Lindenwood University-Belleville is a pretty typical college campus. Students will walk into traffic without looking. They will be late to class and take a shortcut. They will park where they can and get a pile of tickets. They will party after exams.
Unless your college experience included a raccoon coat and the Charleston, you likely did the same thing — well, maybe even then. And the townies likely resented your youthful exuberance to some extent.
We all benefit at those times from a little perspective.
You did it. Housing is in better shape with university ownership than when the locals lived next door. Crime has dropped. We have a significant employer that is helping build productive citizens with earning potential instead of having a large, shuttered eyesore at 2600 W. Main St. in Belleville.
The existing problems can be fixed with a little cooperation and improved communication.
Turning off the stadium lights instead of allowing them to blaze all night seems to be a reasonable request of the university. The same with the university telling students to stay off Union School grounds, even if Lindenwood needs to erect a fence to deliver that message.
Assembling a security force as campus President Brett Barger said was being done should increase student residence patrols and make sure neighbors’ complaints make their way to a responsive, responsible group that can fix issues. The hodge-podge of local cops getting tuition credit for patrolling apparently has been flawed.
Students crossing West Main Street need to take responsibility for their own safety, which means headphones and smartphones are not their friends when crossing traffic. Looking both ways and crossing in the crosswalk are. Plus, let’s just move the crosswalk to the front of the West Main dorm, without a big study group and without delay. If you want to study something, look at the lighting and at additional crosswalks to alert drivers and keep students safe.
Anything else? There’s a big meeting at 6:30 p.m., June 8, in the Union Elementary cafeteria. Civil discourse can build this civic asset.