In an effort to curb the notorious street parties that have become near synonymous with Homecoming and Saint Patrick’s day, Kingston City Hall have been discussing adding a new bylaw under the University District Safety Initiative. The initiative comprises of a set of new rules which provide police with guidelines for dealing with large student gatherings. One of those new bylaws, which deals with “nuisance parties” has recently gained notoriety amongst students due to the fact that it “infringes upon our basic liberties in unilaterally restricting access to portions of our homes”- Juul Ripstein.
Existing efforts in the UDSI have aimed to use the police to stop parties, but the “Purge” Initiative is different in that it aims to not use police to stop parties. The idea is centered upon social darwinism, a philosophy where only the strong survive. Under the current proposed bylaw, police and other emergency services will vacate the student ghetto at 17:00 the night prior to St.Paddy’s or Homecoming and will not return, under any circumstances whatsoever, until 8:00 the day after in the hopes that students will either be too hungover or incapacitated to party the following day. Those students that are still going though? Well, according to commissioner Joe Gordon “those students still partying at the conclusion of the Purge period represent the strongest students, the heaviest drinkers, and usually the most destructive. At the conclusion of the purge period, police will target those students, using advanced drone technology to locate them in order to immediately nullify them as threats to the kingston community.” These same students also serve as ringleaders of the heavy drinking activities found in the university district during periods of particular rambunctiousness.
Not everyone is on board with the initiative though, with many people concerned about the public health implications of refusing to provide emergency services to thousands of binge drinking young adults. Several also estimate that the damage done by unsupervised students will be worse than just allowing the students to party the day after. Kingston City Hall did not reply to my request for an interview.