New Party Ordinance Hits Lewisburg Borough

Cooper Josephs, Assistant News Editor

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Lewisburg Borough and the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department (BVRPD) approved a new social gathering ordinance on June 17 to efficiently manage Lewisburg parties. According to the ordinance, residents are required to file a $25 permit fee five business days prior to a social gathering and have one portable toilet for every 100 people in attendance. Residents are responsible for the portable toilet costs.

Lewisburg Ordinance 1027 has defined a regulated social gathering as “a gathering of persons for the purpose of social interaction where alcoholic beverages are served or consumed and which is attended at any one time by more than seventy-five (75) persons, regardless of age.”

“The ordinance is not intended to shut parties down, but to give authorities the ability to [manage] them if they get out of hand,” Lewisburg Borough manager Chad Smith said.

The Party Ordinance will affect the entirety of the Lewisburg community, including off-campus student residents. A 2010 Census counted 5,792 living within Lewisburg. It is estimated that the current population is over 6,000 residents.

“We have been reviewing some type of social ordinance gathering language for the past decade,” Smith said. The push to complete the ordinance in recent months was born out of initiative from Chief of Police Paul Yost.”

Eleven applications for a regulated social gathering have been filed since the ordinance was enacted, according to the BVRPD. The off-campus party scene will now be more regulated.

“Nothing is stopping residents from ignoring the permit request and having a party [with] over 75 people,” Smith said.

However, violations of the ordinance can cause fees up to $1,000 and no more than 10 days of jail time if caught.

One off-campus house tested the ordinance’s limits and was shut down by police, Sam Wiley ’16 said.

While some students have been moderately opposed the new ordinance, others have seen it as an opportunity to change the social scene at the University. Crawford Morris ’15, a Speak Up representative and member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, believes the new ordinance will be beneficial to the University community.

“Although it’s another step we have to go through for what many might seem a hindrance, I think in the long run it will be a good thing for the downtown scene here at Bucknell … It’s forcing us to be a little more responsible and conscientious of what is going on at our own houses downtown,” Morris said.

A question and answer session in the ELC Forum with Yost was scheduled for Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Approximately 65 University students were present, although Yost did not attend for unknown reasons.

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