UVic urges students to avoid gatherings after hundreds attend 'unacceptable' party

The University of Victoria is pleading with students to avoid large gatherings after several hundred students, most of them without masks, attended a large party on campus Sunday night.

“The start of term is an exciting time on a university campus and building new social connections is a critical part of that experience,” said Jim Dunsdon, associate vice-president of student affairs, in a statement Monday.

“We appreciate those students who are acting responsibly and ask those involved in the incident last night to stop behaving in a manner that puts our fall return to campus at risk,” he added.

The university says the party was attended by several hundred students, as well as some off-campus revellers.

The party was outdoors, where there are no public health orders restricting the size of personal gatherings. However, the school says the crowd was concerning.

“By holding or attending large, unstructured parties, students increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” Dundson said. “Their behaviour is unacceptable and puts at risk students, our employees, our instructors and our local community.”

Two people were ticketed for underage drinking at the gathering and Saanich police poured out alcohol approximately 50 times, according to the school.