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Safety Tips

Make safe choices – Important Homecoming information for students:

Help keep Laurier’s Homecoming golden as we welcome our Hawks home to share their purple and gold pride!

Your safety is our top priority, which is why the university, the police, the city and our emergency services partners actively discourage students from taking part in unsanctioned street gatherings. The Waterloo Regional Police Service will have an increased presence. Hit the stadium, not the street – attend an organized Homecoming event with friends.

As you think about Homecoming weekend, please think about what it means to be a Laurier Golden Hawk, how you represent yourself to our alumni and the Cities of Waterloo and Brantford, and the impact of your choices. Most importantly, please think about your safety. Read below for information about safe and respectful behaviour, police presence and fines, and the university’s zero-guest policy.

Be smart. Stay safe. Be respectful.

Police Approach and Student Non-Academic Code of Conduct Sanctions

  • With the rise in unsanctioned street parties at Ontario universities, concern for student safety has increased, and as a result, there will be a significant police presence on campus and nearby neighbourhoods.
  • You will see more police officers working to disperse any crowds attempting to gather on the street and issuing tickets for all by-law and provincial violations such as drinking alcohol in public places (see section below on fines). Police laid over 600 charges at a past unsanctioned, off-campus event.
  • Students are accountable for their actions. Laurier students found violating laws or university policies could face penalities under the non-academic student code of conduct ranging from restitution to suspension or expulsion in addition to any bylaw fines or criminal charges.

Guest Policy and Building Access

  • To ensure everyone’s safety, no guests will be allowed in Laurier’s first-year residence buildings during Homecoming weekend, from Friday, Sept. 23 to Sunday, Sept. 25. The zero-guest restriction will be strictly enforced with a wristband policy.
  • Students living in the Ezra-Bricker Apartments and Houses (managed by Campus Living Centres) are restricted to one guest during Homecoming weekend, which has been communicated through 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.
  • To ensure safety, some exterior doors to academic buildings will be locked and monitored by security during Homecoming weekend. Staff, faculty and students will need their OneCard to enter, and those who are visibly inebriated will not be permitted entry.

General Safety Tips and Advice

  • Increased crowds at unsanctioned street gatherings have led to dangerous and illegal behaviour, assaults and injuries. At past unsanctioned events, paramedics responded to 70 calls for help; and high numbers of people were transported to hospital.
  • Capacity and staffing at local emergency departments are extremely limited at this time. Risky behaviour causing injury will mean a long wait in the emergency department. Also increases in emergency department visits resulting from unsanctioned events takes space and resources away from others in need. Please consider the impact of your choices on yourself, your friends, and the people who live in our community. 
  • Always carry identification with you in case you need assistance and identification is required. 
  • Look out for your friends. If you see something, say something. If you or a friend need help, ask for it. If you need help:
    • download the SAFEHawk app,
    • contact Special Constables at 519.885.3333 in Waterloo or 519.770.3778 in Brantford, or
    • call 911.
  • Stick together, never leave a friend behind and ensure you all make it home safely. Designate one person to make sound decisions and provide help.  
  • Travel safely and whenever possible, walk with at least one friend, in well-lit areas and in view of other pedestrians or motorists. Make use of Foot Patrol by calling 519.886.3668 (FOOT) in Waterloo or 519.751.7875 (PTRL) in Brantford, call a taxi or ride-share company. For those attending Saturday’s football game in Waterloo, please be careful when walking on city streets to and from the game. During the game, look out for your friends and respect your fellow fans.

Alcohol and Drugs

  • Know your limits when it comes to drugs and alcohol. At past unsanctioned events, a high number of people were transported to hospital with a significant number in critical or serious condition due to alcohol and substance misuse. Police will issue tickets for drinking underage and for drinking in unlicensed public places.
  • If you are of legal age to drink and choose to consume alcohol, drink responsibly, know your limits, pay attention to others’ sexual boundaries and don’t drink and drive. For tips, visit drinksmart.ca/tips.
  • If you are of legal age and choose to smoke or consume cannabis, make sure you do so responsibly. Cannabis consumption, including edible products, is not permitted on Laurier property. Learn more about cannabis use.
  • Selling alcohol at keg parties is illegal. Charging money for people to consume alcohol, even when promoted as a ‘cleanup fee’ or a ‘bracelet fee,' is still considered selling alcohol under the law.
  • If purchasing alcohol, do so from a licensed establishment, be of legal drinking age, drink responsibly, and arrange a safe way home.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and illegal. Know what counts as impaired driving – and the penalties you could face for it – before you get behind the wheel. Under Ontario’s zero tolerance law for young, novice and commercial drivers, you cannot have any alcohol in your system if you are:
    • age 21 or under
    • a driver of any age who holds a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence 

Drink Spiking Safety

A night out with your friends should always be a fun experience. But always be aware of the people around you and the drinks you're consuming.

Consent

  • At Laurier we know that it is mandatory, and the bare minimum, to get consent for all sexual encounters. See our tips and information about consent, which gives information on the ways alcohol and drug use impacts people's ability to give and receive consent.
  • If you or a friend needs help, ask for it.
  • If you see behaviour that is making you feel concerned about sexual violence, engage with CARE:
    • Create a distraction,
    • Ask Directly,
    • Rally others, and
    • Extend/seek out support(s).
    • Most importantly be an active bystander. If you see something, say something.
  • Keep resources handy on your phone by downloading the SAFEHawk app or contact Special Constables at x3333.

Fines

  • Public Bylaw: This includes urinating, defecating, vomiting and littering in a public place – $300
  • Lot Maintenance: This includes excessive garbage on the yard, indoor furniture placed outdoors – $550
  • Excessive Noise: This includes shouting, singing, an amplified device, unamplified musical instrument – $490
  • Trespass to Property Act: You can be charged under the act if you are not following Laurier's wristband policy. No guests are allowed in student residences and students living in residence can only enter the residence they reside in during Homecoming weekend.

Fire Safety

  • Interior residence hallways and all exits must remain free and clear of obstructions at all times.
  • In the event of a fire, follow emergency procedures and have two exits out of the building.
  • Keep the entire road clear for emergency service vehicles.