University of Delaware students are pushing back against an ordinance that bans loud parties with as few as four people.
The ordinance passed the council on a unanimous vote. It levies civil penalties, starting at $500, for parties that come with a lower burden of proof than criminal offenses.
Students attending the council meeting told members that the ordinance would lead some students to go elsewhere Supporters said the measure will bring peace and quiet to neighborhoods with student rentals.
The petition on Change.org quickly gained more than 12,400 signatures, with the sponsor seeking 15,000 signers.
“To the students, stand with me and fight this battle. We came to this school for many reasons and the passing of this Bill is taking away from our college experience. If we want change, and we want to proceed through the rest of our college years with fun-filled days, then we must stand up to our City Council and show them just how detrimental this bill is to this school. If we put our minds together, I know that we can restore this school to the way that it should be,” the introduction to the petition read.”
Big parties have been a problem in Newark, with police claiming more tools were needed to deal with the problem. However, the four-person rule has led to concerns that abuses could take place, with one irate neighbor having the power to harass students.
Charlie Hess of Newark was identified as the author of the petition.
The petition resulted in scathing comments from signers, including one who noted that a couple of hundred student votes could result in a member of the council being thrown off the governing body.
The deadline for filing for the council and mayor’s posts has passed, but students who qualify have a few more days to register to vote.