‘Reckless and destructive’: Ontario university responds to gathering of several thousand students​

TORONTO — McMaster University has issued a statement in response to a large gathering of students over the weekend attending an event dubbed ‘Fake Homecoming,’ or ‘FOCO.’

McMaster Vice-Chancellor David Farrar says that “several thousand” students attended and that the event saw the “disruption [and] disrespect of property.”

Farrar underlined that McMaster chose not to hold any official homecoming events this year and that “the vast majority of our students chose not to be part of the gathering.”

“Those who did, and especially those who chose to be reckless and destructive, put themselves and others at risk,” he said in a statement from the institution.

Hamilton City Councillor for Ward 1, Maureen Wilson, took to social media to address the gatherings.

“This is unacceptable [and] dangerous. Someone is going to get killed,” wrote Wilson on Twitter Saturday evening.

“[It’s] Past time for [McMaster University] to own this annual community debacle. Let’s send them the bill for all policing, paramedic and clean-up costs. Mac President — get your house in order and stop trashing ours.”

Farrar has offered an apology on behalf of McMaster students.

“On their behalf, I apologize for this behaviour, particularly by those who caused damage and put anyone at risk. Such actions are completely unacceptable.”

He says that McMaster will cooperate in full with Hamilton Regional Police’s investigation and that the school will “will use the Student Code of Conduct to sanction students who violated the Code’s tenets of behaviour.”

CTV News Toronto has reached out to Hamilton police for a statement on the incident, but has yet to receive a response. 

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