Charles Village is one of those neighborhoods where the mix of residents — students, young families, older folks — is part of the appeal. At least until the porch parties start getting raucous at 1:30 a.m. and you’ve got work at 8 the next morning. Enter Hopkins’ famous “Shush Lady,” aka Carrie Bennett, who was tasked with the unenviable job of making sure students in the Charles Village didn’t treat the neighborhood like their own personal frat house.
Bennett’s official title is “community liaison,” but she earned her “Shush Lady” nickname for obvious reasons. For the past seven years, Bennett has spent her weekend (and weekday!) nights on call until 4 a.m., telling students to turn down their bass, get out of the street, and just generally be quieter. “I don’t shut parties down,” she explained last year. “They’re adults. I remind them of the consequences if things continue to go wrong.”
But her mother’s unexpected death this summer has spurred Bennett to move closer to her family. Charles Village residents might reasonably worry about what will happen after Bennett leaves. “Carrie is irreplaceable,” Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke told North Baltimore Patch. “Her email address is HopCop, she is the Hop Cop we know the best and appreciate the most.” Bennett’s work went way beyond just shushing; she was known to break up parties in the wee hours of the morning, then return a few hours later to lead the red Solo cup trash pickup efforts. She also ran the annual (and very popular) JHU U-Turn sale.
And it’s not all shush all the time, either; Bennett’s description of her job also stresses how she helps students learn “daily responsibilities of being a community member” and how “making the effort to become a good neighbor has lasting positive benefits for everyone.”
As far as we can tell, Bennett’s official replacement has not yet been announced; hopefully, unscrupulous Hopkins students won’t exploit this interregnum by throwing even louder parties.
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