Unsigned: Is Ezra Ave. out of control?

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Last St. Patrick’s Day, the infamous Ezra Avenue party attracted nearly 15,000 attendees, prompting more attempts this year to control the crowds and lessen the damage that’s done from the yearly festivities that take place along the street.

Laurier has gained a notorious reputation for partying, often overshadowing the programs that the school should be known for instead.

It seems that people who want to go to school for the parties are likely going to consider Laurier because of our reputation. The parties are so well known that high school students talk about wanting to be here for St. Patrick’s Day.

Because the Ezra party has grown so much over the years, it puts a huge strain on resources  for both the school and the city. The more popular it gets, the more non-Laurier students want to come here to join it and post photos of the infamous St. Patrick’s Day crowd on their Instagram.

Guests from other universities aren’t likely to care as much about the damage they do to a campus and city that isn’t their own.  Inviting people from all over the place, like the group who came in from New York last year, just increases the potential for more problems to occur.

The overwhelming size of the crowd creates the possibility for something to go wrong and not have the proper accessibility for emergency personnel to reach anyone who may be in danger, hurt, or worse.

Telling everyone to stay safe may not be enough. Posters, emails and firmly worded warnings are all well and good, but those who are determined to do things their way will probably do them regardless of the consequences.

There will be resistance to change no matter how the university and police go about containing the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The expectations have already been set for a larger than life celebration that has seemingly defined aspects of our school over the past few years and there’s little that can be done to shake that perception off now.

There have been attempts to
stand against the day’s proceedings with the bookstore taking away St. Patrick’s Day merchandise, residences not allowing overnight guests and some apartments in the area limiting the number of people that residents can have stay during the weekend.

The preparation that goes into St. Patrick’s Day is extensive and it makes it worrisome with the amount of resources that are used as a precaution.

It feels like a tragedy needs to occur in order for the scale of the Ezra Avenue party to be reigned in significantly.

Without trying to sound preachy and sanctimonious like Principle Skinner from The Simpsons — “Am I so out of touch? No, it’s the children who are wrong” — it’s important to recognize when a problem has gotten out of hand.

You can take pride in Laurier and enjoy a fun and positive atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be some restrictions. Be respectful to the people and space around you. Broken glass and cheap paraphernalia littering the streets for over a week afterwards is unnecessary.

Abiding by the law and treating the day with common sense so that you keep yourself and those around you safe, should be par for the course.

Don’t make the day a nightmare for your residence dons and the nameless faces you’ll be bumping into and pushing past in the sea of green this Saturday. Having a good time is expected, but we shouldn’t be losing our common sense in the process.

Stay golden, Laurier.

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