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Brookes Uni pledges action on late-night rowdy students
TALKS will be taking place between council officials and Oxford Brookes University over this year’s spike in student anti-social behaviour.
Residents living near the university have said the new academic year has brought about the worst noise and anti-social behaviour problems they have had to endure in recent years – with 45 complaints already this term.
Brookes has confirmed that there have been cases of “unacceptable behaviour” and has set out proposals to review its disciplinary procedures.
Now Oxford City Council, which is responsible for policing noise complaints, says it will investigate the issue.
City councillor Pat Kennedy, the executive board member for education, crime and community safety, said she would have to find out what was going on.
She said: “I don’t yet know whether there is more than we can do from the point of view of our environmental health team and from Oxford Brookes’s point of view. The city council and Oxford Brookes will continue to work together because it is in everyone’s interest for us to do so.”
Oxford Brookes will be introducing measures such as fines, community service work and notice to quit halls of residence for rowdy students.
The university is also to increase its student warden team and introduce 101 “student house champions” in Divinity Road, Southfield Road and Bartlemas Road to ensure greater consideration for neighbouring families.
Ivon Asquith, of the Divinity Road Area Residents’ Association, said: “The start of the new academic year is the worst I can remember. Some residents are becoming very angry.
“It is clear Brookes needs to change its disciplinary framework for handling student misconduct. At present, there do not appear to be effective sanctions to deter bad behaviour.”
The university met residents’ representatives on Thursday.
Dr Anne Gwinnett, Brookes’s director of student and corporate affairs, said: “There has been an increase in incidents of poor behaviour in the community and we know some of it is down to our students.
“We have seen a shift in student behaviour in the wrong direction. We need to get underneath why it is worse this year.”
She said that the review of the four-stage disciplinary process was likely to see offenders appearing more quickly before a senior university member, with a community service among “a wide range of disciplinary measures” to be available.
Dr Gwinnett said she knew of 45 complaints in the first five weeks and feared that Brookes students were themselves among the victims.
“The vast majority of students want to work hard and get full value from their education. They don’t want to be kept up at 5am either,” she said.
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