Laurier students participate in illegal street gatherings resulting in vandalism

Groups of Wilfrid Laurier University students participated in unsanctioned street gatherings on Ezra Avenue in Waterloo this weekend, resulting in vandalism to campus and city property.

Sept. 4-6 were move-in days for students living in residence and marked the beginning of Orientation Week activities to welcome new students to the Waterloo campus.

Video footage of the gatherings — which were in violation of Ontario’s current public health guidelines regarding COVID-19 — were shared on the Spotted at Laurier Twitter account and KW Rising Instagram page. Crowds of over 1,000 people can be seen mingling in the videos and then dispersing from a fire that was started on the street Monday night.

According to the press release and email sent to students from Laurier president Deborah MacLatchy, “Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) and Laurier’s Special Constable Service (SCS) are collaborating to go through video footage to identify those who engaged in illegal activities.”

“Those identified will be facing suspension and/or expulsion from the university, may face fines for violating the Reopening Ontario Act, and could face criminal charges related to vandalism,” the message said.

WRPS and SCS will be coordinating to increase their security presence on and around campus.

“We are still in the midst of a global health crisis. We have seen how very real the threat of COVID-19 and its variants can be in our community. Students must take their responsibility as community members seriously. Reckless behaviour will not be tolerated as it is putting the most vulnerable in our community at risk and tarnishing the reputation of students and our university,” the statement concluded.

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