Some Colorado Mesa University students are being evicted from 896 Glenwood Ave., a well-known “party house,” which was recently purchased by the university, The Criterion learned after a series of tweets were sent over the weekend. The decision was made after various issues with law enforcement and organizing the new lease.

896 Glenwood Ave. was officially purchased by the Colorado Mesa University Real Estate Foundation on Oct. 18, 2017, according to the Mesa County Assessor’s office and CMU Vice President for Intergovernmental and Community Affairs Derek Wagner.

Director of Campus Safety and Student Conduct Pua Utu and Wagner said the five tenants, some of which are CMU students, had been asked on multiple occasions to sign a new lease after the university purchased the property, to no avail. The prior lease had various issues, according to Wagner and Utu.

“One of them wasn’t signed, one of them was missing a term of dates,” Wagner said.

Nonetheless, Wagner said the university was prepared to honor the terms of the prior lease.

Utu said he first notified the tenants of the change between a month and a half and two months ago but the tenants continued to drag their feet and never fill out the official documents.

Jaylen Bishop, who sent the initial tweets, said they were not provided with an explanation for their eviction.

“They just said the school had bought the property and we have until Monday to leave,” Bishop said.

Bishop says they were notified on Nov. 2 that the university was purchasing their home.

Bishop also said Utu had told his roommates to “keep quiet about the situation.”

Utu denied having said this.

Bishop, a non-student, said he and his four roommates paid their prior landlord, in total, over $3,000 for rent in advance. Bishop said Jeffery Aragon, the prior owner of the property, is avoiding the tenants’ calls, a factor that Utu was aware of.

Utu and Bishop both said Aragon lives in Texas.

The Criterion reached out to Aragon by a phone number provided by Bishop and could not reach him after multiple attempts.

While Utu and Wagner were apologetic of the situation, they reiterated the continuous problem the tenants of the house had been, both related to police action and damages to the house.

Between June 2017 and Nov. 6, there have been 17 calls for service at 896 Glenwood Ave., according to Grand Junction Police’s public information coordinator, Heidi Davidson. Utu said the problems at the house ranged from minors in possession of alcohol to fights.

Utu said the tenants had a final party over the weekend where they continued to damage the house. Utu believes the five tenants have already left the property.

Maddie Banfield | The Criterion

Currently, the front yard of 896 Glenwood Ave. is littered with empty kegs and the front door is left ajar.

Wagner is in the process of drafting the eviction notice.

In another tweet, Bishop said the university is giving the soon-to-be-evicted tenants $100 each. Wagner is not aware of any such arrangement.

Currently, Utu is attempting to provide on-campus housing for some of the students, however, consideration of prior incidents is making that decision difficult.

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Alec Williams

Alec Williams is a political science major and editor in chief for the Criterion’s 2017/2018 academic year. Starting in the spring of 2016, Williams rose from the ranks of a reporter to news editor to managing editor to his current position. Williams was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists 2016 Region 9 Mark of Excellence for his efforts in investigative reporting.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Cmu is known for its racism towards black students this doesn’t surprise me that they did this to those guys. They already have enough trouble paying for school.

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