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.

Assaggiatore November 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Not all of them are a nuisance but a few bad apples can spoil the whole barrel. A small minority of students are wrecking the entire institution. 7 out of 10 of the Villanova students I've knowingly encountered are ones I would consider troublemakers. (Aggressive driving, peeing in parking lot behind Flip & Baileys at 2AM, flipping me the bird because he wanted to jaywalk on red when I had a green light, etc.) However two restaurant waiters who were Nova students in the area have been very courteous to us. I also am friends with a few professors there who would concur with what I say. The institution should realize that their failure to adequately discipline those causing the trouble (single digit percent) makes a triple digit percentage of the school look bad. Some area colleges will expel students for things that some Nova students will barely get a slap on the wrist for. I suspect part of the problem is rich alumni parents of current students who frequently give the school a lot of money.
Larry S November 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Ah, the ancient "town vs. gown" battle... Been going on since at least the 13th Century (University of Paris). An issue of youth vs. age -- As for myself, although I'm not young, I prefer more lively young peple around than some grumpy old men who evidently were either never young or have forgotten that they once were. Let the young enjoy themselves while they can. 10,000 students and 110 'nusaince of fences' -- time to call in the National Guard!
Anthony Wayne November 16, 2012 at 02:38 PM
All people, regardless of age or institution are involved in nuisance issues in communities where they reside simply because they are human. We all bug each other from time to time. Think back to the days of your youth and please share some of those great stories. Here is one of mine....... While a student, we lacked a Christmas tree for our apartment. We went to the neighboring community and cut a evergreen from private property. Only later did we learn that the tree was a memorial in honor of William Curry, who had died in youth. It was decorated and photographed annually and the photo left at his gravesite so William could participate in the family's holiday celebration. Imagine how we felt. I experienced a life changing lesson from this seemingly small transgression, respect for personal rights, and William Curry is among those I shall seek out upon my passing.
The Swell Guy November 16, 2012 at 09:55 PM
All kids will be kids - a universal constant. So it is not fair to say "Town vs Gown",.. How about "Informed with Facts" vs. "Unaware, or refusing to accept Facts"., being qualified by knowledge, not any specific geography. However, when unbridled school spirit is coupled with a severe lack of facts - being FACTS as documented in the article above - a resultant "defensive pep squad mentality" emerges - only to derail progressive talks which provide for the future expansion and growth of the University itself - and that is the greater nuisance.
Joyce November 17, 2012 at 03:46 AM
I was in a car accident caused by the irresponsible act of a Villanova runner a few years ago. I have a herniated disk, a tear in my shoulder joint and nerve damage from her stupid act, causing another car to rear-end my car. Thanks Villanova.
Wise Johnson November 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Considering the fact Villanova University existed before the township it is surprising how entitled residents feel and how much animosity they have towards students. Did you not realize there are seven colleges within a five square mile radius when you moved in to Villanova. Yes when people break the law they should pay for it whether they are a student or not. Villanova does handle cases brought to light with their own internal council. They are one of the few schools who have actually expelled students where incidents of rape and similar serious offenses are involved which is more than what townships have done. Crime? We have some of the biggest drug users and dealers and they are NOT students. NO ONE ever gets caught and when they do, watch that get swept under the rug....Radnor township doesn't even have a K-9 unit which is surprising considering it is one of the wealthiest townships in the state and Villanova is rated as one of the top wealthiest cities in the country.
Wise Johnson November 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM
A s for the comment posted by Assaggiatore who says, " A small minority of students are wrecking the entire institution." then immediately says that they consider 7 out of 10 Nova students that they met as troublemakers. YOU ARE A WALKING CONDTRADICTION AND WITH YOUR USELESS, ASSUMING statements are proof that evolution can go in reverse. Trust me, you might know professors but they are NOT your friends and certainly would NOT agree with you. I am certainly not going to paint Nova students as perfect but check your facts. As for Joyce's comment, a good driver can prevent an accident. Sorry about your back but how was that Villanova runner(I can see the stupid part of running with ipod and not paying attention) a bad person? According to your causality rationale, you probably should have not left home. Before you join a lynch mob, it's probably best to ask for WHOM the noose is for. In response to Anthony Wayne, it took cutting down and stealing a memorial tree of a dead person to understand personal rights(I hope you meant personal property)? Seriously messed up. So you made NO direct apology or replaced a tree? Sorry but you don't deserve a Christmas and I highly doubt you will cross paths with William Curry on your passing. A true Villanovan or human being for that matter would have owned up and made amends by now. Wow.
