Dalhousie University continues investigation of massive outdoor party in Halifax

Dalhousie University says its investigation of a rowdy weekend street party will be thorough but not necessarily quick.           

Thousands of students swarmed residential streets on Saturday in an unsanctioned party. Ten have already been charged with various offences. 

The university is considering further action under its code of conduct, as it looks at what punishment could await those who went too far.

Verity Turpin, vice provost of student affairs at Dalhousie University, is not mincing words.

“The university is extremely disappointed in our students," said Turpin, adding the massive outdoor party was clearly illegal and unsanctioned.

“When we found out about this party, we messaged our students directly and ask them not to attend."

Turpin said Dalhousie University warned students that there could be consequences if they attended the outdoor party.

“We are now well into the process as outlined in the student code of conduct," said Turpin. "We are putting together those complaints so they can be investigated.”

According to Turpin, when the investigative process is completed, punishment of students could be severe.

“Interim sanctions and permanent sanctions. They could range from suspension from campus," said Turpin. "They could range from suspension from classes as well as expulsion from university.”

Legal expert Wayne MacKay said the language in the code of conduct is clear when it comes to the expectations of students.

Specifically, "if activities have a significant impact on the university or its reputation," said Mackay who is also the former president of Mount Allison University.

MacKay also said universities have jurisdiction, even for parties that take place off-campus.

“Anytime you are out as a student, you are representing your university," said Mackay.

"You should behave in the same way as anyone who is attached to and properly representing that situation.”

Many students at the party were wearing Dalhousie University t-shirts. MacKay said that means, whether the students knew it or not, that meant they were presenting this party as a Dalhousie event.