GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - A resident on Leeds Point Road alleges that Richard Stockton College vehicles transported students from a party near his home in early September that was broken up by police.
College officials said such transports do not happen.
Richard Sooy, was among a handful of Galloway Township residents who complained recently about an alleged "animal house" where college students have been holding large parties. The residents' complaints have prompted township officials to draft an ordinance to address animal houses that will be introduced on first reading at this evening's regular council meeting. Officials said the ordinance will also hold landlords responsible for issues at the properties.
Sooy said he walked to the end of his driveway after midnight on the night of the party that ran into the morning of Sept. 7, and the vehicle he saw was white or off-white with a Stockton College symbol on the side of its front door.
The vehicle was a shuttle-type van that looked like it could hold about a dozen people, Sooy said.
"Late into the night that night, that same vehicle made about six trips back and forth with loads of kids taken from the house where the party was on Leeds Point Road," Sooy said.
Sooy added that he didn't see shuttles dropping partygoers off, but he did witness them picking up riders.
Sooy said he called to complain about the shuttle buses. He was transferred around the school's administration to several different people.
"The school told me that their concept was that they weren't delivering the kids there, they were just picking them up. When the party was broken up there were at least 50 kids still there with no transportation back, so the obvious question is how did they get here?" Sooy said.
James Carroll III owns the home at 137 Leeds Point Road that residents have complained about as a party house. Carroll, former solicitor for the township and the current Egg Harbor City attorney, also said he believes the college was transporting students to and from his property.
He called on the college to end the activity.
But Sharon Schulman, CEO for External Affairs and Institutional Research at Stockton, said the school does not use its shuttles and vans to take students to or from private, off-campus house parties.
"We have checked the logs on all these vehicles and none of them was on the road that night," Schulman said.
Julien Vicente is a tenant at 137 Leeds Point Road and said he and his friends moved into the home in August and the party last month was the first they had.
Vicente said that the party on Sept. 6 that went into Sept. 7 was not out of control, although neighbors who complained to council said the party was noisy, vehicles were parked everywhere, their yards were littered and partygoers were in the street.
Vicente responded to his neighbors' complaints and said there were no guests doing drugs or drinking outside.
Township Council is drafting an ordinance to address animal houses in Galloway after Sooy and neighbor Norman Turiano complained about what they described as out-of-control parties at the home.
Vicente said he can understand why his neighbors were mad about the vehicles parked in front of their homes on the night of the party.
"The bus companies kids were using they call themselves. If people there were calling buses and one or more was from Stockton, that's news to me," Vicente said.
Contact Donna Weaver:
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If you go
What: Galloway Township Regular Council meeting
When: 6:30 p.m. today
Where: Township Municipal Complex, 300 E. Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway Township