Hey there folks. I hope all is well.

(Putting on my grumpy old man hat)

To all the university students who might be reading this (I am aware that number approaches nil but what I have to say needs to be said): Calm down.

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Yes, yes I am sure you want to squeeze the most out of your four years of little to no responsibility, aside from schoolwork and learning the basics of adulthood, but how’s about you at least pretend to care about the town in which you live?

Homecoming weekend is something I dread pretty much every year. Normally, students are entirely fine and are no more bother than your average neighbour. However, there are times, like homecoming, where one becomes acutely aware of how rowdy the younglings can get.

My homecoming morning started around 8 a.m. with music blasting from several directions. Upon waking and making my way through town a few hours later, the havoc was apparent. Drunken university kids were swarming Church Street, there were red solo cups littering the sidewalks, and I saw a person get put on a stretcher at around 11 a.m. To be fair, I don’t know if the person was a student, but it was outside an obvious party with students all around so… yeah.

Normally, one might hear an ambulance every other weekend. At homecoming, I heard no less than five. For the first time, I also saw police use their minivan, which I assume is their version of a paddy wagon but I stand to be corrected.

Antigonishers have to get used to certain things when it comes to living in a university town. The population pretty much doubles in size come September, so there are obviously going to be challenges. You accept a certain level of noise on the weekends, and yes, you definitely know when there is a special event, like homecoming or BurMac taking place, because there are parties everywhere.

However, there is no need for the rest of us to have to put up with the amount of nonsense I witnessed a few weeks ago.

What are the possible solutions? Double the fines for noise complaints and expand the time frame for noise complaints to include the daytime. If the daytime is also included… well good then. If a student gets arrested for being drunk in public, open liquor, or even fined for a noise complaint, ban them from on campus events like sports games, sports teams, intramurals, gym privileges, and whatever other ancillary benefits there are for students. I’d suggest the revoking of a student ID or some sort of hole punch that would be easy recognizable should the student in question try to get into a university event.

On the academic side, any such infractions should lead to a removal from contention for things like bursaries, deans’ lists, graduation, and the X-Ring ceremony. Are those penalties harsh? Maybe, but it’s not expulsion and it’s nothing that will, in any way, affect the rest of their lives.

One of the responsibilities of a university student, or any human being for that matter, is respecting where they live. If students don’t want to do that, I have no problem calling for sanctions exceeding whatever slap on the wrist they seem to receive at the moment.

(Taking off my grumpy old man hat.)

I’m done now.

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Antigonish native Matt Draper has been a photographer, reporter and columnist for The Reporter since 2003.