accept you. These are some of the pitfalls of living near a large university of privileged students. Let's not forget the number of jobs created for local residents, the tax revenues brought in that allow Radnor to have the great public schools they provide as well as all of the other benefits that come from having the University in the area. Let the Radnor police and the university handle the unruly students. Let's not forget we were all young once and made stupid decisions.
Linda G January 29, 2013 at 01:06 AM
RTPD does a fine job of responding to complaints now versus a year or two ago. A bigger problem is having them living in our neighborhoods. They are a destruction to neighborhoods/communities; they are a destruction to property; they are a destruction to property values; they are horrible examples for our children to see. Their existence and deplorable behaviors in our neighborhoods are demoralizing for our children. And this from a so-called catholic institution which takes no responsibility for them. And where are our Commissioners who should be our representation against this disgrace? Somehow, Villanova is repeatedly given whatever they want. 200 years ago Villanova was not the monster it is today.
Christopher Merken January 29, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Also RTPD isn't allowed to have a K9 unit. State law prohibits it. The Delaware County Sheriff's Office and the Pennsylvania State Police have them, but Radnor by law cannot obtain a K9 unit.

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