In the wake of a social media outpouring of emotion towards rioters and looters, a UBC student stepped forward and confessed.
“I am not proud of my actions and have made a visit to the Vancouver Police Department over the weekend to turn myself in,” wrote Camille Cacnio in a blog post published on Sunday.
The biology student was caught on video, walking out of Black and Lee Tuxedos with two pairs of size 42 men’s dress pants. She was identified through photos on social media which were displayed on numerous sites set up to shame those who participated in last week’s riots.
Although other UBC students have also been accused online of participating in the riots, as of Monday, Cacnio is the only student who has come forward.
“On any regular day I would not condone looting. However, at the time of the riot everything just seemed so right,” she tried to explain.
Included in her post were apologies to both the UBC Faculty of Science and the UBC Rowing team, which she was a part of until last semester.
However, she argued that her only crime was theft, a minor crime compared to the arson and vandalism that also took place during the riots. In her 3500 word post, which alternated between apologetic and accusatory, Cacnio pointed a finger at her attackers in social media, saying they were part of a ‘mob mentality’ themselves.
“To me this sounds like people are trying to retaliate by yet another form of mobbing. The thing about this form of mob mentality that astounds me is that, this time, they’re doing it sober.”
She also bemoaned the racist and sexist nature of many of the comments that had appeared online, asking people to have sympathy on other young people who became targets on the internet.
Cacnio said she was fired from her part-time job as a receptionist at Burrard Acura, which received numerous complaints regarding her actions.
The university, however, will not be taking any disciplinary action towards Cacnio or any other UBC students who were found to be involved in the post-game chaos.
“We let the police and the courts determine discipline in events like this,” said Scott Macrae, the director of UBC Public Affairs.
“University discipline really refers to the university community, its members and its property, not to something that is outside of that.”
Macrae went on to say that it is inevitable that there will be UBC students who have criminal records and, beyond what the courts decide, they shouldn’t be further censured for their actions.