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University of Guelph investigating large party on campus

The University of Guelph says it is investigating a massive party on campus. University of Guelph

Despite the many COVID-19 restrictions and policies in place, the University of Guelph says it is investigating a large outdoor party on campus on Friday night that saw hundreds of students gather.

As many as 750 students were at the party that took place outside one of the residence buildings.

Read more: Students call for action in the wake of sexual violence allegations at Western University

In an email, university spokesperson Deirdre Healey confirmed that four tickets were issued for open alcohol.

“However, the investigation is ongoing and further charges may result,” she said.

On Tuesday, campus police posted a photo online of someone climbing up a drainpipe attached to a building, which appears to be in the east village area of campus.

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“We are seeking information from our community regarding the identity of an individual involved in an incident over the weekend,” campus police said in its post.

The service is asking anyone with information to contact 519-824-4120 ext. 52246 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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The university also said it is being proactive in ensuring a safe campus by having additional security guards and residence staff in place.

There are also extra officers from campus police and Guelph police on duty and security footage is constantly being monitored, Healey said.

“We are also enforcing strict protocols in our residence including no visitors,” she said.

“The university and student housing are continuing to communicate with students about the provincial and university COVID-19 protocols, which include physical distancing, and are reinforcing the importance of wearing a mask outdoors when you cannot maintain physical distancing.”

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In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health urged everyone who attended to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and to get tested as soon as possible if they do start to feel ill.

“While there have been no cases associated with this event, the virus is still circulating in the wider community,” public health said.

“Monitoring for symptoms and getting tested are key steps in identifying any cases of COVID-19 and reducing their spread.”

The situation is not unique to Guelph, with Waterloo Regional Police investigating a gathering of 2,500 students in the Ezra Avenue area on Friday.

Read more: 2,500 students gathered in Waterloo’s University District Friday night, police say

The area known as the “student ghetto” in Waterloo is the traditional gathering point for students from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo for homecoming, St. Patrick’s Day and at other times.

“This is unacceptable. It is irresponsible. It is extremely disappointing. Moreover, it is unlawful,” Chief Bryan Larkin stated.

“As we continue through a global pandemic, large gatherings are prohibited. They are prohibited for a reason.”

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