'This isn't who we are': UOttawa students association apologizes for Panda Game party damage in Sandy Hill
Hundreds of people take over a Sandy Hill street to celebrate following the Panda Game in Ottawa. (Aaron Reid/CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- The University of Ottawa Students' Union is promising to work with the Sandy Hill community, the university and municipal leaders to find solutions for future Panda Game events following last weekend's street party in Sandy Hill.
In a statement six days after the massive gathering caused damage to the neighbourhood, the association representing undergraduate students at uOttawa also apologized for the damage caused by the incidents near the campus.
Approximately 2,000 people attended a street party on Russell Avenue late Saturday night, hours after the uOttawa Gee-Gees beat the Carleton Ravens in the annual Panda Game at TD Place. During the party, revellers flipped a vehicle upside down, property was damaged and at least one person was assaulted.
Seven people were treated by paramedics during the incidents.
"To the extent that uOttawa students were involved, we regret the damage caused to the residents of Russell Avenue and the Sandy Hill community," said the University of Ottawa Students' Union in a statement on Twitter.
"This should not have happened, and we are sorry that it did – this isn't who we are."
On Thursday, Ottawa police announced three people were charged with mischief in connection to the incident, and issued 18 new images of people they want to speak to as part of the investigation.
"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," said UOSU.
"Many of these solutions already exist and have worked in the past."
Thousands of people attended a pre-game tailgate party at the Sandy Hill Arena before fans travelled over to TD Place.
On Monday, Coun. Mathieu Fleury suggested the schools consider a one-year suspension of the Panda Game following the problems in Sandy Hill last weekend. Fleury said some residents asked for the game to be cancelled because of vandalism they face.
The student association says 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," said UOSU.
The University of Ottawa is covering the $200,000 cost of police enforcement before and after the Panda Game.
In a statement on Twitter, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees expressed support to the UOSU executive committee's statement about the incidents in Sandy Hill.