Edit: September 26, 9:40 p.m. – Dalhousie strongly urges all students who attended the unauthorized house party not to attend classes or general campus activities for a week and get tested for COVID-19. More information here.
The following message was communicated to all students, faculty and staff on Sunday, September 26 and is being shared openly for our entire community:
To: The Dalhousie University community and our Halifax neighbors
From: Deep Saini, President and Vice-Chancellor
Frank Harvey, Provost and Academic Vice-President
Verity Turpin, Vice-President, Student Affairs (interim)
Date: Sunday, September 26, 2021
Re: Street Parties Not Allowed In Halifax
We are seriously disappointed by the deplorable and reckless behavior of the students who organized and attended large unauthorized and illegal street parties near campus yesterday. While we are grateful to the majority of our students who heeded the clear warnings that have been shared about this behavior, many have yet ignored these warnings, and we are working very hard to ensure that the appropriate consequences follow. .
For over 200 years, Dalhousie University has lived together with our community of Halifax. Our ability to teach, learn, research and operate in this city is founded and supported by the goodwill of our community. In recent years, this goodwill has been severely tested by these large, unauthorized street parties near campus. This behavior continued yesterday, with the most alarming behavior occurring last night, despite clear instructions from Dalhousie and our community partners on the significant risks and consequences of these actions.
The choices these students make are unacceptable. Those of you who attended these parties did so in violation of pandemic assembly limits under the current provincial state of emergency. Many of you have shown complete disregard for the surrounding neighborhood and for the laws and regulations regarding noise, uncovered alcohol, and public drunkenness. With first aid and arrests reported, you are straining first responders already at full capacity due to the current pandemic. You are putting your safety and that of our shared community at risk, and you have damaged the reputation of the majority of your fellow students who are doing their best to continue their education safely and successfully this fall.
Our community is disappointed and frustrated – and has every right to be. They are reckless, dangerous and disruptive gatherings. No one should feel unsafe in their own home. To our neighbors: we share your frustration. You owe an apology from these students. As a university whose name and colors have been co-opted to justify these gatherings, we are also sorry for the actions of these students and their impact on you and the community at large.
We are grateful for the support of our community partners, including Halifax Regional Police (HRP), Halifax Regional Municipality and Emergency Health Services (EHS), who helped prepare for these events and worked to maintain order and keep people safe to the best of their ability. Dalhousie has supported this joint effort in several ways, including offering alternative programs for students, meeting with students and neighbors before the weekend to set expectations, and providing financial support to help fund the increased HRP presence. and EHS required yesterday. Our hope is that this work has helped limit the potential damage from yesterday’s events, including damage to those who chose to attend. Unfortunately, our collective efforts to deal with this serious situation have not been sufficient to prevent it from happening. New approaches are needed and we are committed to pursuing them with our community partners.
We will take disciplinary action under our Code of Student Conduct. We made it clear to students last week that those who participate in these activities risk being sanctioned by Dalhousie under the university’s code of conduct for students. The Code may be applied to off-campus situations if a violation of municipal, provincial or federal laws has a significant negative impact on the university community, or in situations that raise concerns for the safety or well-being of students or the university community. more generally. These illegal and unauthorized gatherings meet both criteria and therefore, where appropriate, Dalhousie will apply its Code of Student Conduct to the greatest extent possible. The penalties that may be imposed by the Senate Discipline Committee when it finds that a student has violated the Code range from mandatory training and education or probation for a specified period, to denial of specified privileges or suspension / expulsion from the university.
Dalhousie is committed to being a good neighbor and we expect our students to be too. Many of our students meet this expectation, but far too many do not. We stand in solidarity with our peer universities as they strive to tackle street parties as they become a complex and growing problem on North American college campuses. We still have work to do and will continue to work with our partners to meet these expectations. Additional updates will follow.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Provost and Academic Vice-President
Vice-Rector for Student Affairs (ad interim)
Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all signatories to the treaties.