Brock University is upping its police presence this Halloween, hiring 14 extra police officers and 10 extra “special constables” to be on campus from Oct. 26 to 31.
A press release from Brock says the extra police presence will help remind students to be “smart and responsible” as they celebrate Halloween.
The extra officers will patrol on-campus residences as well as off-campus student neighbourhoods, while the special constables will work with Brock’s Campus Security Services.
Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Success, said the efforts are meant to promote and enforce the message of safe drinking, consent, bylaw adherence and responsible partying.
President Gervan Fearon said students are expected to be good neighbours who respect the rights and safety of others. He also said the University will be “mindful” of student activities on and off campus, and serious violations of the code of conduct could lead to “action under the code.”
Niagara Regional Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch said “officers will be vigilant in ensuring students are not participating in underage drinking, unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol and that any noise complaints are addressed.”
MacCulloch said officers would be keeping a close eye on student behaviour.
President of BUSU Faisal Hejazi said he believes there’s nothing wrong with Halloween parties and celebrations, as long as they don’t cross the line.
“While taking part in these events please enjoy responsibly and respectfully, ensuring that you are looking out for yourselves and friends,” said Hejazi.
“Keep in mind that many children will also be out trick or treating on Halloween and to be mindful of our community members while on the road.”
Additionally, the Brock Student Life and Community Experience office will launch its “Don’t Put the Bad in Badger” campaign, which will place posters and information booths on campus, as well as visit areas in Thorold and St. Catharines which are known to have a high number of students living in them, accompanied by bylaw enforcement staff from the two cities.
“By providing resources and key messages throughout the campaign, we are educating students about their responsibilities when partying off campus and providing reminders related to being a good neighbour in our community,” said Bradley Clarke, director of BSLCE.
The Student Life and Community Experience team will also run its Trick or Eat campaign, where staff and city bylaw officers deliver empty bags to neighbourhoods around Brock this week, and then students — dressed in costume — will pick the bags up filled with food for Community Care on Halloween Day.
A Halloween party will take place on Thursday at Isaac’s Bar and Grill (a pub run by the Brock University Students’ Union) and Brock staff will be present to ensure students are complying with the school’s Halloween costume protocol.
The protocol bans students from wearing costumes that, among other things, “reduce cultural differences to jokes, stereotypes or historical and cultural inaccuracies.”
The protocol is meant to support people of marginalized, racial, gender, sexual and differently abled identities, stemming from the Student Union Justice Centre’s “Appreciate Don’t Appropriate” campaign, launched in 2016.
These extensive measures come following an incident that gained a lot of local attention in September, when a video was uploaded to Facebook of a student party being shut down by police.