The Acadia University homecoming ceremony took to the streets this weekend, leading to a number of arrests and allegations.
The video, which was shared on social media, shows a group of masked men swarming around the residential streets of Wolfville, NS, on Saturday night. Those views were similar On my way home from Dalhousie University a few weeks ago in Halifax.
Mayor Wendy Donovan said she watched the video and received a report from the RCMP on Sunday morning about a “surfing street party.”
Donovan said: “On the one hand, I understand the need to socialize and unite young people.
“But it’s disrespectful … It’s really sad that you don’t have so much awareness for people who damage property and disturb sleep.”
Donovan said rough parties in a small university town are a perennial problem. She said the council was trying to find solutions.
For example, she pointed to a two-year-old by-law that allows a party to become “a public nuisance.”
Donovan said big house parties are less common now, but she fears bailouts could push people down the street.
“As soon as you think you’ve fixed one hole, another hole comes up. So I’m disappointed, I’m disappointed.”
Nova Scotia RCMP Publisher Sergeant. Andrew Joyce said by Saturday afternoon, residents had complained to police about large crowds, open liquor and “nonsense.”
Joyce said the complaints lasted until the evening, and that the RCMP brought in additional resources from surrounding communities to respond.
According to an order of the Provincial Health Care Act, informal social gatherings without masks and distance should be limited to 50 persons.
Joyce said he was given criminal investigation tickets and some were arrested for violating the Alcohol Control Act and the Health Care Act. He does not give exact figures, citing ongoing investigations.
Joyce said she was aware of reports of people standing in cars.
Donovan said he was pleased with the police response and believed they did everything they could.
She said she prefers campus events, especially those like coming home in the evening. According to Donovan, the university tried to organize a street party on campus this year but was denied a liquor license and so the festival did not go ahead.
If standing on the street drinking is something, I wish it happened at university [grounds] Under a somewhat more controlled look than our residential streets. “
A university spokesman said the school had set up safe, on-campus programs, and that students who attended noisy and destructive parties on public streets were disappointed.
“The university condemns the unruly behavior and apologizes to Wolfville neighbors who have been disturbed or embarrassed by the disrespectful attitude of some students,” Ian Murray said in an email.
“These actions do not match Acadia’s values.”
Murray said the university will take disciplinary action against anyone who violates the rules, bylaws or COVID-19 protocols.