Ventura County police officers came to California Lutheran University student events twice during the month of April in response to three noise complaint calls.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Calls for Service Report lists a Disturbance Music/Noise call at 7:36 p.m. April 6.
Cal Lu Palooza event organizer and senior Caleb Solberg said that a Ventura County deputy came to campus during the festival around 8:10 p.m.
“What I heard from the officer was that at 7:30 p.m. they received a call saying that the noise was too loud. They spoke to me and said that if they received another noise complaint, the event would be shut down,” Solberg said.
Director of Campus Safety Dave Hilke said in an email interview that when a Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy arrived, Campus Safety officers and Campus Services staff escorted the deputy to the area and asked that the volume be turned down. Hilke said the deputy’s warning was a response to a neighbor complaining about the noise level.
Solberg said there was confusion because he was under the impression that the noise curfew was 10:00 p.m.
“The deputy told me ‘No, there’s no such thing as a curfew in Thousand Oaks, or any other city.’ He said those were the rules he’s going by, and if he received two noise complaints, he was shutting us down,” Solberg said.
According to the City of Thousand Oaks municipal code, it is unlawful for any person to use or create noise in a way that will “disturb, for that time of the day or night, the reasonable peace, quiet, and comfort of the occupants of neighboring dwellings residing in the area or (2) create any loud or raucous noise level by such use or operation which is audible to the human ear during the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. of the following day.”
Solberg said the deputy asked for a permit. Solberg’s team later found out that because the campus is on private property, no permit is needed
Hilke said the City of Thousand Oaks has stipulated guidelines for events in William Rolland Stadium, though none are traditionally imposed on other areas of the campus.
“University practice has been to hold events on campus that fall within the normal functions of a university without being held to the conditions imposed on residential areas of the city. This includes events like Cal Lu Palooza and the Luau,” Hilke said.
Solberg said that his main focus running Cal Lu Palooza shifted from enforcing a tight schedule to controlling sound levels.
“It pretty much changed the whole tone of the show…We were constantly monitoring the sound levels to make sure that they didn’t exceed anything,” Solberg said.
Hilke said that in order to be a good neighbor, Cal Lutheran has imposed its own standards on events and Campus Safety officers have monitored the Luau and Cal Lu Palooza with this guideline.
“During the time at night that these events were held, we want the decibel levels at the edges of our property to stay within the 50s or 60s, which is about the level of normal conversation,” Hilke said. “Campus Services staff measured the noise level at the perimeter of our property multiple times during these events and it did not exceed this level.”
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Calls for Service Report lists a second Disturbance Music/Noise calls at 8:53 p.m.
“When the deputy returned at about 9:45 p.m. in response to a second complaint from the same neighbor, Campus Safety contacted the director of Campus Services and she asked the organizers to shut down 15 minutes before the scheduled 10 p.m. end time,” Hilke said.
Solberg said he was forced to cut their final act because of the sharp deadline and that attendees were disappointed.
“[Lancer Roscoe] is one of the most popular bands on campus currently. They’re huge and they came from Cal Lu. They were going to be our closing act and our grand finale,” Solberg said.
On April 12, a third Disturbance Music/Noise call is listed by the The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Calls for Service Report at 7:46 p.m.
Co-president of the Hawaii Club and senior Bryson Contrades was one of the event planners for the Annual Luau on April 12. Contrades said that the event featured a popular reggae band from Hawaii and hula performances by Kupa’a Hawaii Club officers and club members.
“It wasn’t like the music was explicit. It was simply some island reggae music, a genre of music that is big in Hawaii and we just wanted to bring that experience to the students of Cal Lutheran,” Contrades said.
The band had already wrapped up their set before 9 p.m., the scheduled end time, Contrades said.
“The Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy [was] responding to a noise complaint from the same neighbor arrived just as the luau was ending,” Hilke said.
Hilke said that Campus Safety officers talked to the deputy, but no action was taken.