You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

University, police dispute complaint of ‘bedlam’

An Oxford resident has complained of “bedlam” from the noisy parties and other antics of Miami University students — a charge that both the university and the chief of police dispute.

A local resident who would identify only as “A.A.M.” writes in a letter sent to the Oxford Press earlier this month: “When I was new to Oxford nine years ago, I found it to be a charming and tasteful neighborhood. As I witnessed the exodus of families and adults, I became resigned to the cold hard fact that I’m not in Kansas anymore.

“Every weekend is complete and total bedlam in my neighborhood (or should I say what used to be my neighborhood). There is no such thing as quieter after 11 p.m. or midnight or even 2 a.m.” The writer identifies the residence as being on West Walnut Street and complains of “screaming kids,” along with “fireworks, vandalism, trash and impromptu out-of-control bonfires.”

Contacted by the Journal-News, the writer said they did not wish to comment beyond what was stated in the letter. Miami says it works with off-campus students to help them be good neighbors.

Claire Wagner, spokeswoman for Miami University, replied, “We emphasize to off-campus students that they should be responsible citizens and good neighbors. Starting with a visit before classes start, called walkabouts, during which volunteer staff and town residents drop off brochures about safety, laws, trash pick-up, etc. We also have a student government secretary for off-campus affairs who is involved with city officials and a staff member who tries to be a liaison with the city. Residents should not have to deal with disturbances such as the letter describes.”

Wagner also said she spoke with the dean of students, Dr. Michael A. Curme, who said, “We have a clearly articulated set of expectations regarding behavior, formalized in local law, the Code of Conduct, and lease provisions but some students will violate them. The dean of students reminds students at the start of each semester to be responsible, safe and to respect others.”

Student Ari Frum co-chairs the Student Community Relations Commission, which reports to Oxford City Council. Frum emails off-campus students regularly and reminds them of their civic responsibilities as well as personal safety opportunities, Wagner said.

Robert Holzworth, Oxford’s chief of police, described the complaint of bedlam as “hyperbole” and said that the calls for service do not support that assertion. He said year-to-date, the police have received 532 noise complaints, which make up 2.5 percent of the total calls for service. The logs do not specify whether the source is a student or not, he said.

Some of the conduct described by the letter-writer does occur, but Holzworth said, they are most common on or around weekends as the uptown bars close.

“I am not suggesting for even one second that the bars are singularly responsible for this behavior … And, no, this is not acceptable behavior in the least and officers regularly cite offenders who engage in the conduct described in the letter, both uptown and in the square mile,” which is the area bordered by Patterson, Chestnut, Locust and Sycamore roads.

Oxford residents say not only that students are the lifeblood of the town, but that student noise is part and parcel of the Oxford experience.

“I worked almost my whole career at Miami University. I’m dependent on the students. I was here to serve them. If they make a little bit of noise, it’s OK with me. I don’t spend time here at midnight or 1 in the morning either, so I can understand how people might have a slightly different view,” said Karl Mattox, the former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Hugh Morgan, professor emeritus at Miami, said, “The noise is electric. What is Miami University for in the first place? It’s for students. This is their place … this is their time on the merry-go-round.”

Holzworth, who has lived in Oxford since 1967, said, “When taken as a whole, the student population adds to the quality and diversity of life in Oxford. That being said, there are certain issues that cry out for attention, such as the regular and persistent overconsumption of alcohol.”

The chief invited the letter writer to work with the police and stated, “Oxford is too great a place for anyone to become so completely disheartened.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Protests, pride on display for Confederate Memorial Day
Protests, pride on display for Confederate Memorial Day

State offices will be closed Monday in Alabama and Mississippi -- the only two states that honor Confederate Memorial Day. The day observes those who died fighting for the South during the Civil War after those states seceded from the U.S. Opponents are against it because they say it honors those who fought to maintain slavery. Supporters say the holiday...
Student dies in hammer throw accident at college track-and-field event 
Student dies in hammer throw accident at college track-and-field event 

A freshman at Wheaton College died after being accidentally hit during the hammer throw while volunteering at a track-and-field event Saturday. Ethan Roser, 19, was struck about 4:15 p.m. during the hammer throw event, in which competitors throw a weighted, tethered iron ball, at Chicago-area college the school said in a statement. Roser was rushed...
Scott Baio offers condolences after co-star Erin Moran's death
Scott Baio offers condolences after co-star Erin Moran's death

Scott Baio will miss Erin Moran. On Sunday, Baio shared his condolences after hearing about the sudden death of “Joanie Loves Chachi” co-star Erin Moran. “May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin,” he wrote on...
5 people dead in New York house fire
5 people dead in New York house fire

At least five people are dead after a fire ripped through a two-story house Sunday afternoon in New York’s Queens borough.  There were three children and two adult victims. They have not yet been identified. A sixth person was home but escaped by jumping out of a window on the second floor. The fire started around 3 p.m. and spread to a...
Watch: 4-year-old girl falls from back of bus on busy highway, firefighter rescues
Watch: 4-year-old girl falls from back of bus on busy highway, firefighter rescues

A dash camera caught the harrowing moments after a 4-year-old girl fell from the back of a bus onto a busy Arkansas highway and was rescued by a local volunteer firefighter. Ryan Ciampoli was traveling behind the bus down Highway 65 in Harrison on Wednesday when his dash-mounted camera, running the entire time, caught a scene he couldn’t quite...
More Stories