Keep safe and do not attend street parties: A message from Dean of Students Sean Van Koughnett   

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Students can stay safe, be a good neighbour and avoid fines as high as $10,000 by not attending street parties being promoted by anonymous sites. 

We are urging students to be safe and respectful, and continue to be good neighbours by not attending street parties — especially as we head into a weekend that includes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day of reflection and mourning.

Here are three things you need to know about the illegal street party being promoted by an anonymous website on social media:

  • Street parties are a risk. People have been injured at street parties promoted by the same anonymous website in other communities. The risks increase as gatherings grow, including risks to personal safety and neighbourhood property.  Large crowds make it harder for emergency crews to respond.
  • Attendees could face $10,000 fines. The City of Hamilton has a Nuisance Party bylaw to discourage disruptive street parties and there is a zero-tolerance zone in the residential area around campus. Fines for bylaw infractions can be as high as $10,000.
  • Street parties are not about sports or school spirit. McMaster does not hold a Homecoming, but other university communities that do are still plagued by disruptive street parties. These disruptive events are promoted on social media by anonymous party sites to make profit at our students’ and community’s expense. We encourage our students to question the motives behind these anonymous sites.

The City of Hamilton, Hamilton Police Services and McMaster University are working together to discourage large, unsanctioned street parties. With safety as our top priority, we are reaching out to students and our community in person and online.

We are devoting additional resources and time to support our City of Hamilton partners. Last year, this approach resulted in an outcome without major incidents.

Students living in the areas around campus are an important part of the neighbourhood. Please encourage your peers to stay safe, avoid fines and be good neighbours.

Sean Van Koughnett
Associate Vice-President (Students and Learning) & Dean of Students
McMaster University