Hamilton police put McMaster ‘disruptive party-goers’ on notice

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Published September 17, 2021 at 6:05 pm

McMaster University, whose main campus is in west Hamilton, has about 33,000 students, including more than 28,000 undergrads. (File photo)

Students at McMaster University are on notice about partying too heartily this weekend, as Hamilton police will have an increased presence around the main campus in west Hamilton this weekend.

In a media release on Friday afternoon (Sept. 17), Hamilton Police Service said there will be a “zero tolerance approach to large parties or open alcohol on the streets.” The HPS, McMaster University Security, and City of Hamilton bylaw enforcement are teaming up to ensure everyone is safe in and around McMaster’s campus as well as residences in the surrounding Westdale/Ainslie Woods neighbourhoods.

Party-goers could face charges under the Reopening Ontario Act. Fines for excessive noise or public intoxication are also the traditional measures intended to limit revelry.

Almost universities across Ontario created some form of vaccine requirement to be on campus, live in residence or play on a varsity sports team before the Ontario government required it to be in place by Sept. 7. Public health measures intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 are still in place since Ontario is still well short of vaccinating 90 per cent of the eligible population, and the virus can be spread by fully vaccinated people.

Police services in several university towns in Ontario are also increasing their presences around campus. Administrators have asked students to dial down their behaviour.

Some instances include:

  • In Thorold, the Niagara Regional Police Service says it will increase its presence around Brock University this weekend. Four students were arrested this weekend.
  • In London, Ont., the president of Western University and the university students’ council president issued a joint statement on Sept. 8. It called out “aggressive behaviour that put the safety of others at risk,” describing it as “a blatant disregard for the campus community, public health and the law.”The statement was issued ahead of last weekend, when a first-year student died after an altercation and there were reports that 30 women were assaulted or drugged during orientation week. About 10,000 students at Western took part in a protest on Friday about the school’s attitude toward sexual violence.
  • In Kingston, the city’s public utility had to issue a statement reminding students not to touch power lines, which can result in fatal electrocution. Utilities Kingston claimed there were reports of people climbing utilities poles during street parties near Queen’s University.

Meantime, in Hamilton, members of the public are encouraged to contact police in the event of disruptive behaviour caused by excessive partying.

Any non-emergencies can be reported at 905-549-4925.

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