Brock University is doing its best mow the clovers this St. Patrick’s Day, by implementing a series of measures to mitigate potential problems and remind students who intend to party to be responsible neighbours.
The preventative steps come following a 2017 St. Patrick’s Day party which got out of hand when police were called and students threw snowballs and beer cans at police officers. The University apologized for the behaviour of some of its students.
This year, “in an effort to educate students on the importance of civil respect,” the university is distributing “good neighbour kits” to students, conducting neighbourhood visits to student houses, and mounting “aggressive” social media and poster campaigns focused on responsible partying, bylaw information, safe drinking and consent.
University officials and student leaders are also working with local mayors, residents and police to ensure parties don’t get out of control.
The school said it is going as far as paying for expanded police presence in St. Catharines and Thorold neighbourhoods during the weekend.
A media release said Brock will pay for seven additional Niagara Regional Police officers who will be deployed to “help address large gatherings before they become a threat to property or safety.”
Furthermore, an agreement was made between the university and police that Brock’s own campus security guards will be allowed to patrol off-campus neighbourhoods for early identification and intervention of any student-related problems — though they will only have the power to alert police.
Brock says this intense initiative represents the school “taking action to support strong, positive university-community relations.”
University President Gervan Fearon has written a letter to students to highlight the threat of consequences for Brock students who disobey the law and urging respectful and constructive behaviour.
“Please know that where infractions do take place, we at Brock will consider all of our options under the Student Code of Conduct, and officials across the region will also explore their range of options, including municipal, provincial and federal laws,” the letter said.
Other measures being taken to mitigate problems include:
Brock asking landlords of properties that have been the source of past problems to direct their tenants to adhere to safe, responsible celebrations.
Staff from the University’s office of Off-Campus Living and Neighbourhood Relations are visiting student rental properties that have been the source of complaints or disturbances.
Alternative and alcohol education events have been taking place on campus for students.
University staff from various administrative departments will be work extra hours through the weekend and regularly check phone messages, emails and social media from community residents, and report student-related problems to Brock officials or to police.
Brock University Student Union is also taking steps to promote responsible behaviour. BUSU president Faisal Hejazi will be posting a video asking students to exercise good judgment, and BUSU will start the weekend by giving students a free pancake breakfast on Saturday, March 17.
During the day, BUSU will serve free pizza, water and Gatorade at the university’s student pub Isaac’s until 5 p.m.
Community residents who want to report concerns about partiers, or have questions about the preventative measures, can contact Brock Campus Security at 905-688-5550, ext. 3200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.