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It is clear that the students who live in the neighbourhood are familiar with the nature of the complaints. “We live in a house here, and our upstairs neighbours have been known to complain about our music,” says Rixt van der Giessen, who is doing a degree at a university outside Rotterdam. For his part, EUR student Toma Kezic never throws any parties at his home but has received several noise complaints. “The police regularly show up, which is annoying, but what can you do? Rich people are quick to take offence, you know.”

Talking to students

Student Claartje Verhulst is a good example of a student experiencing the effect of noise nuisances. “At the moment we’re involved in lawsuit against our landlord, because we may have our permit revoked. Quite a few families in our neighbourhood are against students living in their street, and they’re less patient than they used to be because of the pandemic, because quite a few students were throwing house parties.” She thinks the discussions on the nuisances caused by students are being held by others, without the students themselves getting involved. “It would be better if they actually talked to us,” she says. “We’re all fairly reasonable people and we want to be considerate to everyone.”

Talking to the students is exactly what local Rolf Harbers does. He doesn’t mind students having a little fun, but if a party is still going strong at 2am, he will ask the students to keep things a little quieter. “If you can’t handle this, a big city is not the right place for you. I attended uni myself, and to be quite honest, I was just like them,” says Rolf, demonstrating a proper understanding of the situation.

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