In the run-up to Halloween, students are reminded to be mindful of their alcohol limits and be respectful towards neighbours as concerns over student behaviour in Jesmond over the Halloween period are on the rise.
'It is really important that students take care and ensure their own safety and that of others is maintained'.
Tony Waterston, Chair of the JRA (Jesmond Residents’ Association), has suggested a number of steps that students are encouraged to take to ensure that their Halloween plans disturb neighbours to a minimum. This includes students who live in streets such as Osborne, Queens and Manor House Roads being particularly mindful; these streets, whilst being popular with students, also house many families with children, and therefore students are reminded to be quiet after 11pm. Additionally, students having parties to celebrate Halloween are encouraged to limit these to their houses and not spill out onto the street, as doing so can spread noise and litter onto the street, which can strain town-gown relations.
Despite this, there has recently been a lot of cooperation between Newcastle University Students Union, the University and the JRA with many joint activities being held to break down barriers between the student and permanent populations, including a community litter pick.
The JRA, which was established in 1964, is a non-political association which aims to voice any issues raised by residents of the area bounded by the North and South Jesmond Wards. Whilst the student population in Jesmond has contributed to some ongoing problems in the area, including noise, litter, and vandalism, the JRA recognises that a lot of work has been done by NUSU and the University to foster good relationships with the local residents.
The JRA recognises that the students are not solely to blame for these “student-related” issues, as some of them stem from a lack of awareness about Anti-Social Behaviour legislation, and Jesmond’s litter problem can to an extent be traced back to landlords who do not properly educated their tenants about waste removal policies, leading to ambiguity about bin dates and students often using waste removal bins other than their own.
One key issue being raised by the JRA this year is bars along Osborne Road offering cheap Halloween drinks offers. These encourage students to drink more alcohol than usual, which can lead to rowdy behaviour when students are on their way back home.
President of NUSU Ronnie Reid said:
“Halloween is always a great time to celebrate, and I hope that all students enjoy it after a tough day in the Robbo. That being said, it is really important that students take care and ensure their own safety and that of others is maintained.
I would also ask that the student body continues to demonstrate their care and consideration towards other local residents. The start to this year has been really positive, and I look forward to this continuing.”