Return of UA students creates living hell for some

The throng of thousands of University of Arizona students that descend on Tucson every August is a mixed blessing.

Students terrorizing neighborhood?/Ryn Gargulinski

Students terrorizing neighborhood?/Ryn Gargulinski

It’s great for the overall economy, the university, and campus-area clothing shops that charge $50-plus for a T-shirt.

But it’s not so great for at least one Tucson neighborhood, according to one longtime Feldman’s resident who would rather her name not be used.

She said Feldman’s Neighborhood has become a menagerie of “mini-dorm ghettos” with students “acting like a pack of wolves.” The pack, she said, comes complete with loud late-night parties, gallons of booze and now, even destruction.

She lodged a complaint with the police against one of those loud parties, at Fourth Avenue and Adams Street, at about 1 a.m. Wednesday (today), she said, only to meet retaliation.

The partiers got her name and address and she suspects took it upon themselves to smash two windows of her tenant’s van out front.

She said another Feldman’s resident has also been terrorized by this pack while the resident’s husband was not home.

“The students threw beer bottles through every window in her home while she was trapped inside. They have been terrorizing her for loud party complaints to the point where she is afraid to answer the door or talk to anyone,” the woman wrote in a Wednesday morning letter to President Robert Shelton.

“From what I can see, the kids in the mini-dorms have no ethics or interest in a higher education,” she wrote. “They are here to party out-of-state and let their parents just pay all the bills.”

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

While I have not lived in Feldman’s, I have had the opportunity to live next to one of these types of students. Yes, he had rich parents who paid the rent on the property’s main residence while I scraped together my rent for the property’s guest house.

He also had no regard for others.

This kid’s parties would snake deep into the night and I would often be greeted the next morning with beer cans lining the outside of my living room windowsill.

Thankfully, no violence ever erupted – but then again, I never called the cops on him, at least not for his parties. I was also able to drown out most of the noise with triple-pane windows and a bedroom far from his side of the yard.

But that doesn’t seem to be happening in Feldman’s.

“In order to justify the destruction of this historic, diverse, downtown, quiet neighborhood, Mr. Michael Goodman (minidorm developer) has argued that the kids need to be near the university,” the upset resident wrote. “The university has also tried to brand itself as having ‘sustainable’ features and culture. These mini-dorm kids, however, always drive to campus in their BMWs despite the fact that they are a 10-minute walk away from Park and Speedway.

“The creation of a ghetto full of undergrad adult male child boarders from out of state with no supervision and lots of money to burn is not only short sighted and negligent in a number of ways, it is dangerous.”

What do you think?

Have you ever had similar problems?

What should be done to correct situations like this?

What about the landlords who rent to these kids – what role do they play?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, environment, gross stuff, life, Police/fire/law, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Return of UA students creates living hell for some

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! Where the heck are the UofA cops? Too busy writing tickets? If the U wants to get serious about this they should impose a curfew, or martial law. 🙂  I’ve seen the destruction over zealous students can cause, burning cars, property damage, etc. I’m all for partying-but not at the expense of somebody else.

  2. Rynski says:

    Mornin’ RadMax – I would guess UA cops are NOT responsible since this is not on campus, no? TPD does respond to such calls and then issues RED TAGS – but then the partying can just move to a different house. I agree overzealous (good word) partiers of any sort can really wreck havoc, even maim and kill. It’s also hell trying to sleep near this stuff (sometimes even with triple-pane windows).

  3. azmouse says:

    Not good. There are always the few who ruin it for the many.

    Now that two of my kids are in their twenties (21 and 23) I realize that, although my kids are great, I would take teenagers (13 to 17) any day over late teens or early twenties. They feel so free now that Mom or Dad can’t really control them, legally.

    They can buy alcohol, blow money at casinos and just not do things they know they should, especially when they’re out on their own.

    • MarcyMom says:

      Could this be a sign of “my kid has to be happy” no matter what syndrom? As an educator for over 30 years, I have seen an increase in false self esteem and indulgence on the part of today’s youth . Alcohol combined with that mind set can only lead to selfish destructive behavior.  I know I learned my lesson about taking a spring vacation in Florida at a popular college student destination. The drunken fools were jumping off the balconies through the wee hours of the morning. We noted the rooms and gave them all a wake up call when we were heading home a six in the morning.

