The weather in Southwest Missouri on Saturday, February 11, 2017 was unusually warm for late winter. The temperature rose to the lower 80s with just enough humidity to make it feel like spring. As a result many of the college students in my community took the the outdoors to party. Music blared and masses cheered. I live 2 blocks away from one of the parties and I heard every song, every cheer, all the shouting as clearly as if it was right next door to me.
This party was difficult for many reasons. One reason: the excessive noise. Many of us wanted to be outdoors to enjoy the weather, but we felt unable to do so due to the loud party. That is noise pollution and noise pollution has serious effects both on humans and wildlife. The sound of the party infringed on the activities of neighbors and businesses, and made the area unpleasant to spend time therein.
Another issue came to light in the morning. Litter. Litter absolutely everywhere. The north wind blew litter all over the place, including across the street to the lawn of a local business. Beer cans, beer bottles, beer carton, and even a beer pitcher, with beer still in it, deliberately left on the stoop of the business next to the party house.
In our culture we have an extended liminal stage of development. The time of life "betwixt and between" when we leave home and experience freedom for the first time. It is natural and normal to want to celebrate not only the freedom of living away from home, but the freedom and joy of a beautiful day. I was their age once and I totally "get it". I used to participate in bacchanalian fests. But as the number of college students in our community increases, and the number of dwellings they inhabit increases, this problem will only get worse. It is
incumbent upon the University officials and responsible students to inveigh upon their classmates to be responsible and do the right thing. Do not be so noisy that your neighbors cannot enjoy their day in peace. Do not throw your cans and other trash all over the place. It is possible to have a great time and still be respectful of your neighbors.