I write as a resident of Edward Street, near (but not “on”) the Dalhousie campus. Every fall and every spring there is a turnover of student residents in apartments on our street, and neighbouring Henry and South streets. Every fall and every spring a new group of students learns about life in community and about being neighbours with residents like me. Usually there are a lot of late night noisy parties, confusion about recycling/garbage pickup and other incidents as everyone settles into the school term. We, the homeowners, live here year-round and are proud of our properties and love living in this area.
This year the noise is especially awful. Police have been attending and been ticketing for noise and alcohol-related offences. The fines are hefty. Many new students do not realize that the HRM has a 24-hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year noise bylaw. There is no good time to disturb your neighbours. There is no good time to waken them when they are sleeping. There is no good time to yell obscenities, slam taxi doors, blast music or urinate in public on our properties and vehicles. Last weekend, the rear window of a WWII vet’s beloved car was smashed with a rock—why? Is this a necessary rite of passage into university? I think not.
Please remember that residents who are homeowners on these streets pay city taxes and love our neighbourhoods. We don’t live “on the campus.” If we did, Dal would pay our tax bills, not us. We welcome students to our area when they are responsible and that means not disturbing our peaceful enjoyment of our properties, at all times. We’ve got doctors who need sleep, students who need sleep, kids, seniors and other working people in our area, along with student tenants.
Also, if you don’t know when to put your garbage out, just ask. We’ll all be happy to help you figure it out. Throwing your garbage bags out of an upstairs window (as happens regularly at a property on our street) is not the way to do it. And saying that you don’t have a green bin where you come from also doesn’t help—composting is the law in HRM. If you choose to live in a house, you need to figure this out. It’s not hard. If you keep your garbage in an enclosed garbage can with a cover that shuts tight, you’ll cut down on the mice and rats in our houses and yours. Don’t have a garbage can? We’ll drive you to Canadian Tire.
Please respect your neighbours. Just imagine it’s your grandparents or mother and father living next door to you, say hi and get to know your neighbours. Give them your cellphone number so they can let you know when there’s a problem.
And remember that we all live “near” the campus, but not on it.
Peggy Walt, on behalf of Edward Street residents
Not the bird course you think it is
(Re: How to choose the right elective, Sept. 1)
I would like to express my gratitude to the Dal Gazette for having brought attention to the common misperception that a course must be “easy” merely because it deals with a popular topic. Among the courses the Gazette identifies as “interesting (and easy) electives” is my course, ENGL2085 Video Games: Story, World and Play. Since the course will be taught for the first time only this winter, there is very little basis other than its topic for assuming that the course will be “easy.” As the Gazette‘s contributors are no doubt aware, a mere topic is scant evidence on which to make an editorial assessment.
Emboldened as I am by the Gazette‘s efforts at correcting common student errors, I plan on making the course as onerous as possible upon my students. And, to give credit where credit is due, I will be taking every opportunity to remind my students that, when their assignments are draining the very last drops of gaming pleasure from their twitchy little fingers, they will have the bold defenders of intellectual rigour at the Dal Gazette to thank.
Department of English
(posted on dalgazette.com)
New student group? So what.
(Re: Divestment comes to Dal, Sept. 13)
Group forms, inspired by some element of culture they’ve been studying. They sit around and figure out some demands, and then announce them. Media, desperate for words on paper, flock to event. Other side of the story ignores issue. Repeat. There is no story here. Someone said something. Big deal. James Hutt has said a lot of things, and will say many more. It’s news when something actually happens because of it.
Dylan Matthias, via Facebook