Executive Committee Statement on post-Panda Game celebrations

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Executive Committee Statement on post-Panda Game celebrations

As all of you know, last Saturday, post-Panda Game celebrations on Russell Avenue got out of hand. Private property was vandalized, people were injured, a car was destroyed and its owner was beat up, and Sandy Hill was littered with hundreds of cans and other objects.

We understand that many students wanted to blow off some steam. We get it. It has been a brutal 18 months. But most students were able to enjoy their weekend safely, responsibly, and while being good neighbours. It is possible to do this without causing damage to others. We regret that too many did not make that choice and strongly condemn their behaviour.

To the extent that uOttawa students were involved, we regret the damage caused to the residents of Russell Avenue and the Sandy Hill community. This should not have happened, and we are sorry that it did – this isn’t who we are.

Speculation about the future of the Panda Game is premature. Saturday night had very little to do with football. But people who think they can damage property and injure others, without consequences for themselves or for the entire uOttawa community, are wrong.

Sandy Hill is a mixed community of residents and students, each with their own needs and perspectives. The UOSU Executive is committed to working with the community, as well as municipal leaders and the University, to find solutions for pre- and post-Panda Game activities to be fun, safe, and without major disruption to the Sandy Hill community. Many of these solutions already exist and have worked in the past.

We also look forward to engaging with these partners on the other crises faced by students, including transit and affordable housing.