Tens of thousands of students kicked off the school year in Ghent on Wednesday evening with a lavish party at Sint-Pietersplein. The square and Overpoort were so busy that the police had to shut them down. It was somewhat cloudy due to panic messages on social media.
Simon Dikesmaker, Burt Stace
It was views we had not seen in Ghent for a year and a half. Bangald, that’s just how you can describe the atmosphere at Wednesday’s student kick-off party. Tens of thousands of students began moving to Sint-Pietersplein from noon, with the party beginning at 12 noon.
The cheerful vibe was set for the rest of the day. By evening, St. Petersplein was filled with students who took their frustrations out with Clemens and Van Geel. Sint-Pietersplein had to be closed due to fullness.
Then a lot of students went to Overpoort, where it was already crowded in the early evening. Ghent Police were clearly present in the student district with a lot of people on Wednesday evening. Overpoort battles have stunned in recent weeks.
By 10:30 p.m., the place was also so crowded on the street in Overpoort that the police had to close the street to keep it safe.
The rumors circulating on social media over half the students in Ghent overshadowed the evening. Student clubs warned their members not to wear “ribbons” or stay away from Sint-Pietersplein because a “gang” would come to Ghent to fight.
Ghent’s student ended up in the hospital with serious injuries ten days ago. It is not clear what exactly happened to the young man. But it is expected that Student club barWhich the boy was wearing that night, played a part in the story.
Panicked rumors of a “knife attack on students with tape” also reached police on Wednesday evening. Later in the evening, social media users reported that students had been stabbed and misinformed. As of 11 p.m., there were no reports of accidents. The police themselves tried to calm the mood via Twitter.