Should students be fined for throwing house parties?
How loud is too loud? Source: Shutterstock

Students at Newcastle University have been fined a total £27,000 over the last three years for being caught throwing house parties.

The Newcastle Tab reported that they have been slapped with these hefty fines for “significant disturbance to members of the public or damage to public property”. And it’s not hard to imagine that students aren’t too happy with these penalties, questioning whether the university is profiting from these disciplinary fines.

A university spokesperson has denied they are making a profit from these fines for “Noise Nuisance/Anti-social Behaviour”.

“The money is normally used for the education of students and the promotion of activities to combat anti-social behaviour,” the spokesperson said.

“Newcastle University has a long-standing commitment to encouraging good relationships between students and residents, and the majority of our students are considerate, respectful young people who make a valuable contribution to the communities in which they live.

“However, we recognise that there is a minority whose behaviour is sometimes unacceptable. We introduced the Noise Nuisance protocol in September 2012 and every year since, a number of fines have been issued in response to complaints about noise.”

So far, there have been 920 individual fines issued – £10,205.00 from 379 individual fines in academic Year 2015/16, £12,266.00 from 423 individual fines in academic year 2016/17 and £4,620.00 from 118 individual fines in academic Year 2017/18.

House parties are a staple in British university life. According to news reports, fines are increasingly becoming one, too. In October, the BBC reported that students at the University of Bristol will now face a £100 fine for keeping their neighbours awake with noise, after city residents lodged complaints of loud noises coming from parties in shared houses. Repeat the offence and they could face fines of up to £250, and a charge of £50 to attend anti-social behaviour impact awareness sessions.

Last year, six Nottingham Trent University students were fined after a wall collapsed during an all-night party in the area. The city council also told the BBC that they had issued 300 warnings for noisy student parties, where some were attended by up to 150 people at a time, keeping an entire street awake with the noise.

First-year biochemistry student Luca Colby said: “If you are planning a party you should warn your neighbours first, but keeping them up all night with noise isn’t on.”

While some students understood their neighbours’ grievance, others like first-year student Ben thought the fines to be too steep.

One of Newcastle student’s notorious house parties. Source: Facebook/@OUTch

While Newcastle may throw some of the most scandalous parties – among the ones reported, at least – they appear to be well planned in the noise and nuisance department.

Students have transformed their accommodation into The Playboy Mansion, complete with party go-ers in sexy lingerie and bunny ears. One single house threw an “S&M party” and shortly after, a “Kinky Ken and Bondage Barbie party”, with decorations and costumes true to the name.

Despite their raunchy nature, the student hosts appeared to have taken precautions for their parties. According to reports in The Newcastle Tab, for the Playboy party, students sent cautionary letters to neighbours well in advance. Bouncers were on hand for both S&M and Kinky Ken & Bondage Barbie parties, keeping a strict policy to let in only those on the guest list and keep noise at bay.

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