The city held a Summit last week to discuss how to curb student behavioural excesses. It was a closed meeting with only certain individuals being invited. So the public will never know what was discussed and how to solve the problem of students creating havoc through excessive drinking and other anti-social behaviour. Bits and pieces of information have filtered out but nothing conclusive.
As long as can be remembered, the problems of excessive noise and alcohol consumption, not only downtown but in the student lodging areas in the South end of the city have existed.
President Alastair Summerlee reacted after the recent University of Guelph Homecoming Weekend. He said that a minority of his students caused the problems.
The two councillors representing the South end, Karl Wettstein and Todd Dennis, reacted with surprise that they received so many complaints about the homecoming hi-jinks. Welcome to the real world gentlemen.
The police said their resources were overwhelmed with the calls for help by citizens and deployed all personnel available to answer the complaints and control the situation.
City staff attended the closed-door meeting.
Missing were representatives of the Ontario Gaming and Liquor Licensing Board. Nor was the Ontario Provincial Police invited to offer advice on such situations.
Most of all the public, those most affected, were not invited to participate.
This situation reflects badly on the City of Guelph and the University. When you inject some 18,000 students into a relatively small community, there will be trouble.
Having 33 bars open downtown when campus-drinking holes are shut down exacerbates it.
As for Wettstein and Dennis, it will be interesting to see the role they play at Council to prevent further damage to their constituents’ lifestyle.
It is mindful of the beloved German prison camp Sergeant Shultz who looked the other way in Hogan’s Heroes: “I see nothing, I know nothing, I do nothing.”