Brock University is partnering with local municipalities and the Niagara Regional Police in a proactive approach to St. Patrick’s Day in high student population neighbourhoods.
Staff, campus security, student volunteers and police officers are going door-to-door in St. Catharines and Thorold to deliver a message about being good community members and how to celebrate the occasion responsibly.
Leading up to this week’s festivities, Brock officials and staff have met with local mayors, bylaw officers and first responders for a unified approach to education and enforcement.
Brock President Gervan Fearon said the University knows its students can be outstanding community members and is reminding them to make a priority of being respectful neighbours.
“All of our collective actions make a statement on behalf of the University to our host communities across the region,” he said. “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.
“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.”
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 Fearon to remind them about the importance of civil respect, responsible partying and safe drinking.
During the door-to-door visits, students are being given ‘good neighbour kits’ which include garbage and recycling bags, information pamphlets, taxi cards and bylaw reminders.
Landlords of properties that have been the source of past problems have also been contacted and encouraged to speak with their tenants about potential St. Patrick’s Day activities, responsible party hosting and possible consequences.
The Brock University Students’ Union is also reaching out to students directly with a video message from President Aidan Hibma reinforcing the expectations.
“I’d like to take a minute to remind our Badgers that we are not only members of the Brock community, but also that of the Niagara region and I encourage everyone to be cognizant of that over the weekend,” Hibma said. “Celebration is warranted, but doing so in a safe and responsible manner is vital when it comes to ensuring we are not putting the BAD in Badger.”
In addition to the proactive measures, Brock will have a full complement of Campus Security officers on hand throughout the weekend, and the University is providing funding for an expanded police presence both on campus and in the student-dense neighbourhoods in St. Catharines and Thorold.
University staff from various departments will be working special shifts through the weekend, checking phone messages, emails and social media messages from community residents, and reporting student-related problems to Brock officials or police. Residents wanting to report concerns can contact Brock Campus Security at 905-688-5550 x3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org