How to be a Good Neighbor

Off-Campus Living: Being a Good Neighbor

Tips on living peacefully with your neighbors and hosting successful parties:

The neighborhood outside of Gallaudet includes a wide variety of people living in close proximity to each other, probably like your neighborhood at home – senior citizens, young families with children, professionals, and students like you.  You may view the neighborhood as a temporary home, but many of your neighbors are permanent residents who take pride in their neighborhood.

Student conduct, especially behavior related to parties held off-campus, has become a major concern for your neighbors, D.C. Police and the University. Your behavior off campus influences your neighbor’s image of all Gallaudet students, and this is particularly true if you host a party.

Parties can be successful if you take the effort to:

  •  Know your neighbors
  •  Be considerate and respectful
  •  Be aware of  the University Code of  Conduct, D.C. statutes and regulations
  • Plan your party utilizing the tips in the next selection

Planning Party Tips:

 No one says you can’t have a party and a good time.  Don’t let a good party get out of hand and result in neighbors calling the police or sending a complaint to the University. 

We suggest that you:

  • Inform your neighbors that a party is going to take place.  Create a handout with the date, time and place along with a contact name for neighbors to reach you, and deliver it to them in person.
  • Limit the number of guests by drawing up a guest list.  Parties tend to get out of control if you have an open-door policy.  Be responsible for all guests on the premises.
  • Have your roommates serve as party monitors to protect your party from uninvited guests and to control the activities of guests. Discourage guests from wandering away from the designated party area.
  • Be aware of the party noise level.  Excessive loud noise at unreasonable hours can cause many problems with your neighbors and can get you in trouble with the law. 
  • If alcohol is present, make sure everyone who is drinking is 21 years old or older. Have an ample supply of non-alcoholic beverages and unsalted food in an easily accessible, visible location.
  • Tell party guests to use your restroom.  Urinating outside or on a neighbor’s property has been a source of many complaints.
  • Remind guests to leave the party quietly and respect the neighbors.  Successful parties often end in complaints because of noisy gatherings after guests have left the party.
  • Clean your house and property after the party.  Remove all garbage from the yard and street.

DC Code & Noise:

District of Columbia statutes and regulations specifically prohibit unlawful assembly in any street, avenue, alley, road, or at the entrance of a private building and engaging in loud and boisterous behavior; blocking private property including driveways and other entrances to private buildings; disorderly conduct; and noise disturbances (the maximum noise level permitted after 9 p.m. is 55 decibels at the property line).

It is unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol or for anyone to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.  It is also illegal to charge admission to a party, as it is deemed equivalent to selling alcohol without a license

University Code of Conduct:

The University reserves the right to review and adjudicate any occurrence of off-campus student behavior in violation of the Student Code of Conduct that may directly impact or have a significant effect upon the University. Inappropriate behaviors in our surrounding neighborhood such as public urination, public intoxication, disruptive conduct to neighbors, loud and unruly gatherings, violations of the alcohol and/or drug policies, and misconduct demonstrating flagrant disregard for any person or persons would be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures.

More information about the Student Code of Conduct and off-campus jurisdiction can be found in the Student Handbook.

Get to Know your Neighbors:

You don’t have to be best friends, but having a good relationship with your neighbor makes your living experience off campus more pleasurable.  Try these suggestions:

  • Wave “hello” to your neighbor whenever you see them.
  • Let your neighbors know when you plan to have a party and who to contact if there are any problems.
  • Ask neighbors to pick up mail or newspapers when you are away from home for an extended period of time.

For more information, please contact:

A. Dwight Benedict, Dean of Student Affairs

Mary Keane, Director of Campus Activities & Commuter Programs

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