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October 27, 2011

Pitt increases Oakland police patrols

Pitt has stepped up campus police patrols as a result of an unusually high number of Oakland residents’ complaints about off-campus student partying, officials said last week.

Renny Clark, vice chancellor for community initiatives, and John Wilds, assistant vice chancellor for community relations, reported to the University Senate community relations committee (CRC) Oct. 18 that since early in the fall term an additional campus police detail now is patrolling Oakland streets, 10 p.m.-4 a.m., Thursdays-Saturdays.

The additional patrol consists of two uniformed officers in police cars, two plainclothes officers in unmarked cars and two officers on bicycles, Clark said.

Wilds said, “For whatever reason, we’ve had a lot more complaints this year about excessive partying, so we’ve tried instituting measures that would address that issue. We’ve met with neighborhood groups on numerous occasions in the evening. We’ve had students actually attend Bellefield Area Civic Association meetings. The students said they were not aware of the mayhem they were causing the neighbors. The neighbors told the students they were not anti-parties, but they were anti-noise and misbehavior on the part of our students.”

As a result of those and other community meetings, Wilds said, the University stepped up its patrols in the north, central and south Oakland neighborhoods. “Since that time we haven’t had any calls or any police reports that suggest there have been excessive parties going on,” he said.

police“We also were concerned about [parties during] homecoming, and steps were taken by Student Affairs: writing a letter to those known party houses advising the students about what their responsibilities were. We put ads in The Pitt News and on some of the bulletin boards around campus. We want students to celebrate but we want them to celebrate responsibly. I know it’s a never-ending battle we have because students turn over, but we try to educate them every year.”

In other CRC business:

•  Responding to a request by David Givens, a leader of the Graduate and Professional Student Association, CRC members agreed to consider offering voting rights to GPSA appointees. Student groups currently appoint non-voting members.

• Oakland Planning and Development Corp., which is overseeing the Oakland 2025 planning initiative, is holding an open meeting 6-8:30 p.m. today (Oct. 27) at St. Nicholas Cathedral, 419 S. Dithridge St., to review the status of the planning process, which is endorsed by CRC as well as other Pitt units.

For more information, call 412/621-7863 ext. 17 or email Tara Sherry-Torres at

Sherry-Torres reported that formal recommendations by the project’s consultants, Pfaffman Associates/Studio for Spatial Practice, will be presented 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 17, also at St. Nicholas.

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 44 Issue 5

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