Brock University strives to be a committed partner and trustworthy neighbour in the Niagara region, and it’s asking its students to do the same.
As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the University and the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) are partnering with the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) and local municipalities to take a proactive approach in local neighbourhoods that have large student populations.
To kick off the initiative, Brock staff have been going door to door to promote safe and responsible celebrations as part of the Don’t Put the Bad in Badger campaign. Along with encouraging appropriate behaviour, the printed materials distributed also educate students on the possible fines that can be incurred if COVID-19 and other municipal bylaws are violated.
“We know that our students enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with one another,” said Brad Clarke, Brock’s Director of Student Life and Success. “But we also expect for any celebrations to be safe and respectful; and to be sure that activities do not conflict with municipal, provincial or federal law.”
Along with messaging beforehand, Brock has funded additional NRPS officers to assist with neighbourhood patrols on St. Patrick’s Day and the weekend that follows. During those times, police and city bylaw officers are taking a zero-tolerance approach and will have high visibility in near-campus neighbourhoods.
Various Brock departments will also be offering a series of events and programs to provide compelling on- and off-campus options for students to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely and responsibly. Related health and safety awareness campaigns begin next week, and alternative events will take place on and around St. Patrick’s Day for students to engage in virtually and in person. A full listing of events can be found on ExperienceBU.
While BUSU President Rafay Rehan hopes Brock students will join him Thursday, March 17 on campus for a free breakfast, events in Isaac’s and an evening board game café, he has a blanket expectation for student behaviour wherever celebrations are taking place.
“No matter how you celebrate, please remember to drink responsibly, look after your friends and be respectful of your neighbours,” he said.
As the University aligns its plans closely with the strategies of local municipalities, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students Anna Lathrop said she expects Brock students to do their part for the community.
“Brock students have shown they can be exceptional neighbours and community partners, as they have helped those around them throughout the difficult times of the COVID pandemic,” she said. “While we know they are excited to be together again, I encourage students to engage that spirit of respect and camaraderie with all members of the community while remembering their duties as citizens and under the Brock Student Code of Conduct.”