The student-created event, FOCO, aka Fake Homecoming, celebrates its 2nd year this Saturday. Students are undoubtedly excited, but the University is not.
Western University’s administration sent out an email to all Western students reminding them that the unsanctioned event is in no way being endorsed by the University, and that students are strongly discouraged to attend. Despite the University’s continued attempts to deter students, an estimated ten thousand people will be in attendance, according to certain Facebook events. That is almost a third of the Western student population.
In the email, President of the University, Amit Chakma, told students that participating in the festivities goes against Western values and that the school may hold students accountable for actions and behaviours displayed off campus. It reads, “Western’s Code of Student Conduct can apply to certain off-campus behaviour and Western is prepared to review any incidents arising from this event to determine whether to pursue sanctions under the Code… We strongly advise students refrain from attending the Broughdale event. Those taking part in this unsanctioned event bear full personal responsibility for their actions.”
Many students dismiss the email, “It’s nothing more than a scare tactic,” says one student.
The email continues, “University is a time of learning, including what it means to be a good citizen in a community. Taking part in an event which may constitute blocking a public road and jeopardizing safety is totally contrary to what is expected of Western students.”
The administration at Western University uses passive threats and patronizing language as a “friendly” reminder for students not to partake in the festivities. Many students are frustrated with the University’s decision to move Homecoming to a later date back when the decision came down in May of 2016. In addition, the University was very blatant on why they made the decision. An article from the Gazette reports, “The University is hoping that by moving Homecoming to a later time in October, Western students and students coming from other universities will be busy with academics including assignments and midterms which will discourage them from attending the ‘unsanctioned’ festivities. The colder weather in October was also cited as a disincentive for people to attend a street party. ”
Alternatively, the USC released a statement yesterday regarding the upcoming FOCO parties. See image below.
One thing is certain, the University’s attempts to deter students from attending tomorrow’s festivities have left a sour taste in students’ mouths. Undoubtedly, students will be on Broughdale in full force tomorrow. London Police Services have expressed that they will maintain a strong presence and assure patrons they will “have a strict, but fair approach.” According to police spokesperson, Const. Sandasha Bough.