Duke students disrupting Trinity Heights, neighbors say

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Neighbors in Durham say Duke students are disrupting their peace and the university is doing nothing about it.

People living in the Trinity Heights neighborhood say noise complaints have gone on for years.

Empty beer cans and red ‘party cups’ are in the yard of a nearby house where Duke Students live.

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Durham police have been called to Onslow Street for noise complaints nearly a dozen times since September.

Some people living in the neighborhood are fed up.

“They usually like to hold socialization parties, in which, sometimes, unfortunately, things can get a bit out of control,” said David Bowden.

He lives across the street from what he calls the “party house.”

He says for 20 years he’s been dealing with the loud partying throughout the year from a couple of houses on that street.

“The noise is to the volume level that intrudes the walls of people’s houses which is the whole problem,” he said.

Some neighbors see it differently. Drew has lived near off-campus student housing before.

“It’s been very quiet in my opinion comparatively to all the other universities, it’s been extremely quiet,” said Drew, who did not want to provide his last name.

The student who lives at the house says he’s aware of the complaints. He didn’t want to talk on-camera but says he’s going to work on being respectful to his neighbors by keeping the noise down.

“If you move a block away from a university you should expect to live with students,” said Drew. “You shouldn’t expect to move into a college area and not be surrounded by students.”

In a statement to CBS North Carolina, Duke University says, “Our role is to educate our students as best we can about how to be good neighbors and Durham residents and Durham authorities’ roles are to hold all local residents accountable for any violations of ordinances and/or laws.”

The university says students will face its consequences if local law enforcement finds students are breaking the law.

Bowden says for years, nothing has been done.

“You allow them to move off campus as seniors at Duke University and some of them repeat the same behavior patterns that they know are going to cause a problem,” he said. 

Neighbors are hoping a discussion Tuesday night at Lyon Park about the noise issue will lead to some kind of solution.

CBS North Carolina has been told a Duke University official will be here.

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