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You have to shovel your sidewalks

The city of Bozeman requires that property owners who have paved sidewalks running along their land clear away any snow and ice from that portion of the sidewalk within 24 hours of the snow falling or the ice freezing.

While the city’s ordinance is written specifically targeting homeowners, students should be aware that landlords often add clauses into their leases and rental agreements specifying who is responsible for snow removal.

If you’re responsible for removing the snow and ice, you can be held accountable for failing to do the work. That means the city could remove the snow or hire someone to do it and send you the bill, plus an additional fine.

On top of that, the person responsible for clearing the sidewalks can also be held legally liable if someone is hurt as a result of slippery or snowy paths.

A few more details: If snow and ice cannot be removed, sand or some other substance needs to be used to make the sidewalk safe to walk on. Also, city rules stipulate that you can’t pile snow against fire hydrants or on other sidewalks, curbs, roads or gutters. 

If you need to report a snow removal violation, write to [email protected].

Causing loud and disruptive noise is illegal in Bozeman

MSU students take note: The city of Bozeman has laws against loud and disruptive noises, and violating those laws can lead to fines of up to $500 and/or six months in the county jail.

The city’s noise regulations prohibit “raucous noise or any noise which unreasonably disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensibility.”

This includes excessive yelling and shouting, amplifiers, boom boxes, vehicle horns and public address systems — many of the noises common to parties, for example.

Police officers may choose to let you off with a warning. However, if you are cited and convicted on a first offense, you can face a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail — or both. Repeated offenses up the cost of the fine, and the threat of jail time remains.

MSU’s student conduct code

In addition to legal charges, you may also face sanctions under MSU’s Code of Student Conduct. This code applies to students so long as they are enrolled. It applies on university holidays and during the summers between enrolled semesters, and it applies to students on campus and off.

Students who violate city, state or federal laws may not only face prosecution for those crimes but also may face university sanctions under the code.

Students should be aware that the student conduct process is quite different than criminal and civil court proceedings. Proceedings are fair, but they do not include the same protections of due process afforded by courts.

Violations can include: 

  • Knowingly providing false information to any university official or faculty member.
  • Disrupting a person from exercising their responsibilities as a student, faculty or staff member.
  • Failing to comply with reasonable directives from university officials or law enforcement officers. That includes identifying yourself to them when asked.
  • Not reporting a felony arrest within 72 hours.

 anctions can include limitations in the residence halls, losses of privileges around campus, warnings, probation, suspension and expulsion.

Students should become familiar with the code of conduct so they understand the standards expected of MSU students and the rights they have under the system.