31st Oct, 2020

Security beefed up after 'illegal' gathering of up to 200 students at Coventry University halls of residence

Editorial Correspondent 30th Sep, 2020 Updated: 1st Oct, 2020

SECURITY has been stepped up at a university halls of residence in Coventry after hundreds of students were filmed dancing on top of ping pong tables and singing along to a grime song.

Around 200 students are understood to have packed into a common room for a mass party at Arundel House, a two minutes’ walk from Coventry University’s main campus, in the early hours of Tuesday morning in an apparent breach of Covid-19 rules.

Mobile phone footage of the rave entitled ‘no sleep in the C.O.V’ shows students singing, dancing and waving their phones in the air to British drill star Digga D’s ‘Woi’  – ignoring social distancing guidelines and the rule of six. It emerged as thousands of students across the UK are having to self-isolate due to Covid-19 outbreaks at student accommodation blocks, including Manchester Metropolitan Glasgow University and Queen’s University Belfast.

Coventry University is “deeply concerned by the scenes in the video” saying all students have been issued with a code of conduct and if any students were found to be in breach of this “appropriate action” will be taken.

West Midlands Police said: “We attended Arundel House yesterday (Tuesday September 29) following reports of a large gathering of students in the early hours of this morning. It is believed around 200 people may have been present in a common room.

“We will be examining CCTV and will take action if evidence comes to light that this was a planned party.

“We have liaised with management at the student accommodation block and they have agreed to close some communal areas and to increase security.

“We have also arranged a Safer Students stall in Arundel House  to reiterate Covid-19 regulations and the consequences should those regulations be flouted.”

A spokesperson for Coventry University said: “We are aware of an incident in a private accommodation block which was captured in a video that has been shared online.

“We are deeply concerned by the scenes in the video and strongly condemn the blatant breaches of the rule of six and other guidelines as they risk the health of our students, colleagues and the communities in which we are located.

“We have introduced a code of conduct for students and shared this widely with them ahead of the weekend. This code of conduct makes it clear that a failure to follow university and Government health, safety and wellbeing requirements will constitute a breach of the university’s disciplinary regulations and may be dealt with as a matter of misconduct. If any of those involved in the video are found to be students of Coventry University and in breach of the code of conduct, we will take appropriate action.

“The vast majority of our students are sensible adults and are taking coronavirus very seriously. Many of them are from the communities in which our campuses are based and want to protect themselves, their friends and loved ones. Hundreds of our students on health courses worked in NHS wards and ambulances during the peak of the pandemic.

“Across our five campuses, we have put in place safety measures in line with government advice and we are in constant dialogue with local public health officials and other agencies and universities. We are regularly messaging our colleagues and students to reinforce the importance of following all the rules and laws designed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we have student ambassadors in key places on campus to remind those who forget to comply with social distancing or face coverings. We are also actively encouraging the use of the NHS Covid-19 app to assist our existing track and trace process.”

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