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Staying safe in the community

Posted by Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting); Madeleine Stinson, President, Dalhousie Student Union on September 15, 2021 in News


To:             Dalhousie students  

From:        Verity Turpin, Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting) 
                  Madeleine Stinson, President, Dalhousie Student Union  

Date:         September 15, 2021  

Re:             Staying safe in the community

Dalhousie is a welcoming and close-knit community. We take care of each other here. We are respectful of each other. We’ve done such an admirable job over the past 18 months to keep each other safe, and now we need to continue doing our part to ensure this next year is a great one for everyone in our communities on and off campus.

Code of Student Conduct

Please take a moment to review Dalhousie's revised Code of Student Conduct to be aware of your rights and responsibilities and to understand the behaviours expected by the university—including those related to the themes below. More information and resources about the revised Code (including a Q&A section, a video tutorial, and the complaint submission form) can be found at Dal.ca/Student-Conduct.  

Hosting or attending in-person gatherings  

This is the time of year when many of you often gather off campus to celebrate the start of another school year. Regardless of any COVID-related gathering limits, it’s always important to respect our neighbours who live in and share the communities around our campuses. Your choices and actions matter and can carry serious consequences if Public Health guidelines, the provincial Health Protection Act, and municipal by-laws are not carefully followed.  

Also note that noise disturbance complaints at any time can result in Halifax or Truro Police levying fines of: 

  • $467.50 for a first offence for all people named on a lease 
  • $927.50 for a second ticket 
  • $1,272.50 for any subsequent tickets  

Responsible drinking  

If you’re socializing, keep your drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) in eyesight at all times. Pour your own drinks and don’t drink it if you didn’t see it being made. And if you see something, say something. Trust your gut. Here are some additional safe drinking tips to keep in mind.  

The minimum age for drinking alcohol in Nova Scotia is 19, and there is a $467.50 fine if you are found to be drinking underage. Having open alcohol outside your home is also against the law in Nova Scotia and can result in a $467.50 fine. And remember that possession and consumption of alcohol and cannabis is prohibited in Dalhousie residence buildings at any time.  

Get home safe

If you’re planning an evening out, arrange a safe ride home ahead of time. And if you must walk, walk with a friend or group of friends. We also encourage you to download the DalSAFE app. You can use its “Mobile Blue Light” feature and activate the “Friend Walk” when walking alone at night.  

Consent and sexualized violence

Dalhousie does not tolerate any form of sexualized violence, including sexual assault and sexual harassment.

  • Sexual activity without consent is a sexual assault. Consent cannot be obtained where a person is incapable of consenting—that includes when they are incapacitated by drugs or/and alcohol. 
  • Sexual assault by someone known to the survivor is more common than assault by a stranger. 
  • Sexual assault by an acquaintance often occurs when one or more of the people involved has been drinking or using drugs. Using alcohol or drugs does not excuse sexual assault.  

Dalhousie has a Sexualized Violence Policy to address incidents of sexualized violence. If you experience sexualized violence, there are supports available to you, including a sexualized violence advisor at Dal’s Human Rights & Equity Services (HRES) office. The DSU also has survivor support resources and services including the Sexual Assault and Harassment Phone Line (902-425-1066).  

Visit the Human Rights & Equity Services (HRES) website to learn more about consent, safety, and sexualized violence.  


Dalhousie also does not tolerate any form of discrimination against individuals or groups of individuals based on race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or any other characteristic defined under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. There is a complaint process in place if you experience discrimination at the university. Visit theHRES website to learn more about discrimination as well as equity and inclusion.  

Online safety

If you choose to meet up with someone you met online, have your first in-person meet-up in a public place. Be cautious about sharing intimate photos with anyone, even someone you trust. A friend can become an ex-friend and once an image is online, it may be impossible to have it removed. Know and use the privacy settings for any device, app, or service you use and ensure that you are respectful in our online environment. HRES and other supports and resources can help you learn about online safety.  

Reporting suspicious behaviour  

Being part of a community like ours means prioritizing everyone’s safety, health, and well-being. No one should feel unsafe because of someone else’s behaviour, whether it’s on or off campus.  

If you notice strange activity or suspicious behaviour on campus, please contact Dal Security at 902-494-4109 (or direct dial from the DalSAFE app or the Dal Mobile app). For off-campus emergencies call 911.  

As we start this year back on our beautiful campuses, let’s keep working together in a respectful, inclusive way to keep our communities safe and enjoyable for everyone.  


Verity Turpin 
Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)  

Madeleine Stinson 
President, Dalhousie Student Union  

Dalhousie University is located in Mi'kma'ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi`kmaq. We are all treaty people.

We acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.