Noise violations common with warm weather

Katie Boes

The excitement of the new school year and the warm late-summer weather may entice many students out of their dorm rooms, houses and apartments to party. Noise ordinance violations given to greek houses and student houses are fairly common at the beginning of the school year, said Sgt. Mike Johns of the Ames Police Department. “Our concern for noise levels is based in the community,” he said. “Typically, we do not drive around and measure the decibel level at any random party. We take action if precipitated by a complaint.” So far this semester, 18 peace and quiet disturbance complaints have been noted in the greek community, but only three noise violation tickets have been issued. “With the warm weather and the large size of outdoor parties, it is tough to control the noise of the crowd,” said Chris Martin, president of Alpha Tau Omega. Martin, junior in political science, said his house, like many fraternities before a party, has received warning from the officers that they would be watching the noise levels. Alpha Gamma Rho President Matt Norman, senior in agronomy, said they prepared for their joint party with Delta Tau Delta by pre-setting the speaker volumes. Still, with the level of the crowd noise, they were unable to escape a violation. Other off-campus parties also have had their share of warnings. Bryan Mack, senior in management information systems, said a party at his house on Welch Avenue had roughly 60 to 70 people and barely escaped a ticket. “We were able to get the music turned down and move our party to the back of the house before they were able to register the noise levels,” Mack said. He received a violation last year around this time and said he knew he needed to get the party quieted down when he saw the police. The current noise limits in residential areas is 65 decibels until midnight, when it decreases to 60 decibels. These readings can be taken from any public property, including sidewalks or roads.