Elizabeth Street issues a matter of respect

Kernel Editorial Board

Elizabeth Street’s problems go beyond late-night parties and trash left on yards causing normal tensions between neighbors. It’s even about more than the crime occurring there, and the reputation that comes with it. Elizabeth Street’s problems all stem from one thing: people lacking respect for their community.

When students ask for their neighbors — many have lived there for years and will live there long after we’ve received our degrees — to look past their parties and not be so quick to call police, that’s not fair.

When those same neighbors don’t even bother getting to know the students because they believe they won’t be there longer than their one-year lease dictates, that’s not fair.

When the area is known as one of the most dangerous around campus, with a track record of abductions and violence and yet the police still make busting parties a priority, like UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said in an April 20 Kernel article, that’s not fair.

No place on or around campus where UK students don’t feel safe walking around at night should exist.

And if it’s not safe for college students, how can the permanent residents consider it a safe place to raise a family?

Most students and permanent residents in the Elizabeth Street area want the same thing: a safe place to sleep and be with friends at a reasonable cost.

“It is unfortunate that the irresponsible behavior of a very small percentage of students give others a black eye,” Third District Councilwoman Diane Lawless said in the article.

If that really is the case for those of you living on Elizabeth Street, then prove Lawless right. Show your neighbors that you care about the place in which you live, and that you’re willing to work to make it the kind of place you can be proud of.

Lawless hasn’t always been the best friend of UK students when it comes to housing issues in the past, but it’s not as if students have always helped their own case.

She makes a good point when she says it will take cooperation between students, permanent residents and police to make Elizabeth Street the kind of neighborhood it should be.

“The neighbors would love to get to know the students better and have a good relationship with them.” Lawless said. “It is nice if they can go to the neighbors and introduce themselves and swap phone numbers, and let them know that they want to be a part of the neighborhood and if either have problems, the students or the other residents, they call each other.”

But Elizabeth Street’s problem is still there. There’s still no respect for the community.

And just as bad, the students and the permanent residents don’t respect each other. Until that changes, Elizabeth Street will be the same place it always has been.