O-Week and OCC campus incidents minimal

Photo by Kha Vo

Photo by Kha Vo

Drew Piticco, student conduct administrator at Wilfrid Laurier University, received only four student conduct infractions following the On Campus Celebration last week — the lowest amount of incidents in recent years.

“We had what I would call a very successful year this year,” he said. “The year before it was about 18, and the year before that we had over 30.”

Piticco commended the work of Special Constable Service, Emergency Response Team and the Waterloo Regional Police Service throughout OCC, who were on site for the entire night to “de-escalate and manage issues on the ground.”

ERT coordinator Jordan Brazeau said ERT responded to only three calls, none of which were extreme.
“These first-years seemed really good this year,” Brazeau said.

“OCC is usually how we judge the week based on the rowdiness of the first-years.”

“At the end of the day, we don’t want people to get hurt. We don’t want anybody to need us,” he continued.

As for the rest of the week, calls to ERT were lower than normal, dealing with minor incidents such as drunk-related injuries, panic attacks, general sickness and random injuries.

“I think alcohol injuries were the lowest that I’ve seen,” Brazeau said.

Both Piticco and Brazeau said that working with SCS manager Tammy Lee and her team made for a stronger presence and response to concerns throughout Orientation Week.

According to Piticco the relationship between SCS and the dean of students office is stronger than it has been in the past.

“There’s been a lot of work over the summer to increase the communication lines between the dean of students office, Special Constable Service, Residence Life, that I think it has really paid off,” he explained.

Brazeau said Lee made a “huge effort, especially in OCC” to make SCS a strong, supportive presence. Lee went to all of the colour team meetings before dinner on Tuesday and spoke about safety measures.

According to Brazeau, nine special constable officers were on duty that night and each constable had a WRPS officer with them.

“The awareness that Tammy brought up was outstanding. There wasn’t an issue and if there was an issue, there were so many officers floating around that they were able to be resolved before it escalated.”

Statistics supplied by WRPS showed that the most common infraction to citizens was open liquor, with 48 incidences. WRPS recorded seven public intoxication infractions and three underage consumption of alcohol infringements. There were also seven public urination violations.

Piticco stressed that O-Week is supposed to be a safe and fun experience for students, and the lines of communication between all parties was a major part of O-Week running with fewer incidents.

“There’s a lot more trust. And I think in that way we are responding a lot more appropriately to each incident that arises on our campus.”

Brazeau concluded by explaining that ERT, SCS and WRPS are not trying to ruin the O-Week experience.

“No one wants calls. They’re not looking for people and they’re not looking to get people in [trouble]. They’re there so that one first-year doesn’t ruin it for 10 first-years.”

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