Dozens of tickets issued after large party at UVic
Saanich police say they spotted approximately 100 people gathered outside of the university's main library Friday.
VICTORIA -- Saanich police attended to the University of Victoria (UVic) two times over the weekend after a large gathering was spotted Friday evening.
Police say that at approximately 10 p.m. Friday, police and campus security came across a large group of approximately 100 young people outside of the university’s main library, near the fountain area.
Police say there was a “complete lack of any physical distancing as well as many openly consuming liquor.”
Officers say they then issued 11 tickets for not maintaining adequate physical distance under the COVID-19 Measures Act and issued 14 more tickets related to the public consumption of alcohol.
Police add that several minors were also at the gathering and in possession of liquor.
Saanich police say both the physical distancing tickets and open consumption fines cost $230 each.
The next day, on Saturday evening, police say they returned to the campus and found several small groups, rather than one large gathering in the same area.
“It appears that enforcement measures had the desired effect, setting the tone for Saturday’s overall compliance at the campus,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades, Saanich police, in a release Monday.
Police say that the groups seen Sunday were roughly six to eight people large and were far from other groups. Officers add that most of the groups were respectful to police.
“We hope others share this message with their peers because at the end of the day it’s doing everything we can to keep everyone safe in our community and beyond,” said Anastasiades.
In a statement Monday, the university told CTV News that it has been “very clear” with all students that everyone on campus must follow the advice of B.C. health officials.
UVic added that any student who was ticketed Friday will be referred to the university’s office of student life for a review, which could impact their student or residence status.
“This is a public health issue that affects our entire community and there are consequences for those who disregard the measures in place to help prevent the transmission of COVID,” said Joel Lynn, UVic executive director of student services.
“Sanctions can range from lower level consequences, such as written warning or written apology, up to and including significant consequences, such as suspension/expulsion,” he said.
Last week, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education Melanie Mark issued a statement calling for post-secondary students across the province to avoid gathering in large groups, after parties were reported at UVic.
“I understand that returning to campus this fall is an exciting time after months of physically distancing and limiting our social activities, but no one wants to contract or unintentionally spread COVID-19 to our friends and family,” said Mark on Sept. 15.
“I expect better from all of our students in the post-secondary system,” she said. “I hope that this behaviour is not replicated going forward at UVic or any other post-secondary institution in the province.”