BUFFALO, NY - Tough words are coming from a Buffalo lawmaker directed toward leaders at UB, over the ongoing issue of wild student parties, disrupting the lives of residents in one city neighborhood.
Buffalo Common Council Member Rasheed Wyatt says he's not getting enough cooperation from UB, to address quality of life issues in the University Heights neighborhood, like underage drinking, large crowds and wild student parties.
Wyatt also says the university refuses to consider a plan that would help police deal with the crowds.
REPORTER: do you think that you're getting enough cooperation?
"To this particular issue? No," Wyatt said.
It's that time of the year again, the fall semester has begun and so have the weekend parties.
"It's just unbelievable, the number of students that are here," Wyatt said.
Long-time residents here have been fed up.
Wyatt says he had a meeting a month ago with UB President Satish Tripathi. And, in it he proposed a plan -- for UB to fund, at least partially, Buffalo Peacemakers, a community group, known for its work on anti-violence, to serve as a deterrent and patrol University Heights on Friday and Saturday nights, at a total cost of $2,500.
"So that if the police were called off, there was someone here to kind of maintain order and safety for the students," Wyatt said, "they told us no they weren't interested in doing that."
UB responds in saying "The university feels such a relationship would more appropriately occur between the (Peacemakers) and the city, if the city is interested."
But, Wyatt says it's UB's students who are flooding city streets and the university should pay at least some of the cost. UB has made changes this semester in hopes of reducing the weekend crowds. Buses from UB North to UB South will run every 20 minutes, not every 10 minutes. And, UB now offers three bus routes that are free for students to go to other entertainment options on Walden Ave., Transit Road and Maple Road -- where they can shop or hang out.
Wyatt is critical of this.
"Unfortunately students, if they have a choice of going to a movie or going to a party they're probably going to the party," he said.
UB says it shared its plan at a public meeting last month, and that their plan received community support. But, for one lawmaker and UB, their relationship is strained.
"As I said to the president this is the one issue that continues to hold us back," Wyatt said.
Wyatt say this is how it should work, Peacemakers should be funded to work in the community, and shuttle buses should be reduced after midnight, and only made available for students for educational purposes, like if they need to go to a library.