Dalhousie University issues safety bulletin after drinks spiked at party

Dalhousie University issued a security bulletin to students Friday after receiving multiple reports from students alleging they were served alcoholic drinks spiked with an unknown substance.

University says it received multiple reports of spiked drinks at an off-campus event

Dalhousie University says it received reports from four students who were allegedly served drinks spiked with an unknown substance at an organized off-campus event. (CBC)

Dalhousie University issued a security bulletin to students Friday after receiving multiple reports from students alleging they were served alcoholic drinks spiked with an unknown substance.

The university declined to state where and when the party was held, only describing it as an "organized off-campus party."

"I think it's surprising how much it happens, I hear about it a lot, especially at off-campus parties. It doesn't seem to happen as much on campus," said first-year Dal student Jack Lewis.

Four student reports

First-year student Olivia Malley says she is quickly learning how to watch out for herself and her friends at parties.

"When you're drinking, you're so vulnerable, you're not paying attention, you're really focused on everything else because of the atmosphere. Sadly, it's easy prey for people that take advantage of others," she said.

According to the bulletin, four students reported being served the spiked drinks and the university urged students to be "pro-social bystanders" and look out for one another while drinking at parties.

Safety tips

The email offered safety tips to students on how to be vigilant at parties, saying to never leave drinks unattended, pour their own drinks and never drink anything they didn't see being made. 

"It's about being responsible for yourself, your friends, and even people you don't know. Everyone has to play their part," said first-year student Mhairin Ratushny, who says parties and drinking are common at her residence.

"If you know you're going out to a party you should be aware of who you're with, where you're going and always keep an eye on your drink," said Ratushny's roommate, fellow first-year student Jessica Sidel.

The bulletin advised students to use Dalhousie programs like DalSAFE's Mobile Blue Light feature (a personal safety services app) when walking alone at night, or Tiger Patrol, the free shuttle service for students.