'We need to stop this behaviour': Laurier officials warn of consequences for Ezra Avenue party attendees

Officials at Wilfrid Laurier University are warning there will be consequences for students who took part in a pair of large gatherings on Ezra Avenue over the long weekend.

"You're looking at academic suspension all the way to expulsion," said Ivan Joseph, Laurier's vice president of student affairs. "We take those matters seriously."

On Monday night, Waterloo regional police broke up a crowd of about 1,000 people on Ezra Avenue. The day prior, police responded to a crow of more than 200 people on the same street.

Joseph said any student identified on video footage at those gatherings will be held accountable.

"They put the health and wellbeing and safety of the not just school year in jeopardy, but our entire campus community as well as the region," he said.

Western University in London also saw several large gatherings near campus this past week. School officials there have now threatened to pull in-person classes, extra-curricular activities and athletes.

Joseph said Laurier isn't ruling out taking that type of action.

"We're not going to leave any lever and say that's off the table, clearly we need to stop this behaviour and we will do whatever we can and need to in order to do so," he said.

Waterloo regional police Chief Bryan Larkin backed Laurier's warning, calling the gatherings unacceptable.

"It puts everybody at risk, it puts our health care at risk," he said, adding police will also take action to stop these types of incidents from happening again.

"We've laid a number of charges both criminal and provincial in relation to the unsanctioned events and we'll continue to do so," Larkin said. "We will not tolerate these continued events."