CWU Students, Chris and Theodor, were in the SURC Monday, November 13th collecting signatures to protest to Ellensburg quiet hours. (Chapter 5.60 NOISE)
I asked Theodor why the noise ordinance is so strict? Theodor said, “I think it’s just because we’re college students, they think we are super crazy, but realistically most of us are just trying to find a little part of the day where we can relax.”
Chris expanded on the details of the petition saying “we want to expand the quiet hours to 12:00[am] on the weekends… we understand that nobody is going to go to bed at 10:00 pm on a Friday.”
Theodor added “we aren’t the first people to try this; apparently there have been six different people to try this in the last couple of years. They have [all] gotten turned down.”
I followed up with asking, how much research have they done on this topic and the overall student response they have received.
Theodor responded, “actually we have done quite a bit of research. The last group of people who tried this got close, they didn’t show up to court for some reason. We’ve been here for 30 minutes and had about 20 signatures, we are planning on walking around the dorms and asking people individually.”
Chris joined in saying “A lot of people, overall like this idea because we aren’t trying to get rid of the quiet hours. People obviously want to sleep. We are just saying, hey we want them, but we want to change them to promote social experience. A lot of students think that’s a really good idea.”
I was curious too how much a fine would be if one were to receive a noise violation ticket. Theodor explained “a first offense is $500, the second offense is $1000, and the third offense is $2000.
The distance in measuring that is 50 feet, 50 feet is a little ridiculous.”
I asked him to illustrate this further. “A lot of kids in college, let’s face it, aren’t going to be going to bed at ten o clock on a Friday. A lot of people are going to want to be going out/and hanging out with friends,” Chris add on how the noise law inhibits activity.
“The whole point of people staying on campus or going around town is to promote social activity and meet new people. Having the quiet hours start so early inhibits that. I feel like that’s kind of sad, it prevents you from meeting new people.”
Whether you agree or disagree with Chris and Theodor, the Ellensburg quiet hours will always be a hot-button issue among citizens and students.