Community Post

Are Seattle University Students Good Neighbors? SPD & SU Respond to Nuisance Properties

I live in the heart of Squire Park, within walking distance to Seattle University.  Many homes in this area that are not owner occupied are rented to Seattle University students.  My assumption is that residents should be respectful of their neighborhood, maintain and care for their property, and care about the wellbeing of others around them.  Is it reasonable to desire these things for and from our neighbors?

Next door to my primary home is a tri-plex, I have lived on this street for over 2 years, the triplex has only been rented to Seattle University Students.  I am ALL FOR students, however as a community, we should hold these neighborhood residents to the same standards we might expect from more permanent residents.  They are adults and we should expect them to act like, well… adults.  

The owner of this triplex (located on the 600 block of 20th Ave) seems unwilling or unable to manage the expectations of the neighborhood as they relate to the activities of Tenants in the triplex.  I am at the point where this property has become a nuisance.  I have called SPD and SU several times over the past two years, including three incidents over the last 10 days.

Seattle University and Seattle Police have been very professional in their responses to my phone calls, often in the middle of the night, but it takes a village to affect change and I am wondering if anyone else is facing similar situations in the neighborhood?  If so, there are steps you can take!

  • CALL 911 (really, they want you to!) and report the nuisance, the noise ordinance for the city is in effect from 11PM and they will respond to calls after that.
  • CALL 206.296.5990 Seattle University Security, (really, they want you to!) SU students sign a strict code of conduct and it applies to their behavior on and off of campus, debauchery is not an acceptable behavior in this code.  They will respond to the scene and take photos, usually they cannot enter the property
  • STICK IT THROUGH, the hardest part is being willing to stay consistent, write down license plate numbers if you think drug deals are going down, take photos and videos to sent to Seattle University Security & SPD if needed, talk to your neighbors and get everyone on the same page.

If the link below does not work, here is the video url:

This video was taken last night around midnight, I inserted some photos from this morning around the scene as well.  This is not a one-off event just a point in time where I decided to start recording these typical events.  Perhaps together we can create a sense of accountability for our neighborhood and residents.  








0 thoughts on “Are Seattle University Students Good Neighbors? SPD & SU Respond to Nuisance Properties

  1. Wow, really a tough deal, and one most of us can relate to. I actually thought that property had just gone through a rehab, as had seen what looked like construction trash, and repairs last summer.

    Your repoorting the insident to the SPD is great, but I believe if you want to take advantage of any of the city ordinances against noise, etc, you may need to get at least three documented violations. It takes the calls to 911 you mention, but you also need to insist on getting a case niumber on each to document your problems. Once you get the required number of violations, I believe you can request the city follow through with the landlord. As a landlord, I know of the law, but have never had to deal with it. Best of luck.

    PS, I will keep my eyes open for problems at this address on my walks, .. as a good neighbor.

  2. We live just up the street (between Marion and Union) and have had very similar problems with a Seattle University party house at 946/948 20th Ave. The house is rented by 7 guys, most of them students, who have little to no regard for anyone around them. Despite trying to reason with them, we are still consistently woken up by yelling and screaming at all hours of the night, we are woken up to fights and people vomiting in public. The worse is when people spill out of the party and urinate in public. It’s disgusting.

    When the promotional Red Bull car started showing up to the parties, we began calling the police. As with you, SDP and SU staff have been very professional. But it’s hard to get SPD there at the right time to actually have them cited for an infraction (I understand that there are bigger fish to fry than noise complaints on a weekend night).

    The volume of most the parties are now a bit quieter than earlier, but we still get woken up almost every weekend by 20-40 people spilling out of the house and yelling and screaming for 10-20 minutes. Then when we are almost asleep again, more people come out. I am worried about how loud it will be when the weather gets warmer.

    I also wonder about SU’s enforcement abilities and housing policies. At some point, if people cannot behave like adults, they should loose their ability to live off campus. But I do not know if SU’s policies allow for that.

