Police break up social gathering at Hillhead
University threatens further breaches with threat of expulsion
By: Olivia Salisbury
Photograph: courtesy of AJN
Police intervention was required following a deliberate breach of COVID-19 restrictions involving a social gathering at Hillhead at 12.30 am on Saturday 30 January.
A Police Scotland spokesperson told the Gaudie that officers “attended the report of a COVID-19 breach at Hillhead Halls…advice was given and no Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) were issued”.
They added: “The matter is to be dealt with internally by the University authorities.”
On being approached for comment, a University of Aberdeen spokesperson said: “The University of Aberdeen takes its responsibility to our staff and students and the wider community extremely seriously”.
The University said it was “liaising closely” with the police to “ensure that this behaviour is not repeated”, adding: “breaches of this nature will not be tolerated”.
A letter sent out from the University to Hillhead residents emphasised the expectation of students to comply with the Scottish Government’s guidance as well as the University’s own COVID pledge.
The University’s response to this incident indicates a harsh line will be taken with further breaches, as the letter also outlines the possibility of increased disciplinary measures.
Until now, students breaking rules have mostly been issued fines, however, as part of the disciplinary code, rule breakers of this nature may now face a University disciplinary committee.
For serious breaches, this process can result in temporary suspension from the University, expulsion from University halls or even permanent exclusion from the University.
Photograph: VP Communities
Stating that “Punishing and issuing fines is not working”, AUSA’s Vice President for Communities Radeen Moncrieffe, said the University “should understand why students are breaking rules”.
He also expressed the importance of “the need to work on those issues with students…not reprimanding them”.
However, the Students’ Association said that several students had expressed feeling unsafe “because of others who have no regard for the rules”, and that as such: “Those putting others in danger should be put through the University’s disciplinary procedure”.