“We must stop this behavior”: Laurier officials warn of the consequences for those attending the Ezra Avenue party

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Kitchener –

Wilfrid Laurier University officials warn there will be consequences for students who attended two large gatherings on Ezra Avenue over the long weekend.

“You are considering an academic suspension until expulsion,” said Ivan Joseph, vice president of student affairs at Laurier. “We take these matters seriously.”

On Monday evening, Waterloo Regional Police dispersed a crowd of about 1,000 people on Ezra Avenue. The day before, police responded to a crow of more than 200 people on the same street.

Joseph said any student identified in video footage at those gatherings would be held accountable.

“They endanger the health, well-being and safety not only of the school year, but of the entire university community as well as the region,” he said.

Western University in London also saw several large gatherings near campus last week. School officials have now threatened to remove in-person classes, extracurricular activities and athletes.

Joseph said Laurier did not rule out taking this type of action.

“We are not going to leave any leverage and say it’s not on the table, we clearly need to stop this behavior and we will do whatever we can and must to do it,” he said.

Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin backed Laurier’s warning, calling the gatherings unacceptable.

“It puts everyone at risk, it puts our health care at risk,” he said, adding that the police will also take measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.

“We have filed a number of both criminal and provincial charges related to the unauthorized events and will continue to do so,” Larkin said. “We will not tolerate these continuing events.”

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