(City of Boulder news release)
The University of Colorado at Boulder and the City of Boulder are announcing a pilot party registration program that is designed to help students become better informed about how to host responsible gatherings while giving police and neighbors other options for resolving noise complaints.
The pilot will run Friday and Saturday nights from April 16 to May 8.
Under the pilot program, CU students will be permitted to register a party in advance with Off-Campus Student Services. When hosts sign up, they will be provided educational materials that make them aware of their responsibilities and neighborhood concerns. If a noise complaint is called in during the party, police dispatch will notify the student hosts by calling the number provided as contact information. Students will then have a 20-minute window to break up their party. If a second complaint is received, an officer will be dispatched to the address and a citation will be issued once a violation is confirmed. Students who receive a violation may be subject to penalties in Municipal Court, through restorative justice programs, and the Office of Judicial Affairs at CU.
It is important to note that officers will continue to respond promptly to emergency situations and allegations of criminal conduct that involve more than noise or neighborhood disturbances. The 20-minute grace period will not apply in these cases.
Students can register in Off-Campus Student Services (UMC 313), Mondays Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 9a.m. to noon for a party on Friday or Saturday nights. Students must register in person and show their Buff One Card. Registration is open to all CU students in all neighborhoods throughout the City of Boulder. Students who register will receive a Smart Party Bag which includes the Smart Party Guide, a flyer on host liability, a party checklist and information on CU's NightRide program, as well as non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and trash bags.
"The University of Colorado Student Government (CUSG) is excited to be a partner in this pilot program," said Ashley Michelson, neighborhood and city relations director for the CUSG. "We are looking forward to participating in a program that provides students the opportunity to work with the Boulder Police department in this proactive effort"
The Boulder Police Department and residents have been involved in the planning of the pilot program. At a meeting hosted on April 8 with residents of the neighborhoods adjacent to campus to explain the intent of the program and its possible impacts to neighborhoods, residents expressed positive support for the pilot program. A follow up meeting will be scheduled after the pilot period to receive feedback from the residents.
The program is modeled after a similar initiative that has been in operation at James Madison University for eight years and began in Fort Collins in 2009. Residents in Fort Collins have reported favorable outcomes, including a more collaborative approach to problem solving, faster resolution of underlying noise concerns, and increased student responsibility.
"We are hopeful that this pilot program will help us, as law enforcement, strike a balance between giving students the opportunity to hold themselves accountable and providing neighbors with appropriate resources for resolving problems," said Cmdr. Curtis Johnson, who oversees swing and night shift officers.
The program will be evaluated at the end of the pilot period. The evaluation will include follow-up surveys for both students who register their party and neighbors who may have been impacted by the parties and the new approach. Community members who wish to provide feedback while the pilot is ongoing are encouraged to call CU Off-Campus Student Services at 303-492-7053.