For UVic students, the party doesn’t stop for a pandemic. In a press release, Saanich PD said they issued 11 tickets for lack of physical distancing and 14 tickets for public alcohol consumption in front of the McPherson library on September 18.
Partying came at a price — all 25 tickets carry a hefty $230 fine.
Saanich PD said a crowd of a hundred students congregated outside of the library around 10 p.m., in the same area where there was a similar party the weekend prior.
After the Martlet broke the news of the parties during this first weekend on campus, the university responded that they would be investigating these events. The Martlet reported that a crowd of a hundred students in front of the library was dispersed by Saanich PD. At the time, no tickets were reportedly issued. That night, the parties continued at a nearby elementary school — until the party was broken up again by Saanich PD.
After issuing tickets on September 18, officers returned to the quad the next night to assess the situation. They were pleased to see small groups of 5-8 socializing safely instead.
“It appears that enforcement measures had the desired effect, setting the tone for Saturday’s overall compliance at the campus,” the press release reads.
Ruth*, a first-year political science student living in residence, said he has seen parties happening almost every single day and that it’s “disheartening” to see students partying regularly on campus.
There are currently 700 students living in residence.
Jim Dundson, the associate vice-president of student affairs, circulated an email to students after the first weekend,encouraging them to ensure a “safe community this fall.”
“We will be reviewing and following up with those involved [in the parties last weekend]. Our institutional response will be consistent with UVic policies and reflect the serious nature of these actions in creating a risk for our community.”
Although there are new rules for residence, there are no specific rules outside of the provincial health guidelines for outdoor gatherings. Students are not permitted to have off-campus guests in their dorms. When indoors, all residents must wear masks in shared spaces, and only one on-campus guest is allowed to visit their dorm at a time. Currently, gatherings over 50 people are banned per provincial health guidelines
Sam*, a first-year linguistics student living in residence, said she has noticed less students partying in their second week on campus. Her roommate’s partying on the first weekend made her uncomfortable, but they stayed indoors this week to grocery shop and catch up on homework.
“I keep myself as safe as possible, I wear my mask all the time so I don’t feel super scared,” Sam said. “But it does still make me feel uncomfortable, and I feel that people should learn how to keep themselves safer.”
*Names have been changed to respect the anonymity of sources.