The Swell Guy November 17, 2012 at 08:35 PM
"WISE" JOHNSON - Have you bothered READ the DOCUMENTED FACTS of this article? It contains statistical data and the findings from the LMTPD, RTPD, and COMMISSIONER JOHN FISHER - who did not realize how bad the Nuisance Problem was, until "I collected Radnor police reports for the VU campus area and quickly ran out space on my desk.". YOUR OPINION regarding the DRUG PROBLEM at VU is concerned - in which you state "no one ever gets caught" - CHECKING THE FACTS, you will find that the weekly Police blotter, by-in-large, has multiple ALCOHOL & ILLEGAL DRUG ARRESTS coming out of 800 E. LANCASTER AVE every week. Like this one who was CAUGHT and CHARGED BY RTPD, just 2 weeks ago for SELLING HEROIN-type NARCOTICS: http://radnor.patch.com/articles/police-blotter-thefts-drugs RTPD is CATCHING PLENTY of VU STUDENTS! - READ the POLICE BLOTTER, just look for "800 E. LANCASTER" SADLY, for the family of this DECEASED VU student,.. LMTPD Police didn't catch this VU student in time http://brynmawr.patch.com/articles/coroner-rules-overdose-of-villanova-student-accidental-death Keep banging that "Rah-Rah-Sis-Boom-Bah" Pep-Rally drum, and claiming that VU's "Internal Council" handles cases,.. you mean, just like PSU handled SANDUKY's VICITIMS
The Swell Guy November 17, 2012 at 08:44 PM
And the beat goes on,... when unbridled school spirit is coupled with a severe lack of facts - being FACTS as documented in the article above - a resultant "defensive pep squad mentality" emerges.
Radnortownship November 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
I have lived in Radnor, for ever. Grew up next to VU. The best years of my life were spent running around the campus, going to TKE parties in Ardmore, Keggars in the Field House, crazy place. Now the campus is DRY. The young folks tell me 100% DRY. VU students are NOT a problem, anymore then YOUR kids are to the towns where they attend college. I treat the VU kids like I would want my kid treated. I believe the problem is with the adults running VU and the Radnor Commissioners that allowed VU to expand with out providing enough on campus housing. That is problem #1. The kids are forced into our neighborhoods. I like seeing the VU kids, same goes for Eastern, Cabrini, VFMA. So, not all residents are anti college.
The Swell Guy November 18, 2012 at 12:02 AM
RADNORTOWNSHIP - Did you bother to READ the FACTS as reported in the ARTICLE,.. or was your OPINION formed just by responding emotionally to the posted comments? "Student's aren't the problem" You say? Interesting you have that OPINION, as VU STUDENT criminality is the only subject addressed within the entire article - nothing else.
Dick Smith November 18, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Students have been the problem for a while, especially in Garrett Hill. It seems that all the students ever do is party and then wonder why someone called the cops on them. I do not doubt that there are nice, respectful students at VU, but I have yet to meet one.
Assaggiatore November 18, 2012 at 03:52 AM
The Villanova prof I know happens to be very close family friend whom I've probably known longer than you have been alive. The 7 out of 10 was a personal observation and certainly not a contradiction of my Opinion that most nova students are not like the ones whom I have met. Someone took a grumpy pill today.
Assaggiatore November 18, 2012 at 04:05 AM
The township was founded in 1682. Villanova was founded 200 years later.
Assaggiatore November 18, 2012 at 04:18 AM
I've dealt with students at all of these schools. Some VFMA cadets were setting fire to their styrofoam cups with a cigarette lighter at Real Pizza . Cabrini students stole the letters off EU's sign. And a teenage EU student was busted for DUI. It's isolated incidents there but Villanova gets more press because they are larger and have less strict rules for student conduct. Between UC Berkley and Bob Jones U, I think anyone can correctly which institution has more students who used LSD or do "performance art" in people's driveways like VU did last year.
