Nova Scotia

Acadia University says it will discipline student partygoers

The university says discipline could include sanctions, suspension or expulsion.

Discipline could include sanctions, suspensions or expulsions

Students from Acadia University took their homecoming celebrations off campus Saturday night, roaming around the town's streets, raising the ire of some in the community and attention from police. (Submitted by Angie Jenkins)

Acadia University says it is planning to discipline any students who participated in large Saturday night gatherings that saw crowds of unmasked individuals milling about residential streets in Wolfville, N.S.

"It could be sanctions, discipline, suspension or expulsion," said Ian Murray, Acadia's executive director for university communications, in an interview Monday.

He made the comments after a weekly meeting that takes place with officials from the university, the town, local police, the student union and other representatives from the community, including landlords.

The university is planning to discipline anyone who broke laws, town bylaws or COVID-19 protocols, such as exceeding gathering limits.

"There is a system that we have in place, a process that we kick into place where our student services staff will meet with students and review the event to determine what the best way forward is," said Murray.

RCMP issued 27 tickets under the Liquor Control Act. One person was arrested and held in custody overnight. Four fines were issued for excessive noise.

Some residents are fed up with student partying

Angie Oreanna-Jenkins lives in an area where a large crowd of students partied on the street.

"I want to see disciplinary action and I want to see the university actually do something to prevent this from happening," she said.

"Not only is it a public health concern, but there was damage to community property and people's property and people could not sleep."

The parties resulted in multiple arrests and many charges being laid.

Jenkins said she felt scared as the crowd grew louder and some people started yelling profanities.

"The energy was really ramped up," she said. "It was a really dark feeling, it was awful."

'Stupidity fuelled by alcohol happens on a regular basis'

Bob Lutes is a Wolfville resident and former lawyer who represents citizens at the weekly meeting.

"In some parts of town, the stupidity fuelled by alcohol happens on a regular basis," he said.

Lutes said it's hard to make progress through the meetings because so many stakeholders are involved.

"Each of the parties involved — the university, the town, the RCMP — they all have their own jobs and rules and regulations and there's multiple people involved, so to try and get everybody on the same page is a challenge," he said.

The university said identifying the people who attended the parties will take a lot of effort. They will be liaising with the RCMP to help them determine disciplinary measures.