  3. Wow, I am so sorry you have had to deal with that. I also live in Squire Park but have yet to experience SU student commotion at my home. However, I was at a restaurant next to the SU campus last year on a rare date with my husband, and at the table behind us was a rowdy group of six college guys talking about partying and, well…puking. Lots of puking stories. On and on about how much so and so puked. And there I am, trying to eat my dinner with the guy 18 inches behind me is discussing vomit. As you can imagine, I lost my appetite – which is a shame, because the food was delicious.. I almost said something…I was *so* close, but my husband talked me out of it. (He doesn’t like it when I make a scene).

    As they were leaving they were discussing stiffing the server out of her tip and I think they ended up doing that “dollar under the water glass” trick. I gave them lots of dirty looks as they filed out the door. This wasn’t a hole in the wall diner, this was a decent restaurant with good ambiance and delicious food. Unfortunately I haven’t been there since. :(

  4. Yep, I live next to the triplex (featured in the video) on the 600 block. We were out of town 3 weekends ago but came home to stories from the neighbors about a party and a pile of throw-up at the steps to our house. 2 weekends ago I watched from my front window as a student was urinating off the front balcony of the triplex.

  5. We’ve also had 2 malicious incidents on our property that seem to coincide with our calls to 911 regarding the SU triplex. Back in December someone went into our back yard and cut our christmas lights. And last week (after we called 911 / SU for parties starting 2/18 and 2/20) someone pulled out a landscape light in our front yard just 10 feet from the property line with the SU triplex. I don’t have proof but come on…

  6. You might try posting a few laminated signs that say “Videotaping In Progress” around your perimeter.

    Maybe deliver a letter to the party house saying you’ll be videotaping anyone who’s breaking laws? See if they take the hint?

    And you could try actually filming some video of the offenders and taking it to the Admins and/or Police?

  7. I am not surprised about this. I used to walked 20th all the time and noticed all the students out there drinking. I was thinking ” I feel bad for the neighbors”. I hope it gets solved for you and you get some decent sleep.

  8. Oh, the shock and horror of finding college students partying blocks from campus at midnight on a saturday. That definitely warrants the hours you spend obsessing about your neighbors while secretly filming them.
    You live in a mixed neighborhood blocks from a major university. There are lots of quiet places to live, why not move to one instead of trying to ruin other people’s good times? I’m sure you’ll find lots of neighbors with whom to bicker over petty shit.

  9. I’ve been wondering what all that yelling and screaming and general rudeness and drunkeness EVERY Saturday night for the last month or so has been all about! It sounds like a frickin’ parade of a-holes in the middle of the night and I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on with such regularity.

    I may have to reconstruct my dog poop catapult and have it ready this weekend. heh heh heh

  10. And why don’t you keep your snotty little thoughts to your miserable little self? You just made yourself the ass of the day.

  11. I am sure that in some situations those complaining have lived in the neighborhood first and it may have been quiet then. Such is the case on my block. Last summer it appears some SPU students moved in to a home behind mine and boy have they made their presence known. I am all for their rights to party and have never called the police or complained because I felt they have a right to have parties and honestly felt eventually they would do the right thing, but it seems to be getting worse. I don’t mind the loud music but I will be speaking with them soon to please keep the party indoors. I don’t understand why they have to litter the neighborhood with beer cans, cigarettes and general garbage and why they have to scream in the streets. And worst of all is that the noise is daily. They don’t seem to know how to even knock on a door in a civil manner. It is constant pounding and screaming from their guests. Sorry, but I don’t think anyone has the right to impose such disrespect for their neighbors regardless of their age. Show additional patience and give them more leeway perhaps, but not ignore it or excuse it entirely.

  12. This is not exactly close to SU, it is a quiet neighborhood with a lot of sweat equity going into the homes. I owned a duplex right there for 20 years and did not see this kind of crap. They need to grow up.

