Loud beer parties, public urination and trash strewn everywhere.
Bobbie Smith's logbook and photos record the times and places. It is documentation, the 49-year-old Baltimore resident says, of what Towson University students brought with them this summer when they moved into her tiny neighborhood north of Northern Parkway, blocks from the city-Baltimore County line.
"I've lived here 20 years now. It was a peaceful and quiet neighborhood until this summer," says Smith, a teacher at a private school who lives on East Lake Avenue near York Road. "Now, the cars, the comings and goings, the yelling and the trash is just voluminous.
"College students coming home at all hours and working adults living in a small neighborhood aren't a good mixture," says Smith, shaking her head.
But the students have a different view of the clash -- an example of the tension that can erupt in the suburban neighborhoods that serve as home to thousands of Towson University enrollees.
"Our neighbors didn't give us a chance to prove ourselves, that we're good kids," says Jeremy Loomis, a 22-year-old senior business student at Towson who lives with six other men next door to Smith in an old Victorian house split into two apartments. "They complain about every little thing."
Every year, about 15,000 students descend upon Towson for the new semester, only one-third of whom live on campus, according to university officials. Many vie for affordable, off-campus homes and apartments in nearby neighborhoods such as Aigburth Manor, across the street on York Road, and in the Rodgers Forge, Stoneleigh and Evesham-Cedarcroft communities down the road.
It is a situation that often infuriates and frustrates all parties concerned: residents, who tire quickly of their short-term neighbors; students, who believe they're being harassed by petty residents; police officers, who must routinely respond to complaints; and school officials, who have little authority over the behavior of students off campus.
Students say residents unfairly complain about their every move. And residents blame the problem on absentee landlords who divide large houses into apartments, with excessive numbers of students squeezing into each unit.
In Baltimore County, zoning laws allow for two unrelated people in a detached house unless a boardinghouse permit has been obtained. Baltimore allows four unrelated people per unit.
In the Evesham-Cedarcroft communities, less than three miles south of the university, residents say at least 35 students occupy five houses -- two on East Lake Avenue and three on Evesham Avenue.
Relations between students and longtime residents quickly soured in June. The decline began with the parties, neighbors said. Then frequent yelling and heavy traffic followed until the wee hours of the morning.
Some residents, who declined to be named for fear of reprisal, recall a parade of students running and yelling on the streets from 2 a.m. until 3: 30 a.m. on election night last month.
Smith's logbook notes she made at least half a dozen telephone calls to city police from June to September complaining about the noise.
Joan Hurley, who bought a home in the middle of the five student-occupied homes in nearby Kenneth Square, says Loomis shot out her back porch light in August with an air rifle.
Loomis' case was dismissed in court, though he agreed to perform 50 hours of community service. Loomis says he is innocent.
But the list of complaints goes on. Both sides say tension is so high that neither is talking to the other now.
"It's gotten a little bit hostile," Hurley says. "It's been miserable."
Says Daren Carfaro, a 22-year-old senior economics student who lives with Loomis: "It's absurd. Harassment is what it is. Now, they won't even talk to us. They won't even acknowledge us."
Jill Williams, a 20-year-old junior studying management who lives next to Carfaro with three other women, adds, "We want to work this out, but when we asked if we could sit and talk, the residents ignored us. They weren't friendly from the beginning. We're not saying we weren't responsible for anything, but we're not as bad as they say, either."
Carfaro says city police have responded to complaints concerning his house 23 times since summer. Police say several complaints about the area have been reported, but they could not confirm the number.
"There have been a few problems, most of which were nuisance-type situations," says Sgt. Scott Rowe, a city police spokesman. "No citations were written. There haven't been complaints recently, but we're working with [Towson University's] Police Department to abate the problem."
A number of groups from city, county and police agencies are working together to solve the problem. The school recently designated a university police sergeant to serve as a liaison between the warring parties.