The Brunswick Police Department (BPD) issued disorderly conduct court summonses to three senior Bowdoin students living in a house on Garrison Street after responding to neighbor complaints of loud music coming from the off-campus house on October 23.

BPD last issued a disorderly conduct summons to a Bowdoin student in 2010 and has issued 11 since 1998, according to BPD Commander of Support Services Mark M. Waltz. 

Prior to issuing the summonses, BPD gave two warnings to the residents of the off-campus house on Garrison Street; one in August and the other early October for loud noise and music complaints. In a phone interview with the Orient, Waltz said BPD typically gives warnings before issuing a summons. 

“[The evening of October 23]  wasn’t the first interaction that house has had with the police department,” he said. 

The three students will appear before the West Bath District Court on December 6 where they could be formally charged for disorderly conduct by the district attorney’s office. 

According to Waltz, BPD notifies Bowdoin about situations involving off-campus housing, even though such incidents fall outside the jurisdiction of the College’s Office of Safety and Security. 

“The enforcement role falls on us in these situations because of the fact that it’s not College property,” Waltz said. 

Echoing Waltz’s statement, Senior Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Scott Hood also said that the College would not get involved in police matters or the court summonses since BPD was responding to a call outside of Bowdoin Security’s jurisdiction. 

“Adjudicating something like that is between the students and law enforcement, the DA [and] the police,” Hood said. “But if the College becomes aware of behavior by a student on or off campus that’s problematic, then it falls within the academic honor or social code.” 

More specifically, Hood said that if a community member were to call Security with a complaint about off- campus housing, the neighbor would be referred to BPD. However, he emphasized that Security can assist in situations dealing with off campus housing when called by BPD. 

“When [students] live off campus, they are subject to the same rules that anyone in the community is subject to … and if there are people who feel that those standards or that the law is being violated, they call the police,” he said. 

During the month of October, BPD responded to 68 disturbance complaints in Brunswick, most of which were called into BPD by neighbors or community members. Of the 68, Waltz attributed about five of those calls to Bowdoin students living in off-campus housing. Last weekend,  BPD responded to a complaint of loud music coming from off-campus housing on Weymouth Street. According to Waltz, students living on Weymouth Street have not yet been cited for anything. 

Over the past several years, the College has seen an increase in students choosing to live off campus. In the past, the former “Crack House” was consistently on BPD’s radar. There are now at least three off-campus housing addresses that have received repeated complaints, which Waltz said is unusual. 

As a result, Waltz said that BPD could increase its use of Brunswick’s disorderly house ordinance, which fines the landlords after the third citation declaring a property disorderly. After the first fine, the dollar amount of the fine increases with each citation. BPD gave its second-ever ordinance to an off-campus residence on Carlisle Avenue earlier this semester. According to Waltz, both Garrison and Weymouth Streets are being considered for disorderly house paperwork, though none has been completed or submitted. 

To avoid these types of situations, Waltz said that Bowdoin students should get to know their neighbors and set expectations. 

“A lot of these things can be resolved with open communication,” he said. “People don’t want to have the police involved in their lives, so [students should] take the time to get to know their neighbors and work out these different things.”