Why We Need to Stop Partying on Ezra on St. Patrick’s Day

For years, Laurier has been famous for its ever-growing St. Paddy’s Day street party on Ezra. Every year thousands of students (roughly 15,000 last year according to the Waterloo Record) turn out to pack the 400 metre stretch of street as full as humanly possible. There’s drinking, there are games, and most people seem to have a blast, but with all that fun comes a ton of issues.

1. It’s a Serious Drain on Resources

Every year on the morning of March 17th a small army of police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and security personnel make their way to Ezra Avenue and the surrounding area and set up for a day of issuing tickets, reviving unconscious students, and attempting to control a crowd that gets bigger and bigger every year. With the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, Waterloo Regional Police have had to reach out to Peel Region for extra enforcement, because they simply do not have the resources to control the expected crowd. The concentration of enforcement officers and first responders on one block in Waterloo not only costs thousands of dollars but takes away resources from people elsewhere in the region that may need them more. 

2. Dogs + Broken Glass = No More Walks

There are tons of pet owners in the Ezra/Bricker area (myself included) who need to walk their pooches on a daily basis. My pup starts getting antsy at 7:00 am sharp and will not stop howling until he gets his morning walk, which, because of where I live, happens to include walking down Ezra Avenue, but for weeks after the St. Paddy’s Day shenanigans, I have to take my boy on an entirely different route because there is so much broken glass covering the sidewalks. Whether it’s clumsy people dropping glasses or intoxicated frat boys who think smashing beer bottles is a good way to have fun, my pooch’s morning route turns from a normal stroll down the sidewalk into a trip to the vet just waiting to happen.

(who could possibly endanger those adorable paws?)

3. Property Damage

I don’t know about anyone else, but just between myself, my roommates, and our neighbours in the other units of our house, we have experienced some form of property damage every single year on St. Patrick’s Day. I have personally had a back door kicked in and the guys in the unit beside mine had a girl none of us had ever met before wander into their living room, vomit everywhere, pass out, and be carried away by paramedics. Last year, another unit in my house had a group of strangers come in uninvited, break their toilet, and steal a can of soup – I guess they got the drunchies?  Folks have to lock their doors and stay on guard constantly to avoid property damage and theft, not to mention the damage done to lawns and gardens from thousands of people walking across properties throughout the day. What once was a lush lawn becomes little more than a field of mud after the sea of green-clad partiers have had their fun. 

#stopsouptheft2018

4. People are Literally Afraid to Leave Their Homes

From personal experience and from listening to other people who live in the area around the massive street party, I know there are many people who are genuinely afraid to leave their homes every year on March 17th. I remember in my first year I was terrified just walking to and from class because there were so many people everywhere and almost all of them were rowdy and intoxicated. I managed to brave the crowds to get those sweet, sweet, bonus marks for simply showing up to class on St. Paddy’s Day, but many students are so intimidated by the alcohol and the crowds that they simply skip class and hinder their education because the sea of green can be absolutely terrifying. 

5. People Can’t Get to Their Own Driveways

While many students and non-students alike are lucky enough to have nothing else to do on St. Paddy’s Day, there are also many people in the area who still want to go to classes or who have to go to work. Residents who need to get to and from their jobs on March 17th, or who simply have things to do and places to be, can’t get in and out of their driveways without help from law enforcement. Last year my boyfriend had to explain to officers that he lived on the street and required a police escort through the crowd just to drive home from work, and we don’t even live on Ezra. 

6. It Affects Professors and University Staff

Like I said, many people may be lucky enough to have nothing else to do on St. Paddy’s Day and can enjoy the festivities, but other people, like professors and university staff, still have jobs to get done, St. Patrick’s Day or not. I’ll never forget a story told by one of my professors in first year about a guest speaker who had the wits scared out of her by students who decided to jump onto her car as she was trying to drive to campus. It may seem like professors are just pooping on the party, but the crowds and festivities have been causing increasing issues for staff trying to get to campus. The legendary Ezra street party may have started off harmless enough, but it has since grown into an unmanageable event that can end in more harm than fun. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not trying to tell anyone to refrain from partying. Saint Patrick’s Day can be a blast, in fact, I used to love it until I came to Laurier. Now March 17th is the one day of the year I dread more than anything else. That aside, everybody loves a good backyard barbeque, and house parties can be a blast! Drink (safely please!), dress in green, and have fun, just don’t do it on Ezra Avenue. 

The legendary Ezra street party may have started off harmless enough, but it has since grown into an unmanageable event that can end in more harm than fun. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not trying to tell anyone to refrain from partying. Saint Patrick’s Day can be a blast, in fact, I used to love it until I came to Laurier. Now March 17th is the one day of the year I dread more than anything else. That aside, everybody loves a good backyard barbeque, and house parties can be a blast! Drink (safely please!), dress in green, and have fun, just don’t do it on Ezra Avenue.