Vandalism In Guelph

Monday, September 26, 2005


Written by Alex Subic (SLCS)

Throughout my university experience, I’ve found that this city dotes on its student population, and in many ways our situation is unique. Every September, thousands of young people, new and returning, storm the city, and most Guelph residents seem to welcome their arrival. So, what has prompted the recent backlash against us and made us lose favour among the permanent residents?

The first couple of weeks back to school include a lot of socializing and parties. You want to see old friends and unwind before life becomes hectic again, and if you are a first year, you want to meet as many people and experience as much as possible. Keggers, in particular, are extremely attractive as younger students are not able to get into bars.

However, these kinds of gatherings have been a major cause for concern lately. In fact, there has been such a great upsurge in petty vandalism and disrespectful and often destructive behaviour that our previously elevated reputation has suffered a serious blow.

Residents have complained about stolen lawn furniture, cars being egged and unacceptable noise levels at early hours of the morning.

Most of the problems stem from the “open invite” nature of parties in Guelph. If people that show up at the party don’t know the host, they are less likely to act responsibly and respectfully. One way to avoid this is by having smaller parties to which one only invites friends and acquaintances, which not only puts the host at ease but makes the guests more comfortable as well.

If you do choose to host a keg party, you must be aware of some things. Mainly, it is illegal to sell alcohol in your home, and you are legally liable for any injuries and damages that take place. In addition, you are not only responsible for happens to your guests (or what your guests do) while on your property, but you may also be responsible for their safety and actions until they are sober. Moreover, your relationship with your neighbours may become quite tense.

Of course, these are the actions of few shaping a negative perception of the whole student population. Guelph is a genuine “university town” and the positive impacts the students have, whether it’s through volunteering or just contributing to the vibrancy of the city, are undeniable. If this is your first time living off campus, getting involved may help you feel more connected to your community. To find out about what’s going on in your neighbourhood you may contact Neighbourhood Relations at or visit our website

If you would like to voice an opinion on this serious issue I encourage you to write to thecannon.ca, the Ontarion, or the Peak. For most of us, this is our home for the next few years and we should develop a positive relationship with the people we share it with, so the residents don’t look over in dread as a group of students move in next door.

Fortunately, something as easy as not throwing one’s fast food containers on the nearest lawn does the trick.

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