Calgary students defer finals after tragedy

More than 1,000 push exams to June

CALGARY – One thousand students have elected to defer their final exams at the University of Calgary in the wake of the death of five young people at a Calgary house party.

The party was being held to mark the end of classes when Zackariah Rathwell, Jordan Segura, Kaiti Perras, Josh Hunter and Lawrence Hong were stabbed to death by another party-goer.

Three of the victims were students at the University of Calgary and the school made it clear that final exams could be deferred for those affected by the tragedy.

University registrar David Johnston says on a normal year about 500 students will request a deferral of finals but the number has now reached 1,000.

“It’s about twice of what we would normally see. We’re not asking any questions, no documentation is needed,” said university registrar David Johnston.

“We’re really trying to help students stay well but complete the semester.”

Johnston said with a few days left before the deadline the number will likely go higher but he’s not worried about some students taking advantage.

“There is that possibility but we’re more interested in the wellness of the students who have been affected and people are affected in ways that sometimes they don’t know until they sit down and write the exam,” he said.

“It’s more important we serve those who are affected than a few students who might take advantage of it.”

The university has added two extra alternate exam dates with the latest allowing finals to be taken between June 23 and 25.

Johnston said the high number of those seeking a delay isn’t a surprise.

“These were very popular students. They were very involved in campus and we’re a big university but a small community,” Johnston said.

“It was a devastating event last week and people are still coming to grips with it.”

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