Neighborhood Relations

Your First Home (or Apartment) of Your Own — Students are Part of a Larger Community

When you and your friends sign a lease, you've taken a major step as an independent adult. With those privileges also come responsibilities. Willamette University encourages you to be a good neighbor wherever you choose to live. Your actions help ensure Willamette students maintain a good reputation in our larger communities

Tips on Being a Good Neighbor:

Introduce yourself

Make a point of meeting your neighbors. Give them your name and phone number. They'll be impressed with your openness, and it starts a relationship of trust and respect.

Create community

Wave and say hello when you see your neighbors, stop to say a few words, wish them a good weekend. Help when you are able: rake leaves, clear debris from sidewalks, volunteer to help a neighbor in need. Creating a positive community can start with these kind gestures.

Follow parking and traffic rules

Parking can be a real challenge. Plan on having only as many vehicles as you have actual parking spaces. Parking is not allowed on sidewalks, lawns, within 15 feet of fire hydrants, or in front of bus stops. Parking on the street may be regulated in your area. For more information on parking see: City of Salem, or City of Portland Parking Guide. Also, slow down in residential areas, and where pedestrians frequent; it could save a life.

Be aware of the impression you’re making

Until they get to know you, your neighbors will judge you on what they see - the outside of your residence. How you take care of the outside of your residence will have a big impact on how your neighbors react to you. Do your best to keep the exterior tidy: keep furniture inside, don't hang signs or banners in windows, clean up bottles and litter. Talk to your landlord to be clear on your responsibilities for mowing grass, raking leaves, and maintaining the exterior of the residence. Look for ways to make small property improvements your neighbors will notice. Follow garbage collection schedules and rules. If you’re in an apartment, make sure to keep door and patio decorations appropriate.

Be discreet and considerate

Your neighbors may be annoyed by casual swearing, drinking alcohol, or too much physical closeness on your porch or front lawn or in a public area, especially if you live in an area where there are young children. Make sure your actions outside of the residence are appropriate - if not, consider moving them indoors.

Be aware of your noise level

If you live in a residential setting or neighborhood, the folks around you may have jobs and children and may be getting up early every day. Noise at any time of the day is illegal if it is considered a nuisance by your neighbors and carries a large fine. Remember not to try not to sing, chant, yell, slam doors, honk your car horn, play loud music in the yard. Also, noise carries further at night, so save your good spirits until you're inside with the doors and windows closed. Use your best judgment and think about how hard it is to sleep with noise around your residence.

Socialize responsibly

If you’re going to have a party, let your neighbors know. They may be more tolerant if you don't surprise them. Limit the number of guests and keep the party inside. Plan parking for your friends, and clean up afterwards.

The police may respond to big parties and noise complaints (especially if there have been previous complaints), and will press charges; you could end up in court, paying hundreds of dollars in fines. Be aware of the number of people in the residence, those of legal age to consume alcohol, your noise levels, among other things and you will have a safe and fun time.

Handle conflicts politely

If you're a good neighbor, it's not likely that you'll meet an unfriendly reaction. But if you do, it probably means your neighbors have had a problem in the past, so be polite and make sure their experience with you will help change their minds. If your neighbors have a complaint about you, listen, try to see it from their perspective, and change whatever you can. Don't get involved in major disputes - yelling, swearing, or increasing the problematic activity, do not solve the problem and are not a good reflection of you as a community member. If you have any questions on how you can approach this situation, seek advice from campus faculty, staff, and administrators for ideas.

How to Make a Difference in Your Neighborhood — Neighborhood Associations

Many residential neighborhoods have associations that meet on a regular basis to discuss issues that pertain to the neighborhood. Most associations meet in the evenings, but some meet in the early morning. Neighborhood associations are recognized by the city council as an official voice of the community. Associations make recommendations to the city council and take action in their own neighborhood. Neighborhood associations can provide information on the following topics:

  • Neighborhood Crime and Crime Prevention
  • Traffic and Transportation Planning
  • Land Use (zoning, planning, new construction, renovations, etc.)
  • Neighborhood Parks and Park Partnerships
  • Community Events and Activities

For more information on Neighborhood Associations, see: City of Salem: Neighborhood Associations, or City of Portland: Community & Civic Life

Living Next to Bush Elementary

Bush Elementary School is located across the street from Kaneko and TIUA. While we currently have a strong relationship with Bush Elementary, WU students should be aware of the legal implications of Oregon's “Drug Free School Zone.”

Translated in the easiest language, the law states that any possession, manufacturing, or delivery, of any controlled substance, regardless of the amount, holds a higher legal penalty within 1,000 feet of the school's perimeter. Penalties range between a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A felony. Class C misdemeanors carry a maximum of 5 years in jail and a $125,000 fine. Class A felonies carry a maximum of 20 years in jail and a $375,000 fine. In other words, walking into this zone with a controlled substance carries a higher risk for penalty, regardless of the amount.

Additionally, those living in proximity to Bush Elementary School (again within 1,000 feet) are also held to these higher standards. The area can roughly be defined as the area between
12th and 18th streets and between State Street and the Mission Street overpass. Kaneko Commons is within the 1,000 feet perimeter.

The law is stated below:

475.999 Penalty for manufacture or delivery of controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school. Except as authorized by ORS 475.005 to 475.285 and 475.940 to 475.999, it is unlawful for any person to:

  1. Manufacture or deliver a schedule I, II or III controlled substance within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, secondary or career school attended primarily by minors.
    1. Unlawful manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school is a Class A felony.
    2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection, delivery for no consideration of less than five grams of the dried leaves, stems and flowers of the plant Cannabis family Moraceae in a public place, as defined in ORS 161.015, that is within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, secondary or career school attended primarily by minors to a person who is 18 years of age or older is a Class C misdemeanor.
    1. Possess less than one avoirdupois ounce of the dried leaves, stems and flowers of the plant Cannabis family Moraceae in a public place, as defined in ORS 161.015, that is within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, secondary or career school attended primarily by minors.
    2. Possession of less than one avoirdupois ounce of the dried leaves, stems and flowers of the plant Cannabis family Moraceae in a public place that is within 1,000 feet of a school is a Class C misdemeanor. [1989 c.806 §2; 1991 c.574 §1; 1993 c.78 §1; 1995 c.343 §49; 1995 c.440 §39]

NOTE: A criminal conviction of any type will affect your eligibility for federal financial aid

Willamette University

Division of Student Affairs

University Center 3rd Floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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