The weekend of the extraordinary St. Patrick’s celebrations consisted of drinking green beer, wearing green attire, hanging out with good friends, drunken stupors and for some Brock University students, throwing snowballs and beer cans at police.
The university was put into an unusual position this past Saturday by issuing a statement condemning some of the actions of its students who attended a block party the day prior. According to the statement, a fairly large group of students gathered on Jacobson Avenue, a residential street near the Pen Centre on Friday and police were called to shut down that party later on in the day. Niagara Regional Police estimated that over 3,500 people gathered on front lawns and the street to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
After receiving complaints of noise, littering and drunkenness, they were bombarded by students and were pelted by snowballs and beer cans. Despite the boligerance of the incident, there were no injuries reported and the whole area was cleared by 7:30 p.m.
In the issued statement, Brock disclosed that the university takes pride in being a community partner and is “disappointed” by the actions of some of its students. The university is co-operating with the Niagara Regional Police on its investigation. Furthermore, on Saturday morning, a group of students and staff volunteers went back to Jacobson Avenue to help with the cleanup.
“These deplorable actions do not reflect Brock University’s culture or values and this group, both from Brock and elsewhere, do not represent our student population of almost 19, 000,” stated Interim president Tom Traves. Traves also said that Brock is committed to meet with the city and police in the coming weeks to discuss how to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future.
Brock attempted to be proactive in the lead-up to St. Patrick’s Day, encouraging students to party safely. There were a number of garbage bags and tags, responsible drinking guides, taxi numbers and other information provided to homes in neighbourhoods with a high-student population. It has been made apparent that the university worked with the Niagara Regional Police to have extra enforcements on hand, both on and off campus.
Director of Student Life and Communications for the Brock University Student Union, Curtis Gadula, also released a statement: “On behalf of the Brock University Students’ Union, we would like to apologize for what took place Friday… We pride ourselves on the many students who give so much back to our community, and we find it embarrassing that students were involved in this incident.”
These actions from a select number of students have no doubt upset the Brock community. All it takes is one drunken party-goer to ruin the fun for everyone.
-Loredana Del Bello, Assistant News Editor