College partying takes a toll on Amherst residents

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been one week since the Blarney Blowout in Amherst,  and some residents in town say they’re getting tired of the off-campus partying.

Amherst is said to be a college town but students aren’t the only ones living in the area. One woman who’s lived in Amherst since 1965 says over the years a once quiet town has transformed into a busy atmosphere with a population of more than 30,000 people.

“It was a very small town,” said Barbara Berlin. “In fact at that time [1965] students didn’t even come into town. Now there’s a lot more to attract students.”

Bars, restaurants, shopping, it’s all within walking distance of campus. Although with UMass less than a mile away from residential areas, college partying can take a toll on the community.

“Late at night losing sleep… noise, people trashing your property, vomiting on your lawn,” said Brian McNamara of Amherst.

A lot of families who live near campus say the partying has gotten out of hand. This year, 43 students were arrested, compared to only seven last year. However one man who graduated from UMass himself, says he remembers what it used to be like to attend Umass.

“I think it’s a nice place where people come to learn and part of learning about life is enjoying life, so enjoy it,” said Stephen Nagy, who has lived in Amherst since 1977.

Some students say they hope the university will make the Blarney Blowout a school event. They told 22News if it was held on campus it could provide a safer environment.

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