Manhattan Beach residents who say that students from Kingsborough Community College disrupt the neighborhood took their complaints to the top on March 17 when the institution’s president came to a meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group Meeting at PS 195.
Locals have long argued that the college needs to police its students beyond the campus gate, but the president explained the school administration doesn’t have that authority.
“We have no legal jurisdiction beyond the walls of the campus,” said Farley Herzek, who became president of Kingsborough in June.
One local complained that students constantly zoom down residential roads and even park in private driveways, causing chaos for residents.
“We have a tremendous problem with the students who are driving around the neighborhood looking for parking, speeding down Shore Boulevard and Oriental Boulevard,” said Shari Kaplan, a member of the group. “They’re out of control.”
Herzek said if students are illegally parked, residents should call the police.
“We can’t go out and issue tickets but if there’s somebody blocking your driveway, I would strongly urge you call the 61st [Precinct] and have somebody come out and ticket and tow,” he said.
The school’s president said he will make sure that students are educated on the importance of being respectful to the community around the school.
“We do have all the jurisdiction within the campus to work with our students and let them know that they need to be better neighbors.”
Nearly 20,000 students take classes at the college and some locals say tensions between residents and students have risen recently because of the school’s high enrollment size. In the fall, some residents even formed a group pushing for an enrollment cap that would be subject residents’ approval.
The president of Manhattan Beach Community Group said she wants to meet with a group of students to discuss the issues that are putting a strain on residents and students.
“It is not a problem of the college — it is a problem that we all have,” said Judy Baron.
She said establishing a relationship of mutual respect might help ease tensions between the two groups.
“I think if we do this together it might work,” she said.