Not fun, not funny

Student parties have been a recurring problem in Wolfville since we don’t know when. And problems have been escalating. Certainly residents have complained any number of times. It isn’t just the noise. Residents don’t really appreciate bottles and worse deposited in their yards. Town Hall has been urged any number of times to do something, and to pressure Acadia and the RCMP to do something. There were attempts to address the complaints. There was a Community Living Task Force  now called Action Wolfville. There have been more arrests for underage  and public drinking. The mayor sat on a park bench to see what went on for himself. All it seems to no avail.

And now it has got to the stage where students have to be taken to hospital for alcohol poisoning. Most of the previous complaints and problems were from off campus activity but this time the problems happened at a party hosted by two Acadia residences — Christofor House and Eaton House. Acadia officials plan to “investigate.” We should hope so. Perhaps now there will be some sensible policies to discourage this kind of behavior, LIKE  maybe you don’t get your degree if you mess up like this?


19 responses to “Not fun, not funny

  1. Not get their degree?? Come on… how is that a sensible policy at all? This stuff happens everywhere.. the only reason why it is getting so much hype is because Wolfville is such a small town and people going to the hospital is a big deal but bigger schools have even worse problems, Queens cancelled homecoming because people lit a car on fire!! If the biggest drama that surrounds Acadia and our town is 5 students partying too hard I think we’re doing pretty good…

  2. Do you think public and extreme drunkenness is acceptable? Do you think there should be any consequences for this kind of behavior? What recourse do residents have when their property is damaged, trespassed upon, fouled with urine and littered with debris to the extent that they have to check their yard before they let their children out to play? Sell their house? Does Acadia have any responsibility at all? What kind of penalties could Acadia apply if they had the will? Do we have to wait until someone sets a car or a house on fire before we address the problem? Or do you see it as a problem? These are the kinds of questions we ask. They are questions.

  3. Wolfville made the news again, and not for reasons that would make the mayor happy. These are 18 and 19 year olds who are testing out their new found freedom. Ya sure worse things happen in other places, and Acadia should deal with it. If the students act like children they should be treated like children and grounded, their parents informed, a punishment like sitting on a park bench for an evening with the mayor.

  4. As a home owner in the “party” zone I relate all too well with the ongoing noise, littering and vandalism. To learn that this weekend’s drunkfest was the result of a party put on by two of the residences is really disheartening. However, now that Acadia is officially involved may be a step in the right direction; finally they may be forced to take responsibility for students’ actions both on and off campus. We can also hope that the charges that have been laid this term will lead to those involved having to pay the full fine rather than receive just a slap on the wrist as has happened in the past. Public intoxication is never pretty, nor should it be condoned.

  5. This particular party is not a town/gown issue, however I do understand frustration from local residents.

    This party is an example of how the three small town universities in the maritimes (Mt. A, St FX and Acadia) try to avoid town/gown problems.

    They shoo the drinking into the Residences!!! And they turn a blind eye to anything that happens inside Residence!! Using the lame excuse that “it’s a private residence.”

    There needs to be a shakeup of alcohol policies at these schools…but Admins won’t want to do it:

    If they tell underage people and others that they are no longer allowed to drink in residence, just watch those stellar “student ratings” in the annual Maclean’s report plummet!

  6. I spotted a crowd of high-spirited kids walking up the middle of Westwood a few nights ago. They seemed in various stages of undress…. and scattered to the sidewalks when I drove down the street. (My muffler had a small hole in it, so I didn’t get my bag limit.)

    Mostly these kids seem like an OK bunch and I applaud a little rowdiness from time to time. But youngsters often have mediocre judgment so I’m not surprised that things get a bit out of hand sometimes. The kids should expect a bloody good bollocking from us more calcified types whenever they cross the line. What’s more, they should have the good grace to take it on the chin… and that includes the young nit-wits I just heard on a CBC interview. (These young fools would have done better to just say “sorry, we screwed up”… instead of making silly excuses that were largely based upon favorable comparisons with the totally idiotic students that are found in other universities.)

    I’d suggest an older responsible adult/couple living at each residence as being a good way of helping keep things within reasonable bounds. The law cannot provide a solution — they can only do emergency containment (and usually at the cost of winning a battle but losing the war).

    Personally, I’m all for responsible public drinking. And we pay far too much for a bottle of wine here.

  7. The minute these students move off campus, the university can only do so much to police their activities. They can warn them about the consequences of breaking laws, etc… but they are residents just as you are.

    Furthermore, it’s quite evident that you’ve never attended a University. Ambulances get called to universities everywhere for this kind of thing… not just at Acadia. These students are experiencing with their new found independence and sometimes they have to learn the hard way.

    Sure there will be penalties involved – the university has fines for this type of activity, and they are hefty fines at that.

