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Project LEARN wraps up after month-long check-ups on Fleming Dr.

Margaret Sheridan | Interrobang | News | October 1st, 2007

On September 29 Project LEARN came to a close for the term, but that does not mean the police will stop patrolling student-housing areas.

The initiative, formally known as Project Speakeasy, was created to help London Police Services, UWO and Fanshawe College work together in making the student populated residential housing near the college livable for local residents.

Fanshawe made headlines during the beginning of September after a student party on Fleming Dr., a predominantly student area, got out of hand with reports of the guests numbering anywhere from 200-500 people. As a result of a scuffle between guests and the police, three students were charged and one ended up being tasered.

“If I can get a message out to all the students,” said FSU President, Travis Mazereeuw. “I don't want to pinpoint just one bunch, it's not just four people who started the problem there was hundreds of people there.

“Its not up to the student union or the college to monitor any student outside the campus. Our services are open to all student at all times, so if they are concerned or they have some issues then we're always there.”

But Constable Amy Phillipo, London Police Services Public Information Officer, wants to stress that though the program may have ended that doesn't mean that students now have free rein.

“Our patrol in those areas will be same as usual,” said Phillipo. “[If] we receive calls from citizens we'll respond as usual. If there [are] further problems in areas identified, the Community Oriented Response Unit [COR Unit] will deal with those problems as they arise.”

Project LEARN hasn't been completely put to bed until next September, in fact next spring the students will see it targeting the areas surrounding the college once more.

“The project will start up again in April 2008 for that month,” Phillipo explained.

And as for whether or not it was a success Phillipo could only say that “the stats for tickets laid, I have been told are consistent of what was laid last year.”

“I think it's always going to be the same whether you have police presence of not,” continued Mazereeuw. “I think it may have deterred some students from heavy partying, but all-in-all students like to party, and that's what they're going to do.”
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