The following message was sent on Sunday, October 2 to all Dalhousie students in Halifax as well as all faculty and staff.
To: The Dalhousie University community
From: Deep Saini, President and Vice-Chancellor
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2022
Re: Unsanctioned street parties near Studley campus
Today, we share in the frustration of our community and partners regarding last night’s reckless behaviour and the organization of unsanctioned and illegal street parties near campus.
We were very clear in all communications to our students [September 16, September 28] that organizing and attending an unsanctioned and illegal street party is unacceptable given the direct, disturbing and inexcusable impacts on our community and families living close to campus. This high-risk and destructive behaviour showed a complete disregard for laws promoting the safety and well-being of our surrounding neighbourhoods and included public intoxication and confrontations with the police — behaviour that is consistently being promoted and idealized by the Instagram account Canadian Party Life and its affiliates. As we have said in previous weeks, we are deeply concerned about this movement taking place across the country that forces communities and our partners to bear the brunt of this alarming trend without any sense of responsibility from the organizers and students engaged in these acts.
It is the jurisdiction of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) to enforce the law in HRM. We also intend to investigate and determine appropriate consequences for the members of our Dalhousie student community who were involved in or helped to organize these dangerous parties.
We want to thank the vast majority of our students who answered our call to connect and celebrate in ways that took care of and respected each other and our shared communities. It is with these students in mind that we aim to build a richer and more vibrant student experience at Dalhousie, one that taps into the desire to connect, belong, and show how school spirit can uplift our entire community.
We also thank the many members of our Dalhousie community, including staff in residence, Security, Student Affairs, student volunteers with the Dalhousie Campus Medical Response Team, student leaders, and many others who worked tirelessly to promote the safety and well-being of our student and surrounding communities, and mitigate impacts of these events on our broader first-response community.
We are appreciative of our community partners, who worked with our staff to help prepare in anticipation of these events and keep people safe to the best of their abilities. We also want to express our gratitude to our neighbours who kept in close contact and continue to engage with us on strategies to address this complex challenge facing many communities across Canada.
To our neighbours, we certainly understand why you are disappointed and angry. Once again, you have been made to feel unsafe in your own home. We stand beside you in our commitment to continue to confront toxic and unsafe party culture. Important collaborative work began this year and we will continue that work this fall. While this is a complex issue that will not be solved overnight, we will continue to address the urgency of the situation while we ensure this longer-term work is strong and supported.
For more than 200 years, Dalhousie University has lived in concert with our Halifax community. Our ability to teach, learn, research, and contribute to the vitality of this city is founded and sustained by the goodwill and engagement of our community. You have our unwavering commitment to working toward a more enriching experience at Dalhousie and in our community.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people.
We recognize that African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose histories, legacies and contributions have enriched that part of Mi'kma'ki known as Nova Scotia for over 400 years.