Western University, USC warn large gatherings put school year in jeopardy

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In a joint letter, Western University president Alan Shepard and University Students’ Council (USC) president Zamir Fakirani are urging students to follow COVID-19-related health and safety protocols, warning that a failure to do so “puts our entire year in jeopardy.”

Shepard and Fakirani state that many students have been acting responsibly and respectfully but “this past weekend there were several large gatherings near campus — along with some aggressive behaviour that put the safety of others at risk.”

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Classes had yet to begin when the letter was issued Tuesday evening, but students moved into residences over the weekend and Orientation Week for undergraduate students began Monday.

“This activity is a blatant disregard for the campus community, public health, and the law,” they write.

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“We want to be clear: if this activity continues, the academic year we have so carefully planned will not happen. In-person learning with fellow students, interaction with professors, extra-curricular activities, athletics and all the things that make your student experience great will be lost.”

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The two say everyone must follow provincial guidelines in order to keep both the Western and London communities safe.

“We have all worked so hard to get to where we are today. It would be disappointing to lose it before it even starts.”

Classes are set to begin on Wednesday.

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