Brock University has taken a more critical approach to dealing with the recurring problems associated with St. Patrick’s Day.
The holiday which will be celebrated the weekend of March 17, marks the feast day and anniversary of the death of a Christian missionary known as Patrick, who later became regarded as a saint. Celebration of the day was brought to Canada by Irish immigrants, and though it is only a public holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, it is widely celebrated across Canada. Typical festivities of the day include parades, parties and excessive alcohol consumption.
The Brock community is no stranger to engaging in the festivities of the weekend as just last year the university began increasing measures and launching new initiatives to keep students and community members as safe as possible. This approach was taken as a result of the 2017 street party that spiraled out of control, with many Brock students taking part in the debauchery, leaving a significant mess in their wake.
Brock students’ have begun circulating a Facebook event page over the last week that indicates another street party on Jacobson Avenue. The page titled ‘Sunday Jacobson BLOCK PARTY 2019’ currently has 276 people attending and 409 interested, as of Monday evening.
For 2019, the university is reinforcing the same measures from a year ago and leading up to this weekend’s festivities, Brock officials and staff have met with local mayors, bylaw officers and first responders for a unified approach to education and enforcement. A number of campus security, Brock students, staff and Niagara regional police officers have been out and about in the cities of St. Catharines and Thorold delivering ‘good neighbour kits’ which include garbage and recycling bags, information pamphlets, taxi cards and bylaw reminders.
According to a press release from the university, they will be building upon the Don’t Put the Bad in Badger campaign launched last year by Brock’s Off-Campus Living and Neighbourhood Relations office. Students are being contacted through house visits, social media, posters, information booths, email and a letter from Gervan Fearon, President of Brock University, to remind them about the importance of civil respect, responsible partying and safe drinking.
“Many of our students want to work and live in the region after graduation. This is their opportunity to establish a positive rapport now across the region which will pay dividends in the future,” said Fearon.
In terms of what the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) is doing to ensure the weekend passes as smoothly as possible, President Aidan Hibma will be contacting students directly with a statement of expectations.
Partying has become a sore issue locally, driving a divide between local homeowners and student renters.
Students are reminded to take care of their environment and neighbourhood.
“All of our collective actions make a statement on behalf of the University to our host communities across the region,” said Fearon. “I am appealing to all students, who live both on and off campus, to join the majority of their colleagues in being exemplary Brock citizens who value and respect our relationship with our neighbours in communities across the region.”
Students remain encouraged to party and drink responsibly during this period and refrain from any otherwise unsafe activities. University staff, campus security and additional Niagara regional police officers will be working overtime during St. Patrick’s Day weekend to report concerns and minimize the potential for problems.
Individuals wanting to report on-campus concerns can contact Brock Campus Security at 905-688-5550 x3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org