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Use spare change for Fanshawe “ghetto” change

Diana Forbes | Interrobang | News | September 12th, 2005

Spare change being dropped into city parking meters may soon be used to hire more by-law officers to crack down on housing infringements and clean up student “ghettos.”

Councillor Bernie MacDonald, who is spearheading the meter campaign, believes the added enforcement will help clean up student housing problems such as garbage, noise and parking issues.

“The money taken from parking meters will be used to hire by-law enforcement officers, and they will write tickets at the scene for housing infractions,” proposed MacDonald.

“We don't have enough by-law officers. We are hoping to hire two or three more.”

The new officers will ensure that violations be dealt with at the scene of the incident, and according to MacDonald, landlords will be held accountable when their properties are not properly maintained.

“Areas are being turned into ghettos. I'm not picking on the students, I'm picking on the landlords,” MacDonald said. “We need to go after the landlords who are getting good rent money from the tenants, and not putting anything else back in.”

The by-law enforcers will also be patrolling student housing areas in search of garbage, noise and parking infractions; three common problems in student “ghettos.”

Off-campus Fanshawe partygoers made headlines last September, when an out-of-control, Labour Day bash ended in property damage and two arrests. As a result, community members residing near Fanshawe voiced their outrage and reached out to college officials to control the situation.

In response, the college provided educational packages to on- and off-campus students, which included information about relevant by-laws, garbage pick-up schedules and other responsibilities.

Fanshawe also hired weekend police to patrol the neighborhood surrounding the college for the month of October 2004.

Glenn Matthews, a Housing Mediation officer for both Fanshawe and Western, said they are getting a head start on avoiding negative behavior from occurring in the 2005/06 school year.

“The college, student union, and police are working together on education and informational activities,” Matthews said in regards to student housing issues.

Matthews, in co-operation with the college, is developing an off-campus newsletter that informs students about by-laws issues, landlord/tenant agreements and how to manage roommate conflicts. By focusing on education and information, Matthews said off-campus students will be better prepared to integrate into the community.
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