Kingston, Ont. – The principal of Queen’s University is condemning the “reckless behavior of some students and individuals” after thousands of people packed the University District in Kingston, Ont. For the homecoming ceremony.
Residential streets near the Queen’s University campus filled with unrestricted gatherings on Saturday afternoon and evening, with another large gathering reported in a city park on Sunday morning.
Kingston Police, assisted by the Ontario Provincial Police Riot Squad and Durham Regional Police, twice went on Saturday to declare a “raised nuisance party” to drive students out of the streets and homes. A police officer was injured after beer cans and water bottles were hurled at the police on Saturday afternoon.
Queen’s Principal and Vice Chancellor Patrick Dean said: “The past twenty-four hours have seen our community seriously disrupted by the reckless behavior of some of our students as well as other individuals.” in a statement on Sunday morning.
“Thousands of people gathered day and night, ignoring the law and showing little or no respect or care for others.”
Kingston Police first reported the formation of large gatherings on Aberdeen Street after 1 p.m. Less than 90 minutes later, around 8,000 people were in the area as police monitored the celebration.
On Saturday afternoon, police declared Aberdeen Street and William Street an “enhanced nuisance party” under the mayor’s emergency order, allowing authorities to issue $2,000 fines to people attending and hosting parties. Dozens of officers from the Kingston Police Service, Durham Regional Police and Ontario Provincial Police stood in the streets to evacuate people from residential areas.
Homecoming celebrations without permission continued until Saturday evening, with police announcing a second “excited nuisance party” in the area of University Avenue and Johnson Street just before 11 p.m.
Kingston Police posted a video on Twitter shortly before 2 p.m. showing hundreds of people in Victoria Park.
Police told Granthshala News Ottawa on Saturday evening that some arrests had been made, but no other details were available.
“Today we will assess the damage done to our campus and surrounding areas, work with student volunteers to clean up and speak to the city and local police,” the dean said.
“We know the past few years have been a struggle for young people, but such behavior is dangerous, irresponsible and ultimately unforgivable.”
The Kingston Police Association condemned the homecoming incidents in the University District in a statement on Twitter.
“This behavior and utter disregard for public safety is appalling. Our members and police colleagues are working round the clock,” the statement said.
Granthshala News has reached out to Ottawa Kingston Police to see if any charges or fines were issued in relation to the homecoming ceremony.