Boulder's registered-party system -- under which students give police a heads-up about their gathering and in turn get a warning about noise complaints before the party is shut down -- is widely considered a success by city, police and university officials.
But when a warning about noise complaints two weekends ago reportedly led drunken students to spill into the streets and cause yet more trouble, it prompted some University Hill residents to question whether the system gives students one more free pass on bad behavior.
A summer of mortar-style fireworks rocked the neighborhood and left many with jangled nerves and little tolerance for the back-to-school party season. An e-mail from City Manager Jane Brautigam that some neighbors interpreted as condescending only added to the frustration.
"It's starting to spiral out of control," said Roy Young, a longtime University Hill resident. "They're sweeping the problems under the rug."