      • MarcyMom says:

        By the way, Azmouse, I’m not talking about your own children, just the ones I have personally encountered.

      • azmouse says:

        No sweat, MarcyMom.
        My kids grew up watching me work, sometimes three jobs at a time and sleeping four hours a night. They didn’t get anything (cellphones, tv’s in their rooms, etc) till they could buy it for themselves. My 21 yr old knew he had to bust his butt in high school to get a scholarship for college (and he did get a full scholarship and is going to school to be an electrical engineer) and working to support himself. He doesn’t have time to get into trouble! LOL

      • MarcyMom says:

        Sounds like you demonstrated positive influence in your own life and in your children’s. Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, especially if you want to instill good values. Setting limits and setting a good example doesn’t always guarantee success but does peace of mind. Let’s hope these “rebels” find a positive outlet for their creativity and spontaneity.

      • Rynski says:

        Good one on the wake-up call! I, too, woke my partying neighbor in the wee hours to move his car after he had an all-night bash.
        And it is a shame with the ‘my kid has to be happy not matter what’ syndrome. I am disgusted when I see the over-indulged, spoiled kids walking around with their extreme sense of entitlement.

    • Rynski says:

      So true, AZMouse, about few ruining it for many. While I’ve met some of these crappy drunk students, I’ve also met many who really do care. Cryin’ shame.
      Also agree late teens and early 20s are notorious years of rabblerousing (not that I’d know from experience, of course…)

  4. Kathleen says:

    Hi Ryn, like your artwork but you forgot the beer bottles, corona t-shirts, muscles, baseball bat for breaking in the windows of decent people, the neanderthal skull, and adjacent BMW with California plates.  This is the cloned population that the mini dorms attract.  It is a mono-culture.  You won’t find “caring” kids renting in the Goodman urban design.

  5. Kathleen says:

    ps: Mari Herrera’s  soon-to-be published Tucson Weekly article will show that this is a living hell for MANY not \some.\ Actually for every regular resident of these neighborhoods, bar none!

    • Rynski says:

      Hi Kathleen – what a nightmare! and I am sickened you have to live amongst it. I put “some” meaning “some” residents of Tucson – since the entire city is not affected – but “many” may be better.
      thanks for artwork compliments and wish i had broken beer bottle and neanderthal skull  drawings to add for more realism. will have to work on neanderthal series soon – i like that idea.

  6. Rochelle says:

    Hi Rynski,

    First I’d like to tell you I enjoy your writing and always look foward to reading what is next.  It’s really sad that a number of students ruin it for the others.  I think something should be done about the violence, noise, etc, that these students are causing.  Honestly,  I think this particular group who is harrassing this lady should do some jail time or huge fine.  Something has to be done.  We can’t cut off all of the lodging for the U of A because many are good students.
    There you have my two cents for what it’s worth.

    • azmouse says:

      I agree with you, Rochelle. Jail might not only wake the kids up, but their parents as well.

    • Rynski says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Rochelle…and letting me know you enjoy my writing. I enjoy writing it!
      I agree punishment would be dandy for such antics and esp. like the thought of jail time or perhaps community service. A huge fine may mean nothing to them if the parents are already throwing money in their general direction…

  7. A.Farley says:

    For starters we could outlaw “Beer-Pong”. Just getting my two cents in.
    “pelts dash” was my captcha

  8. JP says:

    If someone were to throw bottles through my windows, I would shoot them.  But first, when there is a party next to my house that gets too loud too late, I go over there and ask nice….and of course, they always turn it down for me….is is because I ask nice, or because I am not intimidated easily…or is it because I am showing respect for others when I ask nicely…who can know….but calling the cops without going over personally is an escalation, in the minds of party people….while having the nerve to go over and walk around in the party with “bed head” until they realize the sleepy neighbor has joined in…
    Of course, in the case of some children, who feel the immunity of the wealthy, or are drugged up on crank, this will not work.
    Then, you just have to be glad you live in Arizona.
    The city has  a “red tag” policy that can result in fairly rapid eviction, but it requires the citizen to participate to some degree…a trip downtown would clarify the police policy.

    • Kathleen says:

      problem is that the gates are locked all around these places. these people are behind security bars and only they hold the keys. 
       also, one doesn’t want to walk into a mob of drunks and ask them to turn it down. you don’t understand how bad it gets here.  they aren’t really “neighbors.”  if they were, everyone would handle it differently.

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