St. FX disciplines 2 students for climbing on ambulance roof

·3 min read
St. Francis Xavier University says it has disciplined two students for climbing onto the roof of an ambulance responding to an emergency call on campus on Sept. 5. (The Canadian Press - image credit)
St. Francis Xavier University says it has disciplined two students for climbing onto the roof of an ambulance responding to an emergency call on campus on Sept. 5. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

St. Francis Xavier University says it has disciplined two students for climbing onto the roof of an ambulance responding to an emergency call on campus on Sept. 5.

The two are not identified and their punishment has not been made public.

Elizabeth Yeo of the university's administration stated that the students were not from MacIsaac Hall, one of the residences at the Antigonish, N.S., university.

A video taken on that night shows two men standing on top of the ambulance with a logo superimposed that said "MacIsaac, welcome to the jungle." Students are heard cheering and laughing.

The union that represents Nova Scotia paramedics called on the university to discipline the students.

The business agent for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 727 called on the students to apologize.

'It was a slap in the face'

"It was a slap in the face to the paramedics of this province who have been on the front line during this pandemic for the last 18 months," said Michael Nickerson. "It's just wrong. It's absolutely wrong."

Yeo, the vice-president of students, said the outcome could not be made public due to privacy matters, but stated "that the university has zero tolerance for such behaviour, especially when it involves disrespect to our first responders."

"From our perspective, the incident was very shocking and disrespectful to the incredible respect to which we hold all of our health-care workers," Yeo said in an interview Friday.

The message went on to remind students to be on their best behaviour this weekend, a clear attempt to try to avoid the embarrassment suffered by Dalhousie University last weekend following major street parties in the area of campus.

"As we head into what would traditionally be our Homecoming weekend we are reminded of recent incidents in the media regarding poor judgment and unacceptable behaviour by students at another university 'celebrating', Yeo said in a media release.

"As reported, students gathered by the thousands, leading to arrests by law authorities, a requirement to stay home from classes (risking academic success), and further conduct charges from the institution. What may have started as an exciting party to some, wound up as an unnecessary disaster for everyone."

Yeo went on to warn students that failing to gather in a safe manner "in accordance with provincial and local laws and our community code" could result in "significant fines" along with provisions of the university's disciplinary process.

"In fact, within the last year the university has suspended nine students from residence and/or the university altogether, in relation to violation of COVID-19 protocols," Yeo wrote.

The message from the university included a reminder on gathering limits, 25 inside and 50 outside, and ended with an appeal to be good neighbours.

Yeo said St.FX wasn't aware any mass gatherings or large parties were planned for this weekend but wanted to remind students of their responsibilities.

"We don't have any information that might suggest that that's going to happen. We are simply being proactive to send our students some reminders to really appreciate that you can socialize safely during a pandemic. You just need to be smart about it," she said in the interview.

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