October 18, 2017 9:49 am
Updated: October 18, 2017 5:26 pm

Dalhousie assures Halifax residents out-of-control homecoming parties will be prevented

WATCH: Between a letter from Dalhousie University President Richard Florizone and a community meeting to discuss ‘partying concerns,’ some residents are applauding efforts taken by the university to address concerns but say there’s still a lot to do before they become ‘good neighbors.’ Alexa MacLean reports.


Dalhousie University held a meeting Tuesday night with police, municipal authorities and neighbours to discuss last weekend’s out-of-hand homecoming parties off-campus.

On Saturday, police were called to several drunken parties in the south end of Halifax, that saw hundreds of students fill the residential streets.

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READ MORE: Off-campus homecoming party leaves Dalhousie with serious hangover

In total, 23 people were arrested and two alcohol-related fines were handed out.

But the damage to the school’s reputation and relationship with the neighbourhood is harder to quantify.

“My two sons came to my wife and told them that someone was in our driveway … but then when we looked out, it was two girls doing coke in our driveway,” Jan-Mark van der Leest, who lives on Vernon Street, told the crowd.

WATCH: Off-campus Dalhousie parties lead to arrests

Another attendee told officials she felt “frightened for her safety.”

Halifax Regional Police told the meeting they knew about the planned parties the day before it happened. That’s why police and the university initially decided to have two officers patrol the area, although more were later called in.

WATCH: Residents who live in the area where an out-of-control party happened on Saturday were invited to discuss their concerns at a meeting. Global’s Steve Silva reports.

READ MORE: Halifax police stepping up patrols around universities as students head back

“I’m proud of our officers, how they handled the situation. I received a lot of positive feedback,” said Insp. Dean Simmonds.

Officials with the city, police and university all assured residents they want to prevent something similar from ever happening again.

District 7 Coun. Waye Mason, who represents the area, told the meeting he has already met with the mayor and the chief administrative officer of the municipality and they are trying to find ways to increase the penalties and scrutiny on what he calls “troubled properties.”

Dalhousie University president Richard Florizone says no students have been penalized so far, but there is potential for sanctions despite the fact the parties took place off-campus.

“What we’ve said is we expect Dalhousians to have a certain standard of behaviour,” he said.

“I wanted to hear from you and I wanted my staff to hear from you because we have to do better.”

— With files from Steve Silva

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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