  13. I, too, live on the 900th block of 20th, and am very aware of the party houses and pedestrian traffic between them. Unfortunately, what these students don’t understand is that we are trying to protect our very sizable (at least before the down market) investments. But I doubt I would have listened to reason at that age as well, however my parents would have whipped my butt after reasoning didn’t work. I wish I had an answer… Recently my husband talked to a rental property next to us. The front yard had become a place for squatters to sleep. A unworking van was an absolute eyesore. Every weekend a new “band of friends” showed up to crash, complete with their trash bags used for luggage, typically bringing the totals to 10+ people in a 3 bedroom house (and their cars). These were not SU students. In fact, all seem to be well over college age. Forunately, they responded very positively to us asking them to be more respectful, and the property is getting much better. The only thing I know I can do is set the positive example by maintaining my own property in a way that demonstrates how much respect I have for myself and my family. Because that’s what it boils down to, if you treat your home and neighbors with complete disregard, you are speaking volumes about how you feel about yourself. I will begin calling SPD/SU when these partygoers are noisy, to help our neighborhood and street. And man, that stinks about the cut Christmas lights! Trespassing and a Grinch! Boo!

  14. Would you rather to have kids partying or homeless camp in your area? I’ll take the first one any day.

    Homeless camp cannot be good for your investmnet? Kids partying is not great, but cannot be worse than homeless camp.

  15. I will take the homeless camp. There is just something about privileged adults (42K per year tuition) showing complete disrespect and destruction for others that I find extremely and inexcusably offensive.

  16. Firstly, 42K is the sticker price. I am sure many of these kids actually get a lot of scholarships. I know most of the people that I know are paying a lot less than that.

    They are also just kids being kids.

  17. Hi Dave. I know, I know….. I am not treating them equitably due to their perceived economic status, but those I know have had access to good education and opportunities (and pay full price). Plus they are adults. And if they never experience any consequence for the type of behavior described, they will probably carry that attitude well into adulthood. Ultimately, I don’t feel anyone has the right to destroy someone else’s property/break the law without consequences but can understand it more if they come from a background where there was little opportunity to escape violence, poverty or learn civil responsibility. Yeah, I know. I’ve got issues….

  18. Honestly, the homeless camp makes a much better neighbor. I’m not a property owner here, so I can’t speak to effects on housing values, but kids partying are louder, create more rubbish (and piles of vomit), and are much less concerned with being good neighbors.

  19. I’m just wondering how many of you have tried to calmly walk over the students houses (AFTER you’ve had time to cool off a bit!) and talk to them? I live in the same neighborhood and am a Seattle University student. Granted the house I live in does not have parties often, but we let our neighbors know beforehand and make sure to turn any loud music off before 11pm. If you just talk to them and have them inform you if there will be a party, I don’t see why not. And what they do on the property of their house (urinating in the yard included) is their problem so shut your blinds and go back to bed. The university puts tight restrictions on what we can and cannot do (no fraternities/sororities, etc.) and I’m pretty sure those of you who have attended university’s did a bit of partying yourselves. If you didn’t, we’re sorry. The school is taking it to the extreme with consequences and when you call the school along with the police, please understand that you’re putting a student’s entire education at risk as many have been threatened with expulsion. If this is a huge problem I get it, but why don’t you try talking to them first instead of being a grumpy (yes i’ll say it) old foagie.

    Also, don’t waste the time of the 911 operators with your noise complaints. They have gang shootings and other more important things to worry about.

  20. Also, we’re not all drunkards…some of us actually give a damn about college so please don’t generalize.

  21. I think this is a tough situation for both parties and SPD is the only legitimate form of mediation. Who would sneak into a backyard and cut one christmas light though? Honestly, that one is startling. So I guess my question is what do you all suggest to do to solve this problem? The increase of students will probably increase the value of your investments. You bought homes in the central district, im sorry, but if you wanted to have the perks of a nice neighborhood maybe you should have reconsidered the location. But again, I would like to see this problem fixed just as much as you do. I do not suggest however “catapulting fieces hehehe” at young college kids.

