Being a Good Neighbor

2 students parking bikes in downtown evanston

Living off-campus means joining the Evanston or Chicago community. Your neighbors are not just your friends down the hall. They are families, professionals, and non-student residents who keep very different hours and lifestyles than students. As a part of the community, it’s important that you recognize and abide by some basic responsibilities as a neighbor.

Off-Campus Life has outlined some guidelines to build positive community relationships. We need your help in creating good and lasting neighborhood relations, abiding by city codes, and ensuring you have a great off-campus experience!

Download our 'Being a Good Neighbor (PDF)' here.

Meet Your Neighbors

  • Introduce yourself. Even if you have lived there for a while, it’s better late than never!
  • Bring over cookies as a welcome gift and/or have your neighbors over for dinner.
  • Exchange contact information.

Consider Those Around You

  • Observe quiet hours between 10pm and 7am. At best, loud radios and parties may result in unhappy neighbors; at worst, the police may knock on your door.
  • Keep in mind that noise travels farther than you think, so it’s not just next door, but also across the street and behind the house where neighbors may hear you, i.e. visiting guests, car alarms or remote entry beeping.
  • Be aware of shared walls! Something as seemingly innocent as watching a game or even a regular volume conversation can be disruptive to your neighbors.
  • Control your pets. Be respectful, keep your pet’s noise under control, and clean up after your pets.

Stay in Touch with Your Neighbors

  • Go beyond first introductions and establish ongoing communication with your neighbors.
  • Learn more about your neighbors’ lifestyles.
  • Do they work early morning shifts?
  • Do they have small kids who take afternoon naps?
  • Being mindful of their schedules and helping neighbors to understand yours can help mitigate problems before they start.
  • Discuss concerns with your neighbors as soon as they arise and before they escalate into larger issues. If you have questions or need help with a conflict, contact Off-Campus Life.
  • Keep an eye out for each other. Encourage your neighbors to report any suspicious activity to you or the police, and volunteer to do the same.

Some Easy Action Items

  • Know Your Garbage Collection Day - Make sure your garbage doesn't accumulate! Check the Evanston City website to find what day of the week they will pick up your garbage.
  • Home Furnishings and Maintenance - Visit Northwestern University's Wildcard Advantage webpage for vendor discounts.

Keep in mind that the top two issues that attract negative attention are noise and trash!