Saanich police and campus security broke up a large gathering at the University of Victoria Friday night. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich police and campus security broke up a large gathering at the University of Victoria Friday night. (Black Press Media file photo)

Police break up gathering of more than 50 people at University of Victoria over the weekend

Saanich police say one 18-year-old was arrested, no charges or fines issued

A number of social gatherings involving University of Victoria students kept Saanich police busy Friday evening.

The department helped to break up an initial group of 50 to 80 people at UVic, which then dispersed into smaller groups in the area.

Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for Saanich police, said two officers were at the school assisting campus security – something the department does every year when classes start.

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When police went to the area of the large gathering the group split up, with significantly smaller groups heading to Sinclair Avenue, Frank Hobbs Elementary and Gyro Beach. Those smaller gatherings generated noise complaints to police.

Around 12:30 a.m., one 18-year-old man was arrested a for being intoxicated in public. He was taken to hospital and no charges or fines were issued.

“UVic has been very clear with all students about the need to follow the advice and guidance of the public health officer regarding COVID-19,” said Joel Lynn, UVic executive director of student services. “Disregarding UVic guidelines and policies is not acceptable, and we are investigating the events on campus and following up with those involved.”

Students’ conduct within residences is dealt with by a branch of the university. This year’s student residence contract was amended to include public health guidelines.

If student conduct elsewhere on campus is contrary to the university’s expectations and policies, the Office of Student Life can impose a range of consequences, including eviction.

“We realize that the start of term is an exciting time of year when students are trying to make new friends, which is an important part of student life and building community. This can happen in small groups with the appropriate measures to protect people’s health and safety,” Lynn said.

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