/ Modified dec 9, 2014 9:25 a.m.

Rising Tensions Between UA, Its Neighbors Voiced at Public Forum

Officials from the city, university and local residents air concerns.

Students walk by Old Main SPOT University of Arizona students walk by the Old Main.
Maria Inés Taracena, AZPM

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It hasn’t been a great semester in terms of relations between the University of Arizona and its neighbors.

Last month, several students were evicted from one of the high-rise apartment blocks that have shot up recently near campus. That happened after they threw beer and liquor bottles off balconies onto the lot below, which houses the Islamic Center of Tucson.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor said his department is taking a zero tolerance approach with activities that put people in danger.

Attendees echoed contempt for trash being thrown on the mosque, and a number of speakers pointed out other ways that some students are being bad community members.

Paul Felix, who lives in the Feldman’s neighborhood, said noise is becoming a pervasive problem.

"You awake from a sound sleep and you walk out to your back yard, and you have a disco party raging on the tenth or twelfth floor of a building, and you can hear the screams. And I want to emphasize the screams. it's enough to wake you from a deep sleep," he said.

Tanny Gaxiola, the UA's vice president of community relations, said the university is trying to teach its students to be good citizens of the communities where they live and work. She asked members of the public to report all disturbances not only to the police, but also to the university.

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