Brock University is reminding its students to be smart and responsible over the coming days as they celebrate Halloween.
To help ensure safe behaviour during a busy week of festivities, the University is taking the proactive measure of hiring 14 extra Niagara Regional Police officers between Oct. 26-31 to patrol on-campus residences as well as off-campus student neighbourhoods. Brock’s Campus Security Services will also have 10 extra special constables working over the weekend and on Halloween, in addition to its regular staffing.
Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning and Student Success, said it is the responsibility of all students, on and off campus, to abide by municipal bylaws and the University’s Student Code of Conduct.
“Brock University, the Brock University Students’ Union, our local municipal community partners and the Niagara Regional Police are united in their efforts to ensure the message of safe drinking, consent, bylaw adherence and responsible partying is promoted and enforced,” said Lathrop
President Gervan Fearon said students are expected to be good neighbours who respect the rights and safety of others. He said the University will be mindful of student activities on and off campus, and serious misconduct violating the Code of Conduct could lead to action under the Code.
Niagara Regional Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch said officers will keep a close eye on student behaviour.
“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. “We have been working in co-operation with Brock University, the City of St. Catharines and the City of Thorold to ensure the safety and lawful enjoyment of property of both students and the community.”
Isaac’s Bar and Grill, the pub run by the Brock University Students’ Union, will have its Halloween party on Thursday, Oct. 26, and staff will be on hand making sure students comply with the Halloween Costume Protocol. Launched in 2016, the BUSU Student Justice Centre’s “Appreciate Don’t Appropriate” campaign is committed to support people of marginalized, racial, gender, sexual and differently abled identities. The protocol bans students from wearing costumes that, among other things, “reduce cultural differences to jokes, stereotypes or historical and cultural inaccuracies.”
President of BUSU Faisal Hejazi said 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,” he said. “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.”
This week, the Brock Student Life and Community Experience office is launching its Don’t Put the Bad in Badger campaign, which includes posters and information booths on campus, as well as visiting neighbourhoods in Thorold and St. Catharines known to have a high number of students living in them. Joining Student Life staff on the visits will be bylaw enforcement staff from the two cities.
“We want to ensure that students are safe,” said Bradley Clarke, Director, Student Life and Community Experience. “By providing resources and key messages throughout the Don’t Put the Bad in Badger campaign, we are educating students about their responsibilities when partying off campus and providing reminders related to being a good neighbour in our community.”
The Student Life and Community Experience team is also running its Trick or Eat campaign, where staff and city bylaw officers will deliver empty bags to neighbourhoods around Brock this week, and then Brock students — dressed in costume — will pick the bags up filled with food for Community Care on Halloween Day.