What was supposed to be a celebration of Dalhousie University tiger pride turned into an embarrassment for the Halifax school after 22 people were arrested at off-campus parties Saturday morning and afternoon.
The parties were in honour of Dalhousie's homecoming celebrations.
"We are incredibly disappointed at the conduct and actions of a number of our students as part of this today," said Brian Leadbetter, a spokesperson for the university.
Arrests, disciplinary action
Leadbetter said some of the "participants and ringleaders of this event today," if they are identified, could face disciplinary action by the university.
"We had public intoxication, there were individuals with open containers of alcohol, there were noise infractions. We're a community university, we have been for 200 years. It's our expectation our students be good neighbours," said Leadbetter.
Halifax Regional Police estimated about 1,200 to 1,500 people attended the parties held at houses on Jennings, Preston, Chestnut and Larch streets Saturday morning.
A banner hanging outside one house said: "You honk, we drink."
Sgt. Darla Perry said the 22 people were arrested for public intoxication, disturbing the peace and bylaw violations. She said police found out about the parties through social media.
'In it for the team spirit'
"Officers started extra duty at approximately 10 a.m., although we started patrolling the area a little earlier than that to see what the anticipated numbers were," said Perry.
In a news release sent Saturday afternoon, Halifax Regional Police police said it expected to remain in the area and surrounding streets "to ensure community tranquility and safety."
Adam Neville, a second-year student, said there were about 10 parties going on.
"We're all in it for the team spirit. Basically it's a pep rally. It's all about being ... one group, a whole," said Neville.
"We chose this area where there seems to be a lot of students. It seemed like now would be a better time to make noise as opposed to at night. So I don't know. During the day, you would think you wouldn't get fined for partying."
On Saturday night, the Dalhousie Tigers take the ice at the Halifax Forum as part of the homecoming festivities.
"Homecoming is meant to be so much more than students consuming excessive alcohol," said Leadbetter.
"There's an opportunity to be part of community events like our hockey game, the football games, it's a great opportunity to show Dal spirit and Dal pride. This is not the way to go about that."
University president Richard Florizone spoke out against the parties on Twitter on Saturday. He said he was disappointed to hear about students "drinking excessively" and "disturbing our community."
"Not only is this dumb behaviour and subject to the Law, these few students may also be subject to university discipline. Be safe!"
1. Homecoming is a great and fun event, and the vast majority of Dal students and alumni are having a great, safe and respectful time— @DalPres
2. I am disappointed to hear that some students are drinking excessively and disturbing our community.— @DalPres
3. This kind of behaviour is not reflective of our values and disrespectful to our neighbours. Most importantly, it is unsafe.— @DalPres
4. Dal is working with Halifax Regional Police to address any unsafe and disruptive situation in our community.— @DalPres
5. Not only is this dumb behaviour and subject to the Law, these few students may also be subject to university discipline. Be safe!— @DalPres