Acadia University’s homecoming celebrations spilled into the streets over the weekend, leading to many arrests and charges.
The shared video on social media shows crowded crowded people wanting on residential streets in Wolfville, NS, on Saturday night. The scenes were similar to these In Halifax a few weeks ago during the return home of Delhoi University.
Mayor Wendy Donovan said she watched the videos and received a report from the RCMP Sunday morning about the “revolving street parties,” as she described them.
“On the one hand I understand young people who want to socialize and get together,” Donovan said.
“But it’s disrespectful … and it’s really disappointing that there’s so much lack of awareness for people that you are harming their property and you are interfering with sleep.”
Donovan said stormy parties are a perennial issue in the small university town. She said the council was trying to find solutions.
For example, she voted for a two-year bylaw, making it a punishment to host a party that becomes a “public nuisance.”
Donovan said there are fewer big house parties now, but she fears the bylaws may have pushed people to the streets.
“Just when you think you plugged one hole, and then another one comes up. So I’m disappointed, I’m frustrated.”
Nova Scotia RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Andrew Joyce said residents of the town began calling police with complaints early Saturday afternoon about large crowds, open alcohol and “nonsense”.
Joyce said the complaints continued until late in the evening, and the RCMP brought in additional resources from nearby communities to respond.
“There have been many cases of large gatherings with reports of several hundred people outside … in the streets, in the yards, things like that,” Joyce said.
According to the district health care law provision, informal social gatherings without masks and distancing should be limited to 50 people.
Joyce said offense cards “many” summaries were distributed due to violations of the Liquor Control Act and the Health Protection Act, and several arrests made. He will not provide exact numbers, citing ongoing investigations.
Joyce said he was aware of reports of people standing in cars.
Donovan said she was pleased with the police response and believed they did everything they could.
She said she would like to see more events on campus, especially in the evenings, for events such as returning home.
“If standing and drinking on the street is a thing, I prefer it to happen at university [grounds] Under any controlled viewing than on our residential streets. “
A university spokesman said the school provided safe programming on campus and was “very disappointed” with the students who attended the noisy and destructive parties on the public streets.
“The university condemns unruly behavior and apologizes to the neighbors in Wolfville who were disturbed or not disturbed by the disrespectful treatment of some students,” Ian Murray said in an email.
“These actions are inconsistent with the values of Acadia.”
Murray said the university will hear anyone who violates COVID-19 laws, regulations or protocols.