BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s Saturday night in Buffalo’s University Heights and now that a new semester has started, students are arriving in the neighborhood by the busload.
“We’re just having a good time. We visit fraternity houses,” said a group on college freshmen after hopping off the shuttle bus.
That means a summer of peace is over for permanent residents like Lisa Mann and Kelly Donaher.
When asked what the weekend has been like, Mann said, “Absolutely crazy. Insane. Totally insane.”
“It’s a nightmare. it’s an absolute nightmare,” Donaher said, as she was interrupted by a student who yelled, “No, it’s great!”
“We try to have as much fun as possible, while having as much respect as we can for the people who live here,” said UB student Luc Shephard.
You don’t have to look hard to find students sipping out of Solo cups and tipping back beer cans – all in plain sight. The number of students filling the sidewalks and streets surrounding Winspear Avenue Saturday night went into the thousands.
Donaher has lived on Winspear Ave for 12 years. When asked if general neighborhood rowdiness has always been the same, she said, “No. The last two years have been really, really bad. They’re just out of control. And the university is totally responsible, in my opinion.”
Residents like Donaher blame the UB because the college brings the students into their neighborhood from their quiet dorms and apartments at the North Campus in Amherst.
Students say it’s like a sober cab. The university also says it’s a good thing because it cuts down on drunk driving, and many agree.
And to prevent public urination, the school set up Porta-Potties at the bus stop.
Buffalo Police are making their presence known, breaking up at least two parties Saturday night, but they did not appear to be handing out many underage consumption tickets.
“I just can’t believe that this is acceptable,” Donaher said.
Some students said they understand neighbors’ concerns.
“Honestly, I’d be pissed for a little bit if these parties were going on near my house,” Shephard said.
But they believe this is life when you live near the university.
“This, I could deal with this for a week or two [if I were those residents],” Shephard said.