The Big Move-In: East Lansing's Population Doubles This Week

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

It's 6 p.m. on a Tuesday, or as newly-arrived Michigan State University students without any class to go to like to call it: Party time.

"You hear 'em first," East Lansing resident Philip Bladen said.

He and his family live just a few blocks away.

"It's a single family residential area surrounded by student housing."

So Bladen says groups of students are constantly moving through the area, usually loudly. He says it's particularly bad now, during welcome week, and it stays fairly constant until the weather gets colder.

"You find a beer bottle or something in your yard once in a while," Bladen said.

Occasionally, he says the students are more than just a nuisance.

"They've actually knocked out that street light a couple of times."

The question of whether students and year-round residents can get along in the same East Lansing neighborhoods has been a question for some time. But this year, the city is trying some new methods to bring the two groups together.

"There's ice cream socials happening through the community in neighborhoods with a lot of student residents as well as longer-term residents," Mayor Sam Singh said Tuesday night.

In additon to social events, the East Lansing Police Department is trying to improve things by giving students living off-campus pamphlets detailing laws on noise and alcohol.

"It's best to know the rules upfront and that's what this is," Chief Tom Wibert told News 10. Wibert says this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the busiest days of the year for his department. He says there will be plenty of officers on the streets to keep the peace as students keep partying before classes start.

But whatever the city does, the mayor admits: "We will always have natural tensions in the closer-in neighborhoods."

Tensions Bladen says aren't enough to make him question where he lives.

"It's not really that bad. It's just part of the price you pay for being relatively close to the student section of the city."


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