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Important information for students about St. Patrick’s Day

Student safety is Wilfrid Laurier University’s top priority, and because of this, we actively discourage unsanctioned, off-campus street gatherings on St. Patrick’s Day.

Read below for information on increased police presence, tips about safe and respectful behaviour, and fines associated with violations.

Police Approach to St. Patrick’s Day

  • Concern for student safety has become more serious, and, as a result, the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) will have an increased police presence this year and will be taking a firm approach to enforcement. You will see more police officers actively working to disperse crowds on the street and issuing tickets for all by-law and provincial violations such as drinking alcohol in public places. 
  • Bigger crowds and more out-of-town participants have resulted in significantly more unsafe and illegal behaviour, assaults and injuries. Local emergency medical services partners say they weren’t able to get to everyone who needed help on Ezra Street, and it also affected their ability to respond to other people who needed help throughout the city. Students are encouraged to consider the impact of their choices.

Student Code of Conduct

  • Laurier students documented for violating laws or university policies may have the incident addressed by the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct in addition to any legal proceedings. Sanctions imposed by the Dean of Students office could range from a meeting to restitution for damages to suspension or expulsion.​
  • We are proud of our Laurier students, our reputation, and the Golden Hawk community we all represent. We remind students to stay golden: think about what they want to be known for, and to choose safe and respectful behaviours as members of the wider City of Waterloo community. Please respect the law enforcement officers who are working to keep you and our community safe, and allow them to do their jobs. Please respect our neighbours and their properties. They are part of our Laurier community, too.

Guest Policies and Building Access

  • To ensure safety, all exterior doors to academic buildings will be locked and monitored by security. Staff, faculty and students will need their OneCard to enter, and visibly inebriated students will not be permitted entry. The Turret is available as an alternate study space during the day.
  • Out of concern for safety, guests are not allowed in Laurier’s first-year residence buildings during St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
  • Students living in the Ezra-Bricker Apartments and Houses (managed by Campus Living Centres) are restricted to one guest, which has been communicated through a number of notices from the property manager outlining the guest registration process. Security personnel and wristband enforcement will restrict students from entering any building other than the one they reside in.

It’s Easy to Make Safe Choices

  • Responsible drinking: If you are of legal age and choose to consume alcohol, please drink in moderation, know your limits, and don’t drink and drive. For tips on planning ahead, visit “don’t let your drinking do your thinking” at drinksmart.ca/tips. Police will issue tickets for drinking in unlicensed public places.
  • Always carry ID: Either carry photo ID with you or have a photo of your ID on your phone in the event you require emergency assistance. Last year, emergency room doctors were faced with treating patients they couldn’t identify.
  • Look out for your friends: If you see something; say something. If you or a friend needs help, always ask for it. Download the SAFEHawk app or contact Special Constables at x3333.
  • Respect others and their views, identities and preferences.
  • Consent: It is necessary to obtain consent for all sexual encounters. Alcohol eliminates people’s ability to give and receive consent. For more information and support resources, visit the Gendered Violence Prevention and Support site or contact Sarah Scanlon, Sexual Violence Response Coordinator at sscanlon@wlu.ca.
  • Arrange a safe way home: use Foot Patrol 519.886.FOOT (3668), call a taxi or use the Friend Walk feature in the SAFEHawk app.

Know the Consequences

Street behaviour (from Police):

  • Waterloo Regional Police support a safe St. Patrick’s Day and will be increasing patrols on foot, in cruisers and on bicycles.
  • This is not a licensed street event. Consuming alcohol in public areas is prohibited. Violations will result in a ticket.
  • Enforcement will be firm, but fair. Officers will focus on disruptive and illegal behaviour that may cause harm to others.

Alcohol (from Police):

  • Selling alcohol at keg parties is illegal. Police continue to monitor the illegal sale of alcohol.
  • Charging money for people to consume alcohol, even when promoted as a ‘cleanup fee’ or a ‘fee for the bracelet,' is still considered selling alcohol by police and the courts.
  • If purchasing alcohol, do so from a licensed establishment, be of legal drinking age, drink responsibly, and arrange a safe way home.

Fire safety (from Waterloo Fire Rescue):

  • If there is a fire inside your building, follow the emergency procedures and know where the exits are in your building.
  • Falsely setting off a fire alarm, fire extinguisher or smoke alarm is a criminal Code of Canada offence.
  • The fine for setting false alarms is $642 per fire truck dispatched to your property.

Keeping each other safe (from Paramedic Services):

  • Stick together, never leave a friend behind and ensure you all make it home safely.
  • Designate one person to help someone in trouble and make sober decisions.
  • Call 911 if the situation gets out of hand and you need help.

Fines (from the City of Waterloo):

  • The fine for littering or urinating in public is $300.
  • The fine for excessive garbage in your yard is $550.
  • The fine for excessive noise after 5 p.m. is $490.
  • Students using funnels at Ezra-Bricker Street residences or on the roof will be addressed by security personnel or WRPS.
  • Officers will charge tenants at their doors (often all responsible parties on the lease) and require them to clean up (proactively and reactively) while the officer is onsite. A Part III summons to court may be issued for any offence.

Fines (from Police):

  • The fine for drinking underage is $125.
  • The fine for consuming alcohol in public is $125.
  • The fine for being intoxicated in public is $65.

Other Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

  • Wilf’s and the Turret are licensed, on-campus facilities that will be open on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Shamrock Café, a non-alcoholic St. Patrick’s Day event sponsored by the seminary, will take place at Veritas Café.
  • Join the EcoHawks on March 18 to help clean up the neighbourhood: time and meeting location to be confirmed.