    But Sir, if you can’t deal with living in a University town, like the people in Kingston, ON, the people in Antigonish, NS, the people in Sackville, NB or the people in Lennoxville, QUE, then you should move. If it weren’t for Acadia and its students, Wolfville wouldn’t exist – but at that point you would probably be in some other small town complaining about every little, frivolous thing that happens.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again to you – if you have a problem, run for mayor. You didn’t take me up on it last time, and you seem to think you can run the show, so put yourself into the public eye and see how well people receive your perception of Wolfville.

    I think you’ll be surprised to learn that you’re a minority.

    • I’d hate to think that everyone that had “a problem” should “run for Mayor”. We already have too much of that… The way I see it, politicians and their legislation have become a problem in their own right.

  8. Ah, yes, university where the student loans are only exceeded by the bar bills.

  9. Tim Hansen, EIC of the Athenaeum

    First of all, Wolfville Watch, this is a knee-jerk blog write-up to a problem that has been around since the inception of alcohol and universities.

    The students were not taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. There is no statement that they were, even the head of the paramedics and health region on call for that night has stated to CBC they were “suffering the ill effects of alcohol” and “vomiting.” There is a difference between alcohol poisoning and being sick; when the health dep’t releases news officially you can report it with certainty. Then again, the clientele that read this blog are probably just as prone to jumping to conclusions as those who write it. Conjecture and supposition do not a crisis make.

    I feel there is an underlying resentment towards the students of Acadia from the town in general. I’d like to imagine what the town would be like without the support of the university; of professors living here, students annually spending and bringing all their money to Wolfville from out-of-province bank accounts, and the university itself helping to enrich the life of the town through volunteer working, bringing in exotic and reknowned guest musicians and speakers.

    This does not excuse the actions of reveling Acadia students; nor does it justify this animosity towards the university or the students who attend it. But where, and in what universe, do you Ww, have the expertise in academic administration, the experience in university discipline, or the brass balls to suggest a punishment for students of an institution of which you are no part of? Your comments come off sounding like the proverbial old man sitting on his porch with the shotgun, yelling at neighbourhood kids selling cookies door to door. Take away someone’s degree? For a non-academic, non university related offense? I feel like I have fallen into your inflammatory need for attention simply by adding this post.

    Fine them; make students aware that drunken revelry on property that is not their own carries with it actual penalties, or are you concerned about the crime statistics of Wolfville going up for petty misdemeanors? Better yet, close down the Anvil, the Library Pub, Paddy’s, or any other institution that further irks you and creates these situations. I’m sure the local owners of these establishment would love to solve the issue of students spending their money in Wolfville.

    • I’d just like to put it on the record that this resident does not resent Acadia. Indeed, I’m convinced Acadia attracts excellent students.

      This old fossil confesses to a degree of vicarious pleasure when I see students having a bit of fun… I’d suggest, however, that the old guy with a shotgun is entitled to a lot more respect and sympathy.

    • “Administrators at Acadia University plan to investigate a Saturday night party that was shut down after at least four people were taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning.”

      But we should know better than to believe CBC.

    • I have to agree with Tim in many respects.

      Not having been an Acadia student, I’m not sure the exact party line, but I’m quite sure tolerance towards alcohol is not very high. The university can do more, but there’s still only so much they can reasonably accomplish – students still have to be responsible for their own actions. In my experience, the residences in small universities (and in Atlantic Canada, my understanding is that X is far, far worse) have far more wild stuff going on in residences and ‘party streets’ – in the city, people have many more bars and things happen out of sight and out of mind downtown, not in residential areas or on campus.

      I think the press this is getting in the news is idiotic and unfair. It’s absolutely ridiculously that this actually got on news broadcasts. What the hell? I feel like this probably happens all the time elsewhere, it just happens to be in apartments not on campus. I’m sure the cops were called or there were some incidents involving NSCC students in Kentville last weekend.

      I can imagine some of the frustration I would feel as a resident, but if you live in a university town, you have to expect some bad with the good – and the bad is the occasional incident like this. Acadia can patrol with security and tell RA’s to enforce proper rules, but beyond that, what can the university be reasonably expected to do?

  10. Wow WW 13 comments. Is that a record? Not all students are drinking, take a deep breath and smell the………………

  11. True. The bad apples give the good ones a bad name. Don’t believe that the university can’t do something, though. Seems to us that you can’t get your marks released if there are any fees outstanding – even a parking ticket! If they can do that… Is it only about money?

  12. After reading Wendy Elliott’s column in today’s Register we now know that ambulance service was compromised not only here in the Valley but all the way to Halifax because of the students’ actions. Sobering thought- especially for anyone who really needed critical emergency care not brought on by their own doing. It’s Thursday night- what will this weekend bring?

  13. Here’s the link to the article referred to by molliemac. Just wait til Hallowe’en! It’s on a Saturday this year.

  14. Another example of foolish people ruining freedoms for everyone else.

    “When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom. You do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.” – G K Chesterton

  15. Couldn’t agree more, Jordon.