City Alerts Parents To College Students’ Behavior

OSWEGO, NY – Earlier this school year, the city has been sending letters to parents of SUNY Oswego students who have been issued an appearance ticket or arrested in Oswego.

The system is going well, according to Mayor Randy Bateman who has signed dozens of the form letters so far.

The city has sent a form letter to the parents of college students who have gotten into trouble with the law this semester.
The city has sent a form letter to the parents of college students who have gotten into trouble with the law this semester.

“The first group of letters was sent in early September. The second group shortly after that,” he said.

Approximately two dozen letters were sent out in just the first few weeks.

It’s a form letter with the specific violation filled in.

Some see it as a program that can help curb some of the rowdy college student behavior in the Port City.

Others see it as the city meddling in the lives of students.

“I believe that it can have two effects. The first is to alert parents to the behaviors of their children who in turn can decide what action to take as a family,” one SUNY Oswego senior told Oswego County Today. “I also believe that this can cause unnecessary heartache for the family. If a family receives a notice for a violation the student receives, this adds to the daily stress the
family endures.”

College students will be college students, and that will not end, the senior continued.

“I am curious as to the cost of this program (postage, paper, staff time, etc.). The police department already forwards information to the school regarding violations in town and the students receive judicial sanctions as well (double punishment),” the senior pointed out. “This added measure will ensure that students receive an additional speech from their parents, if the parents care enough. They may just view it as a college experience.”

Adam Butler, a recent college graduate, said, “I think it’s ridiculous. We are expected to be adults; when we violate the law, we already receive a fine from the city and punishment from the college. I mean, do they want us to leave
the city that badly?”

“Already all the bars are being shut down! If my parents receive a letter, they’d laugh. But it’s annoying to feel as if you have three sets of parents (the school, the city, and your biological parents),” he continued.

“The student already gets in trouble (with the city and the college).  So why does the city think it has to be a tattletale? If you want the students to act like adults, treat them like adults,” a part-time student said.

Another student who declined to give their name added, “It’s stupid because we already get in trouble with the school. I don’t see this town as being too crazy. The city is just trying to get rid of us (college students).”

Some parents have responded to the mayor’s correspondence, thanking him for the information and assuring him that the issue will be dealt with.


  1. Well if you guys would behave and mind the police — your parents wouldn’t have to be involved. Lets go to your town and let me go pee all over the place and cause all sorts of drunken behavior, stealing items from yards as well as damaging them. GROW UP — when you get to be my age you will see how stupid it actually looks.

  2. I find the student’s comment “If you want [them] to act like adults, treat [them] like adults” to be very entertaining and indicative of their self-centeredness and youth.

    How about this, kids: “If you want to be treated like adults, act like adults.”

  3. Neither SUNY or the city want students to leave. The college is building new dorms to accommodate students; you have a new student center with a new ice rink. Two new academic majors also, correct? Does that sound like a city that wants students to leave?
    However, the city would like to be respected by those students who do attend university here; as would the residents who live here year round. Urinating in public, disorderly conduct and drunken brawls are not adult behaviors.

  4. Well, lets put it this way, you college students that walk down our street all hours of the night holding your drink in hand, yelling, screaming, not caring if you wake anyone. These are peoples homes, where the eldery and children live not to mention those people who work for a living. You have your house partys that expand all over the neighborhood, stealing furniture, kidstoys, and little ones pumpkins, peoples belongings. You go up on peoples porches and take what ever is not nailed down. Your also taking a pee where ever you want, walking in peoples yards, jumping of roofs, swearing so loud. You have no cares, how do you like someone interfearing with your life. Smartin up. Cause us Oswego people have had enough of your behavior, and cops will be called more often. I feel we let you slide way to often, hoping it will just stop or go away, but you keep doing horrible things. Maybe if you will stop messing with the residents lives and then you wouldn’t get in trouble. Stay away from Ontario Steet.

  5. The City boasts that it does this, when, in actuality it rarely happens. First there was a program where the Police Chief signed the letters, now they say the Mayor is signing the letters… A token few may get sent out with big fanfare, but the program will be all but abandoned in short order.
    Many of the students brought up on charges don’t get viably prosecuted either, all of which is amazing to me.
    The noise alone when the bars close is intolerable (and happening at 2:00 am, or after), the vandalism, public urination, bottles smashed all over public streets, sidewalks & parks, the scuffles, fights and public displays of all kinds of bad behavior, the huge numbers of drunk drivers, not to mention staggering and puking walkers all come together with an Oswego public long tired of these excesses with little or no containment on the part of the city to create a very dangerous situation on a nearly daily basis.
    The City needs to actually enact this program (sending letters to the parents, the ones footing the bill for these so-called adult students), crack down with greater enforcement (in the case of noise, any kind of enforcement, there is none), more arrests, those arrests need to be fully prosecuted resulting in heavy fines and public service to help compensate the city for the costs associated with this kind of law breaking.
    And the college’s sham program needs beefing up as well, judicial sanctions from a student body, a bare slap on the wrist in most cases, the City and the college seem to conspire together to sweep all of this under the rug.
    Why aren’t all the underage drinkers at parties rounded up and charged with their crimes, the older ones charged with providing the alcohol, why is there no enforcement of the noise ordinance, little enforcement of drunk & disorderly?
    There are college towns who fine, enforce, and don’t put up with this kind of behavior.

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