Noise complaints: Are they really necessary?

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As I type this, one thing is on my mind: Revision. That horrible activity that we find ourselves doing every year at this time. Exams are on the way and we know that until June any fun that we may wish to have needs to be put on hold. Not just for us but for our flat mates and neighbours. It’s quiet period and we all know the consequences of getting caught being noisy – double fines and triple the lectures from porters.

As I’m sure everyone on campus is aware that the porters are only too happy to respond to noise complaints. However, a problem that I have seen developing, especially over last term, is the petty nature of such complaints. In Furness College en-suite blocks, for example, eight people live together. They share a kitchen, share a corridor and hopefully get on with each other enough to warrant conversation. It is impossible to expect there to be no noise at all. In a block of flats we have to make reasonable allowances for each other, otherwise it becomes very unpleasant to live there.

As students, we are all in the same boat. Especially in this day and age when our beloved leaders are making attending university so hard. So I ask this: why do so many people feel the need to continuously make noise complaints?

It is understandable if, late on a Monday night, your neighbours are being noisy and stopping you from sleeping. We have all reaped the consequences of being exhausted in lectures after a late night. Having big parties mid week is quite a selfish thing to do, especially in exam period. Yet what if it isn’t a party that is bothering you? What if a person is listening to music too loud, or watching television too loud, or simply doing something in their flat that is distracting you? Is it really necessary to call the porters up for that?

The porters are there to help and they will happily go down to the flat and tell them to be quiet. But I ask you, could you not do that yourself? Sending the porters continuously to the flat can easily get people in trouble and the fact is that these people are in the same position as you.

There is no excuse for big parties in the week. But if you have a problem with neighbours, why not try talking to them? If you feel intimidated, leave them a note. More likely than not they will be happy to quieten down for you, and if not then at least you tried to talk to them before reporting them. If flats close by have reported you several times, reach out to them. Give them numbers to contact, or even try to talk to them through your tutors, who are more than happy to help you. Everyone is here primarily for a degree and they will understand if you feel like you are being distracted from yours.

Continuously making noise complaints does not help anyone. Students will be students at the end of the day, yet they will also be reasonable. The porters will not appreciate going up to a flat to find they have to chastise two people on a playstation. So I implore everyone who reads this. Let’s try talking to each other, and make our last term at Lancaster University in this academic year a pleasant time. Let’s respect each other and realise people are offended by excessive noise and try to communicate so we do not get on each others nerves. We do not have long left to live together on campus, so let’s make it a good few weeks.

I’m not asking for you to not report in exam season, especially when it’s necessary. But talking or simply sending a note to the people bothering you, is at least worth a try, especially when the noise consists of a small number of people and not a large crowd. Hopefully, noise problems will be kept to a minimum over the next month but it is still very important to communicate. Remember everyone has exams and will understand how you feel.

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4 Comments

  1. What if the noise is coming from outside? Which is the problem I’ve been having.

    Also, I think this article is a bit arbitrary. Me and my friends were outside of their block in South West Campus smoking the other night. The porter politely told us to be quiet, and to move inside, as we were disturbing people. We didn’t get into any actual trouble. Whilst I understand having the porters called on you is unpleasant, if you have one visit and then continue to be loud then you kind of have it coming to you.

  2. Glad you didn’t get into any trouble, Vicky. The point of the article is not to complain about noise complaints but to encorage other means of communication with each other. My flat have been the victims of several noise complaints all from the same flat, which speaks volumes really. I’d like to encorage flats that have problems with other flats to try talking to each other. It sounds far fetched, but we are really not a noisy flat, and having a flat complaining about you all the time is just as distracting, and demoralizing, as having a flat making noise constantly.

  3. The porters have no basis on which to judge a noise complaint except for the fact that someone has logged it. I once asked a porter to please quantify the level of noise I had allegedly made so that I would not make the same mistake again. Needless to say, the case was dropped and he left.

  4. I find that if I have a complaint then the best thing to do is to take it to the noise makers directly…

    I also find that the likelihood of them continuing to make noise afterward is inversely correlated with how loud I voice that complaint.

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