Belleville residents upset over student behavior near Lindenwood University

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) – Lindenwood University has been a part of Belleville since 2003.

The city allowed the university to buy homes in neighborhoods near the campus and convert them into residence halls. Students started moving in last August. That’s around the time the complaints started rolling in.

Ralph Carr lives right next door to two residence halls. He says he and his wife have had a lot of sleepless nights this past year.

“When they’re partying all night, my wife will wake up all hours of the night. They're over there yipping and yapping and carrying on,” Carr said.

Not to mention, the mess he says they make in his yard.

“Beer cans and bottles in our yards all the time. You have to walk the lawn before you cut the grass,” said Carr.

Wednesday night, the city of Belleville and Lindenwood University hosted its first annual town hall to talk through any problems with residents.

Among them, safety concerns that college students are walking across the elementary school playground to get to campus when kids are playing.

“We've provided security those complaints are not valid at this point,” said Dean of Students, Angela Wingo-Rust.

Others, like Carr, feel the city is bowing down to the needs of Lindenwood and not listening to tax payers.

“Not true,” said Belleville’s Mayor, Mark Eckert.

“A city first and foremost is [concerned with] the safety of residents and students,” Eckert said.

“There's a handful of people with some ongoing issues,” he added.

“As a home owner here I honestly have to say I don't see a lot of good,” said Carr.

University officials say they encourage students to take pride in the school and the community, asking them to take part in service projects to improve the city.