  22. This is silly. You live next to a University in the biggest urban area in the state… college students are going to party. News flash, they don’t just call it a night at 10pm on the weekend, sorry about it. Calling the cops is something that happens and you have the right to do if it is truly disrupting your life in some fashion, but ranting about a typical college party and then creating a video about it is a little weird. Not to mention taking pictures of property that belongs to someone else, which in no way effects the status of your personal property… You’re a sad little soul if you think that the police and people of Seattle have shutting down college parties at the top of their priority list. And believe it or not, Universities in general don’t respond to parties because it has no correlation and they have a better way to spend their resources. That would be like representatives from your work showing up at your door due to a noise complaint… get real. They’re not doing anything to harm you other than make a little noise that probably isn’t all too difficult to sleep through.

  23. well said. there are better ways of dealing with this than obsessing and spying, not to mention calling the school every time there is a party. It does also seem like a waste of police resources, considering what else goes down late at night on the weekends.

  24. Doubt most neighbors call EVERY time their is a party. I sure don’t. But I have to work in the morning and sometimes asking nicely just doesn’t work. How ’bout those who act inconsiderately just own up to their poor behavior and cut it out. Those who don’t – Thank you. I sure partied when I was in college, but I never urinated in public nor trashed the neighborhood. It’s just a question of impulse control. Get it until you hit the work force or you might end up on wall street. Oh, wait. That’s a good thing for them, isn’t it? Yup. Just the rest of us suckers that get to pay for their crap. Ah, it starts young.

  25. Same deal. Was owner occupied until Jan 1 when the students moved in. Politeness has not worked with these guys. Tried it. Face it, they are at the age when the world revolves around them and only them. They go outside, drunk, yelling/whatever, and the friends park on 22nd and make noise on their way to the house on 23rd. Last Saturday night a group walked by, drunk and loud, and knocked over a scooter that is parked on the street (haven’t told him yet, but I will). A little noise? Not by a longshot. They are practically in our back yards. This is not next to the university either… Our block is full of families with kids, and adults who get up and go to work. Yeah, we partied in college, but not when living around families. There are areas that are full of student rentals. I’m sure they don’t mind over there. So, no, we’re not putting up with it and we ARE calling the police and getting in touch with the house owners. And now that we know that SU may do something about it, we damn sure are going to let them know if it continues. Funny, the timing on this thread because it’s usually pretty quiet around here outside of the police sirens.

  26. Have you ever tried talking to them? Going over to their house and get to know them during the day when there isn’t a party and mentioning that you need a little more quiet and respect on weekend nights could help. Until you all tell me that you’ve tried this, I find your actions to be rash and unjustified unless the students don’t listen to your calm requests and continue to be a problem. Being a pissed off asshole won’t help; show us you can act like adults and maybe we can too.

  27. Yup. Here we go again. Blame the victim. They didn’t do enough to prevent someone acting irresponsibly or breaking the law. Come on 22u, what right do you have to expect strangers to show consideration and common sense? Student…please. Face the fact that some of your peers just don’t care. I gave a welcome basket to the students when they moved in behind me. They never came around to say “thank you”. I still wave “hello” when I see them and they are cordial. But this does not stop them from throwing cigarette butts into our yard, or whooping it up just about every night. Nor do they ask their guest to stop yelling all over the block when they come to their parties. And no, speaking to them the next day doesn’t work. They apologize, but things go on. You can not tell me that they lack the insight to assume that people have jobs they need to get up for, or kids that also need sleep, or that just because they rent ONE house, that it doesn’t give them the run of the neighborhood. Honestly, instead of the police and SU, the people I want to speak with is their parents. Obviously they still need to learn some things.

