Until mere hours ago, city officials in Evanston, IL were ready to dust off a gem of a law, ostensibly in order to cut down on partying, shennanigan-ing, and littering by the 4,000+/- Northwestern University students living in private off-campus housing. Enforcing this long-dormant law would make it a zoning violation for more than three non-relatives to live together. Because it would constitute a brothel.
A brothel. More than three people make a brothel. What is this? The Roper Housing Act of 1975?
Come and knock on our door…we love Northwestern U…
I imagine Evanston residents are thinking that they would have moved to Syracuse (zing!) if they’d wanted to live in clouds of Red Bull vomit, orphaned ironic trucker hats, and girly squawks of “AM I TALKING REEEEEEAAAAAAALLY LOUD, MADISON?” City leaders are under the impression that separating students into smaller groups might dial back the kegger culture. Unless I’m mistaken about their curriculum, though, Northwestern is not a school for mimes. The students will figure out how to cross the invisible barrier and walk across the street.
Help! I can’t get out…I went to the University of Michigan
Little known fact, though: “Evanston” is German for “futile attempts to curb underage drinking” and the entire city is run by the children of eager landlords in nearby Chicago.
Aside from guaranteeing ample parking for future alumni weekends, enforcement would mean that a significant number of students among NU’s 40% off-campus population might have found themselves wandering the solo-cup-strewn streets this summer. As you’d imagine, off-campus students are chafed at the prospect of being booted out of town, thus losing their sense of community. Ten bucks says that the ones who don’t party are especially ticked; remember when no one got recess because of one kid?
But just because, at the eleventh hour, Northwestern President Morton Shapiro (ah, Morty) swooped in and made amends where his staff could not, don’t expect this to be the last time the townsfolk try it. People get really sick of hearing “Party in the U.S.A” at 3am. Outdated laws are an angry neighbor’s best friend.
And if Evanston townies think its a pain in the ass to step over one sleeping drunk on your way to work, just wait. Evanston promises to be nothing but coiffed hobo (fratbro?) camps. Flip Cup Hoovervilles. A Trail of Beers. A post-apocalyptic town where the only sound is tumbleweed and a skipping record of “I’m on a Boat.” Rollerbladerunner.
Evanston: Home of the Cusacks!
Try this again, Evanston, and potentially ousted students could decide to get organized and “get related.” Evanston Chamber of Commerce: better catch up on your “Big Love.”