U of G students fined $2K for 2017 homecoming party
Tanveer Dhanjal and Joshua Badejo have been fined for causing a nuisance party by Guelph bylaw
Two University of Guelph students have started a Go Fund Me campaign after being fined for organizing a party that brought thousands of students and chaos to the campus during last Septembers homecoming.
Tanveer Dhanjal and Joshua Badejo have been blamed for one of the biggest parties to ever hit the Guelph campus. An estimated 4,000 students descended on Chancellors Way for homecoming after the pair made a Facebook group about wanting everyone to come together on the street to celebrate.
"As many of you know Homecoming this year at Chancellors Way was wild," said the Go Fund Me page created by Dhanjal and Badejo on Wednesday Feb. 7.
"What many of you don't know is that we are the two people the city held liable for all the damages/clean up costs/extra emergency vehicles/etc as we created the infamous Facebook group/promoted the event which caused many of you to go."
Guelph's 2017 homecoming was so big it prompted 944 calls to Guelph police and was big enough to prompt Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie to release a video on social media condemning the actions of students.
A message to students, guests & permanent citizens from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Guelph?src=hash">#Guelph</a> Mayor Cam Guthrie regarding <a href="https://twitter.com/uofg">@UofG</a> 2017 Homecoming: <a href="https://t.co/5yexuFpfg2">https://t.co/5yexuFpfg2</a> <a href="https://t.co/W8Q35e5jMi">pic.twitter.com/W8Q35e5jMi</a>—@CamGuthrie
Consequences for the event
Dhanjal and Badejo were charged by Guelph bylaw officers to recoup some of the costs incurred by the city as a result of the party.
On Wednesday, they both pleaded guilty to the municipal bylaw of causing a nuisance party and were fined $2,000, plus other legal fees for an event that Dhanjal said they didn't even go to.
"It was a gathering for people to celebrate homecoming, which has definitely happened in the past, but not to the same extent," said the fourth-year student in an interview with CBC News Monday. He said at the time of the street party he was at his cottage and Badejo was hosting a separate party at his house.
"We got charged even though we didn't go, because under the Guelph bylaw we technically created [or] caused the nuisance party."
Dhanjal said when the Facebook page they created began getting a lot of traction, they were contacted by the university and told there would be consequences if they didn't help minimize the impact of the event.
He said he and Badejo cancelled the event on Facebook, told people not to go and spread the word that the party was no longer happening, but they still got the ticket in the end.
Dhanjal said the maximum fine they could have been charged was $10,000, but were told if they pleaded guilty their fine would be dropped to $3,500. The students pleaded guilty and argued that they tried to stop the party and did not attend. As a result, their fine was lowered.
'Didn't know how big it was going to be'
And though they got away with a smaller fine, Dhanjal said he doesn't think they deserve to pay that much.
"We understand that we caused [the party], but we didn't know how big it was going to be," he said.
"A lot of the damage [we were fined for] are things we don't think we are responsible for."
He said they were fined for things like damage to the interiors of homes and Guelph Police overtime pay.
"If the Toronto Raptors win an NBA title and have a street party to celebrate, they aren't responsible for the damage anyone who attends creates," he said.
"The reason the judge and the prosecutor gave [for giving us this fine] was it could act as a deterrent so it doesn't happen again."
Dhanjal said he is hopeful they can get enough support to cover the costs of the fines.
"If everyone puts in a dollar or two it would kind of cover our costs so that we're not the ones paying for the entire thing," he said.