It’s heart warming to see that University of Guelph President Alastair Summerlee has acknowledged that his students are causing problems in the community.
It is mindful of Rip Van Winkle who woke up to find the world had changed since his long sleep.
President Summerlee’s letter in the local prints acknowledged that “ a minority of students” was the cause of civil disobedience during the recent homecoming event. It was a weekend in which many charges were laid by city police and by-law officers including drunkenness, public urination and noise, noise and noise in the student ghettos in the south end of the city.
Well Mr. President, what caused you to decry the behaviour of your students? Do you not realize that this kind of behaviour has been going on for as long as most citizens can remember?
Do you ever leave the hallowed halls of academia to go downtown on the weekends to see how your students abuse the liquor and sanitation laws? Police do not have the resources to maintain law and order, not to mention decency.
Mayor Farbridge keeps talking about making the downtown a safe and vibrant section of the city. The university leadership has ignored that message. Instead, the message from the university public relations people speaks only about the economic benefits the institution brings to the city.
Mr. Summerlee, start doing some serious thinking. First. recognize the experiences of Toronto G20 rampage and Vancouver’s Stanley Cup riots. It was a small group of adjunct urban terrorists that ignited those riots. That and abundant consumption of alcohol is all it takes for the minority to influence normally law-abiding young people to enter the fray and do things they would never do when sober.
Second, students should be mindful of the consequences of their off-campus actions and be relieved of some privileges in addition to being placed on probation if convicted of any Ontario law.
Third, reimburse the city for overtime costs associated with student misbehaviour including police, firemen, EMS, transit and by-law officers. The city should not have to absorb the costs of those employees called out to curtail student behaviour that lies below the community standard.
Four, reopen the campus pubs in the evening. Empower staff, including the campus police, to curtail drunkenness and other issues.
Five, assure the community in which the university is located, of steps taken to curtail this objectionable and disruptive behaviour.
Rip, er Alastair, thanks for waking up.