- The Washington Times - Friday, November 15, 2002

Page Lacey, who has lived near the College Park campus of the University of Maryland for 35 years, says students always have been rowdy but their activities have become more dangerous.
"It's not that much worse, except for the violent aspect. With today's kids, there seems to be an atmosphere for violence," said Mrs. Lacey, 67, who lives about a block from where a university student was stabbed to death Sunday.
The problem, says longtime College Park resident Mary Lou Miller, is that the university town has no police force.
"Where 50 years ago we didn't need a police department, now we do," said Mrs. Miller, 76, who has lived across the street from a fraternity for 55 years. "In times gone by, the university would take care of us. But now, their police don't really want to come if we have a fight, and if we contact the [Prince Georges] County Police, they say they're busy with drug dealers and murders.
"They're too busy. But now we have a murder," said Mrs. Miller, a grandmother of six who met her husband at the university and has lived there since.
Mrs. Miller lives on Knox Road, around the corner from the 7300 block of Dickinson Avenue, where sophomore Brandon James Malstrom, 20, was stabbed to death outside a party Sunday morning.
Quan Lewayne Davis, 23, of Hanover, Md., and John Ryan Schlamp, 24, of Columbia, Md., have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Mr. Malstrom's death. Neither suspect is a university student nor related to the school in any way. They will stand trial on separate dates next month.
Sunday's stabbing was the third in the Old Town section of College Park since September, and Mr. Malstrom was the fifth student to die on or near the university campus in just over a year. Two students were killed in last year's tornado, and two others died of drug or alcohol overdoses.
The university has to push large numbers of upperclassmen out of on-campus housing each year to make room for incoming freshmen, said university spokesman George Cathcart. Many of those students end up in the residential neighborhood east of campus, along Route 1.
Mrs. Lacey's husband, Guy LeValley, 60, said the university's lack of student housing and high rent cause many students to overcrowd houses, leading to too many cars and people in the tree-filled neighborhood.
Mrs. Miller's next-door neighbor, J.C. Morrison, 68, said the problem is simple: "It all goes back to beer."
Mr. Morrison, who has lived in College Park since he was 13, said, "The state of Maryland has a law against underage drinking, which is enforced in every community except College Park."
He also said the concurrent jurisdiction between the university police and Prince George's County Police Department does not work well for his neighborhood.
"You call the university police, and they say call the county. And the county doesn't do anything," he said.
In July, the Harvard School of Public Health released a study showing that residents within one mile of college campuses are 81 percent to 135 percent more likely to suffer public disturbances resulting from college students' drinking including noise, litter, vandalism and assault.
The College Alcohol Study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and appeared in the July issue of the international journal Social Science & Medicine.
Mrs. Miller said living in a neighborhood where loud, raucous parties occur every weekend can be stressful. In the spring of 2001, when mobs set fires and looted stores after a loss by the university's men's basketball team, the largest fire was set in the street directly in front her house.
"I wasn't frightened. I just thought it was something that got out of hand," she said.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide