Northfield has decided to take matters into its own hands after increasingly desperate email pleas from Pamela McDowell failed to stem the tide of raucous Oles that floods Lincoln Street each Friday and Saturday. Effective Oct. 31, the city is implementing 24/7 quiet hours and a strict 6 p.m. curfew – just in time to prevent what would have surely been a particularly disruptive weekend.
“It’s time to return to our values,” said Linda Nelson, City Council President. “Northfield has really let things get out of control.”
When Nelson’s cocker spaniel was woken up by a boisterous chorus of “Um Ya Ya’s” late last week, she knew she had to take action. “The Counsel wanted to hear everyone’s (inside) voices, so that we could come together to decide what kind of society we want our city to be.”
Northfield is often listed as one of the best places in the country to retire, go to college and raise a family. The City Council is confident their new policy will bolster Northfield’s rankings in all three departments — the introduction of the bill states, “We believe strictly enforced silence will cultivate the ideal environment to reflect on your mortality, spend all day studying, and teach children to value conformity and obedience above all else.”
The measure has received a strong positive endorsement from the Northfield Police Department. “After years of trying to get a handle on disorderly conduct, our officers look forward to having the law behind them when cracking down on the rampant noise problem plaguing our city,” said Gary Copperworth, Chief of Police.
Offenders will be required to spend the night in the newly installed public stocks near the Cannon River. “I know it sounds Puritanical, but we are willing to do whatever it takes. The soul of our city is on the line,” Copperworth said. “We also thought the historical flare might boost the town’s tourism sector.”
The policy will certainly impact student life, but Northfield may have a tough road ahead in terms of enforcement. If student adherence to St. Olaf’s own dry campus policy is any guide, Northfield should brace for its quiet hours and curfew to be blatantly and frequently ignored.