Four students were fined over $1100 each under contentious new city bylaws penalizing street partiers.
Police were called to a house on Broughdale Avenue shortly before midnight Sept. 6, where nearly 300 people gathered at a house with blaring music.
Four tenants — all men between 19 and 21 — who hosted the party were charged under new city bylaws that prohibits “nuisance parties,” defined by the city as any party resulting in public intoxication, disorderly conduct, or unreasonable noise.
They were charged $1130 each.
This is the first time the new bylaws have been put to the test. Although it applies to parties anywhere in London, it typifies a coalition between the city and university set on addressing rowdy street parties like fake-Homecoming.
Phil Squire, London’s Ward 6 councilor, clarified that although students can still have parties, this bill is meant to dampen parties that become a danger to the neighbourhood and those at the party itself.
“It’s another tool that we have to try to make sure that although students should have fun, and obviously they can have parties, that a party such as the one we saw on the weekend that had 200-300 people by some estimates, just isn’t something that we see.”
The rules passed through city council on Aug. 27 with the support of Western University and its affiliated colleges.
Western approved an amendment to the Student Code of Conduct this April, applying to unsanctioned events associated with the university — namely, street parties on Broughdale during fake-Homecoming.
In extreme cases, students can be expelled.
The new bylaws allows officers to charge anyone who “sponsors, hosts, creates, attends, allows or cause/permit a nuisance party.”
The maximum fine is up to $25,000.
The main goal is “cost recovery for the cost of policing,” according to Squire. Fines under the bylaw increase with the amount of officers and how long they are present at an event.
For example, it costs tenants $60 per hour for each London police officer that arrives at their “nuisance party.”
Last years’ fake-Homecoming party on Broughdale racked up a $200,000 emergency response bill. Councillors hope this bill will help to mitigate some of that loss.
Update (Sept 10, 12:06 p.m.): paragraph one has been altered to indicate the students were charged over $1100.
Update (Sept 10, 4:00 p.m.): the headline has been updated to reflect the charge was over $1100.