Four-day St. Patty's party? Police, schools prepare for student celebrations

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:26 PM ET

It could be one of the craziest party weekends of the school year with St. Patrick's Day on Monday, but students at one Ontario university are being encouraged to "clover sober."

"We want to provide students with an alternative to drinking on St. Patrick's Day," University of Windsor alcohol education co-ordinator Heidi Lamb said on the school's website for the I Clover Sober campaign. "For students who have to be on campus but want to celebrate the luck of the Irish, we want to give them a fun and responsible opportunity."

The move to encourage sober celebrations isn't a surprise given some parties have gotten out of control in recent years.

In 2012, a student party at London, Ont.'s Fanshawe College turned into a riot of more than 1,000 people. When police arrived, officers were attacked and cruisers and a news truck were set on fire.

Since then, London police and forces in other university cities have laid out plans for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Police in Guelph, Ont., located 100 km west of Toronto, said there will be more officers downtown, where there are several bars in a small area.

The University of Guelph also sent an e-mail to all students reminding them to behave this weekend because agriculture students are hosting a large community event.

The University of Ottawa campus will find police response quick this year, but the hope is enough effort has already been made to convince them to keep a lid on it.

Ottawa Coun. Mathieu Fleury, member of the “Town and Gown” committee, said members have already canvassed addresses and residences where previous complaints have originated.

The committee was created after Chapel St. was forced to shut down during St. Patrick's Day parties in 2012.

-- With files from Doug Hempstead


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