HomeNewsIsland & CoastNanaimo’s VIU offers response to protest encampment 

Nanaimo’s VIU offers response to protest encampment 

After five days of protest, Vancouver Island University says the demonstrators aren’t acting with malice towards the school. 

The protest began last month and the encampment just outside the cafeteria has grown, and according to a social media post from the organizers, it has also grown in popularity. 

The university issued a statement on Sunday in an update to students starting summer studies today, by saying they [VIU] will continue to provide a safe environment for everyone who attends the school and for visitors. 

“As we prepare for the start of the summer semester, we wanted to remind our campus community that VIU remains open and safe,” they say. “The demonstration on the Nanaimo campus continues to evolve but remains peaceful and calm.” 

The school adds they will continue to support students while it [protest] is going on, if it doesn’t interfere with the daily function of staff and students. 

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“We expect all activities on campus to stay within the parameters of university policies and the law,” they say. “Protests must not disrupt university operations or interfere with students and employees.” 

The response from the school comes after a letter from VIU’s security facilities services manager Mark Egan handed the protestors a letter last week outlining several consequences the protestors could face if they don’t vacate the premises.  

In the letter, Egan stated demonstrations of this kind could pose significant risks for students and staff in the academic community.  

“Such activities create significant health and safety risks for members in our community,” he said in the letter. 

The protest group said in a social media post they’re just wanting to open a chain of dialogue with the school and exercise their student rights. 

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