Wise Johnson November 18, 2012 at 08:37 AM
Swell guy, I said, when they do get caught it gets swept under the rug. Have you looked at the number of burgularies verses people who actually get caught? . I read your first link on crime related to drugs....no VU students. ok i was wrong about the township coming after the university but thats all you get. Basing. Notour statistics on John Fisher (in My opinion politically corrupt) .....ooh. in general don't base your facts on a politician. PSU have their issues to deal with but wtf does that have to do with villanova's council? Beating a drum? Guess you just don't like villanovans.....you can always move. Assiaggatore- you are probably the only person who doesn't see the contradiction. RE-READ your comment.....please. Dick smith- most students party and get in trouble in the apt complexes in lower merion township. GARRETT Hill runs on patronage by vu students. Check your property tax bracket compared to wayne and other burroughs in Radnor. ...you're the lowest. If Villanova students didn't exist in garrett hill you most likely would not be able to afford to live there justifiably. Its funny how you haven't met a nice, respectful vu student...given that all vu students have a identifiable vu tattoo on them. Im sure you're the nicest guy Dick Smith
The Swell Guy November 18, 2012 at 01:20 PM
"WISE" JOHNSON - 10/24/2012 #120012778 - NARCOTICS SALE - MORPHINE HEROIN CODEINE ARREST at 800 E. LANCASTER AVE - The Address - VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY http://radnor.patch.com/articles/police-blotter-thefts-drugs See it now? However, When problem VU students are arrested in Garrett Hill - as DICK SMITH cites - the address does not appear as 800 E. LANCASTER AVE, it appears on the blotter as the Garrett Hill address where the problem VU student was physically arrested by Police, Therefore, arrests made at 800 E. LANCASTER reflect ONLY those crimes and VU problem student arrests made by RTPD occurring solely "on-campus".at VU All "off-campus" VU crime, and Lower Merion located VU-involved crime never appears on the RTPD blotter as 800 E. LANCASTER AVE - those VU-involved crimes use the physical address where the Crime(s) and/or Arrest(s) occurred.
The Swell Guy November 18, 2012 at 03:21 PM
To get the true and total "Off-Campus inclusive" scope of the problem - besides the DOCUMENTED FACTS as cited in this Article - which you reject,...due to the involvement of "Corrupt Political" opinion bias,..wow,.. In addition to reading the Radnor Patch for YOURSELF: 1) Learn how to read a Police Blotter accurately. 2) Read the LM Patch concurrently with the Radnor Patch 3) Learn to recognize the "CHRONIC NUISANCE ADDRESSES" It's easy, like ACTION NEWS,.. same guys, same addresses, different week. Are all these Complaints, Police Reports, and Arrest Records wrong? Is John Fisher, the "Corrupt Politician" - "in your opinion" - out to get VU? I ask because no one "HATES" VU as a College. However, People resent having their PEACE, SAFETY, RIGHTS, and PROPERTY VIOLATED by criminals,.... and those who PASSIVELY ENDORSE and PROTECT these same criminals by failing to: "DO MORE"
Bob Adams November 18, 2012 at 05:51 PM
After looking at all the comments hear what needs to be done the townships both Radnor and LM have had laws on the books for safty the codes people in both twp ignore residents the report over occupency year after year if only they would in force what they have anyway why am i paying taxes and nothing gets enforced
The Swell Guy November 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM
BOB - I can understand your outrage, especially if you are paying taxes for the privilege of being repeatedly subject to the chronic nuisance problems related specifically to VU problem students and their criminality - as documented in the article. 60% VU-Involved crime.,... When extrapolated by our total population of 30,000+ tax payers like youself BOB, That 60% arrest figure would equal 18,000 VU student arrests, in just 3 months At year-end, It would be the equivalent of 72,000 VU-related arrests.. that's nearly 2.5 times the entire Radnor Population,.. and the associated drain and impact on your your personal rights, your person safety, the well-being of our officers, and tax bill to YOU. That is how disproportionate and unfair the problem is within our community, And you are correct, by saying "If they would only enforce"., that's why Lower Merion Township and Radnor Township - both Chiefs and the victims - are asking for VU to: "DO MORE"
Bob Adams November 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Swell it starts with the twp enforcement of there own laws they dont do it with houseing this is where the problems start the students know it so this is where the problem is .They figured it out .
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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