Noise violations plague certain areas

By John Bachmann

DeKALB | Pumping up the jam at a party may get some residents into trouble.

DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said police received over a thousand calls last year for noise-related complaints.

A majority of these complaints come from disorderly house and noise control regulation violations.

According to Chapter 52.06 in the DeKalb Municipal Code, a disorderly house violation is when a loud noise is audible 50 feet away from the living unit. It also goes into effect when peace is disturbed.

If someone commits this offense, they could receive a fine between $300-750.

Another common violation Feithen noted is noise control regulation.

Chapter 52.35 states that between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., no one shall emit sound more than 60 decibels. And between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., no more than 55 decibels.

If in violation, an individual could receive a fine between $100-300.

Feithen said some violations may be excused.

“There are some exemptions for utility workers who make loud noises working during night hours,” Feithen said.

Powered tools in use (like lawn mowers) and community events are other exemptions, according to the municipal code.

Regarding on-campus, NIU Police Sgt. Alan Smith said noise violations aren’t a big issue.

“We typically don’t receive to many noise-related calls,” Smith said.” “When we do get them, they tend to come mainly from residence halls.”

If someone commits a noise violation in residence halls, Smith said they are usually referred to the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct.

For off-campus, there’s a different story pertaining to noise problems.

Feithen said majority of the issues tend to come from students living off campus.

“About 95 percent of the calls come from the northwest part of town which is the student part,” he said.

Senior accounting major Todd Trexler, who lives on Greek Row, has seen his fair share of police presence.

“Within the last year, I’ve seen a lot of police around due to noise issues,” Trexler said.

Feithen said some students might feel they have the right to be loud because they’re in college, but there are some things they need to factor in.

“They need to keep in mind in some areas, there is a mixture of non-students living by them,” Feithen said. “And then you have others who are trying to study or write a paper and don’t want to be disturbed. So be considerate to your neighbors.”

Trexler said he has had his studying interrupted by loud sounds on his block.

“I’ve gotten bothered and frustrated by it sometimes but I’ve just dealt with it,” he said.