UBC warns residents of consequences for holding social gatherings on campus

UBC has sent an email to residents saying that there have been reports of students holding social gatherings against public health guidelines.

The email, sent by Student Housing and Community Services (SHCS) Thursday afternoon, says that residents “are on occasion gathering both inside and outside in larger groups.”

“We know it's hard to stay apart, but following protocols helps keep you, your friends and our entire community safe,” SHCS wrote. “The actions of those who continue to gather could also trigger consequences including RCMP ticketing and fines, possible non-academic misconduct findings and residence standards sanctions.”

The email said that consequences of breaking the rules include ticketing by the RCMP and investigation by a misconduct committee with the possibility of suspension and expulsion from UBC. Receiving residence standards points and possible eviction from residence could also apply.

A spokesperson for the University RCMP was not immediately available for comment.

“This is a really important reminder for the students who live in residence to follow those guidelines to not take risks during this time, and to make sure that they don't, through their actions, endanger the health and safety of fellow students,” Matthew Ramsey, director of university affairs at UBC Media Relations said.

The Vancouver Sun reported on Tuesday that University RCMP had received reports of large nighttime gatherings at Wreck Beach and would be providing more information later this week.

Sweeping provincial health orders that ban most social gatherings with few exceptions have been in place since November. The orders are set to expire Friday at midnight, but the government has extended the orders multiple times.

Ramsey said this notice doesn’t mark a change in how the university will be addressing gatherings, but is simply a reminder of existing expectations.

“The university has always been very clear that we expect our community to follow health guidelines and that community includes students. It's critically important that our students understand the potential ramifications of not doing so,” he said.