  28. It was very quiet on the 600 block of 20th last weekend. I’m glad to hear others are benefiting from this story. The comments by some encouraging us to be quiet and not call 911 or SU are ridiculous. I’ve had follow-up calls with SPD and SU and both encourage us to keep calling because they agree that families shouldn’t have to deal with this. SPD tells me that if an urgent call comes into 911 a computer will automatically transfer my calls to a non-emergency operator. We are very lucky to live close to SU – a private university with high expectations for its students. It is a wonderful university (with great students) that offers so much to our community! Mike Sletten, Director of Public Safety at SU, is a member of the East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition, he’s in regular contact with SPD and he wants to hear from you. You can reach him at [email protected] or 206-296-5993. Email seems to be best. I don’t discount the value of direct contact with neighbors. I also think people have to do what works best for them.

  29. Dereck:

    That’s very unfortunate and I’m sorry. It’s too bad that your neighbors act that way and you have every right to call the police. Just don’t generalize us; there are Seattle U students who care.

  30. nobody is generalizing – we are calling out specific houses. And secondly, it really doesn’t matter to any of us what you think of our “rash and unjustified” actions. What is unjustified is your belief that respect for your neighbors needs to be by request. You’ll understand this when you grow up. Dereck, you nailed it.

  31. Full disclosure, I am a Seattle University student. I have occasionally been to parties at the house in question, and I will be the first to admit they are loud. So loud that it is impossible to hear when inside. However, on numerous occasions when walking through the area (many times during the late afternoon and early evening read: not going to a party), I have been accosted by individuals who are not members of SU. They have asked if I would like to purchase different drugs. Most recently, it was powerful opiate painkillers. Now I sympathize with those who have to work and how the trash may affect property values. However, your concern over your children being exposed to a public nuisance pales in comparison to the damage done by lowlifes like I described above.
    Oh and feel free to paternalize me like you have done with above posters, just don’t pretend your neighborhood was a rose garden before college students moved in.

  32. So you called the police to report the lowlifes accosting you in the neighborhood, right? Or is that too high a dose of realism for you?

    So let me get this straight: you’re saying because other crimes are being committed in the city by non-students it’s therefore ok for S.U. students to act however they want because they aren’t as bad as drug dealers????

  33. Spiffy I am not excusing the actions of one group on the basis of another group’s behavior. You misunderstood the meaning of the original post. I suspect you did not read the last sentence. I was merely commenting on the degree of danger presented by a noise complaint compared to some of the other problems with the area. If SU students are throwing trash and committing other crimes they should be held accountable. However my concern is that posts like this ignore larger problems with the area.
    In regards to contacting the police, what was I supposed to do? Detain this individual? By the time the call is placed and the cops show up they will be long gone. Even if the find the guy is hearsay enough to warrant a search his person. Probably not. Furthermore, many dealers carry a weapon and I am unarmed. Becoming an assault victim or worse will not help property values any more than trash.

  34. Please come to the garden tour and get to know the residents here.
    Calling the police alerts them to the problem. This is a very sad portrait you have of your neighbors. How many do you think are dangerous?

  35. If you are not comfortable calling 911, you can call the SPD non-emergency number 625-5011. You’ll get a menu of options, or you can press 8 to talk with a live person. This will provide the police with information about the ongoing problem without sending an immediate police response. They have been very successful lately in following up on patterns and repetitions in the East Precinct, and each call on this subject would be another piece of that process to resolve the problem.

  36. To “A dose of reality”. First loud parties and drug activity in the neighborhood are two separate subjects. You are trying to divert attention to the parties by bringing up the prolific drug trade in our neighborhood which is irrelevant and an insult. I guess we are just supposed to shut up and take it because we have bigger problems. I don’t agree. Just because we may have other issues in our neighborhood does not mean we should accept being treated with disrespect by ANYONE. I am sorry, but I think you and “student” (if you are indeed different people) need to take ownership and stop making excuses. I see here SPECIFIC examples being discussed. At no point is anyone saying ALL SU students are inconsiderate and obnoxious – they are addressing specific houses and issues that affect them daily. And if you have followed the CD news, you would see that we are in NOT in any form of denial about any of our other issues, and are in fact working as a community to address many of them. And regarding “In regards to contacting the police, what was I supposed to do? Detain this individual? By the time the call is placed and the cops show up they will be long gone.” Seriously? Ignoring the problem is the only solution you could come up with? Well, I guess that make sense, as that is what you are asking us to do.

  37. Realism, what makes you think that the long-time residents ignore the other problems? You obviously don’t know too many of the folks around here. There are people posting here who have been working to improve the neighborhood (and it has improved) for as long as you’ve been alive, and certainly longer than you’ve been attending parties here. The fact that there is a drug problem in the neighborhood is so irrelevant to the conversation that it is almost not worth responding to. Almost. And by the way, yes, you walk away from drug dealers that offer you drugs. Then you call the police and report it. Interesting how they offer the drugs to the students but not the non-student residents.

  38. to “right on, Spiffy and Joanna”

    That last sentence was way out of line. Anything that you said that is worth listening to is completely unwarranted by assuming that the students are beacons for drug dealers. They are still young adults and situations like those are extremely dangerous. I hope this never happens to my children as they get older and congratulations, you’re a real jerk.

  39. My god I’ve angered a nest of hornets. First I’m not student although that won’t convince you anyways. Why in the hell do I need to take ownership of others irresponsibility? Secondly, I am not insulting your neighborhood, whatever gave you that idea? I commented on experiences I have had there. Considering I live in the central district, that would mean I’m insulting myself. Boy that gets confusing… My whole point was the youtube video was excessive. If you disagree that is fine as I’m sure most of you will. The legality of videotaping others property (I know they are renters, but there is a reasonable expectation to privacy in one’s place of residence.) is murky at best. I suppose I could have made that more explicit in my original post. Feel free to do some research into this although you probably will be too eager to post a disparaging remark.
    Considering drug use is highest amongst those in their early 20’s it is unsurprising a dealer would target a member of this age group. Finally, I am not going to contact police until I am well clear of the area. The guy didn’t pose an immediate threat and I’m not going to make the mistake of being a target by strolling down the street on a cellphone. If someones life hung in the balance sure I’d call, but providing a generic description of someone I don’t know isn’t going to help.
    Oh and Joanna, I don’t think you are dangerous. I never said that. I cited one individual. I’m not even sure this guy was from the area. I am not going to take additional risk by making myself an easier target.
    Angry replies go!

  40. Hi, this is Joanna and I made no such statement even resembling anyone being beacons for anything. I encourage you to attend some of our events. What exactly are you saying is happening to you? Please be safe.

  41. So ummmmm are you a student or not, Dose?

    In your first post you said: Full disclosure, “I am a Seattle University student.”

    Then you said: “First I’m not student although that won’t convince you anyways.”

  42. A previous poster was called student. Someone accused me of being the same person. And I don’t use drugs. Dealers target young individuals because they are more likely to use. That is statically the case. Plus the headline is incredibly generalizing.
    Are Seattle University Students Good Neighbors?
    If that isn’t generalizing I don’t know what is.

  43. “Dealers target young individuals because they are more likely to use.”

    Or maybe they target YOU because you’re too pussy to do anything about it, by your own admission? Why complain if you don’t have the guts to do anything about it?

  44. Boy Spiffy you sure are tough when you sit behind a computer screen. Tell you what you should buy a night stick and go patrol the streets. You can beat up all the thugs you find. You’d make front page in the Seattle Times when they find you beaten to a pulp the next morning.

  45. Uh, Dose? Who said anything about beating up thugs?

    I’m tough enough to use a phone. You however, are a pussy by your own admission.

    Don’t complain about being “accosted” if you don’t have the courage to even minimally protect yourself by making a frickin’ phone call.

    Good luck being so passive in life.

  46. “That neighborhood,” huh? Please do not tell us that we might be ignoring bigger problems in the area to complain about loud neighbors. We all work very actively to keep our neighborhood as safe and free of crime as we can. It is a neighborhood in transition, and that transition is going in a positive direction. And we’ve worked too hard to make it safer to have to put up with public drunkenness, litter and so forth from our less than neighborly neighbors.