Queen’s University homecoming has begun, bringing thousands of alumni on campus for a weekend reunion.
In the past, homecoming has seen excessive partying, arrests and vandalism, requiring the City of Kingston, and police, to invest in additional policing methods.
Kingston Police said on Thursday they will deploy 110 frontline officers and will utilize the nuisance party bylaw for the second year.
Essentially, if someone is fined under this bylaw, they will not have the option to pay for the ticket online or on the phone; instead, they’re required to appear in court, whether they are from Kingston or not.
On Friday, hundreds of alumni and current students waited outside Clark Hall pub to begin the weekend festivities. Global News spoke to the operations manager for the pub, Graham Swabrick, minutes before he opened the doors, and he explained that this weekend takes months of preparation.
“Last year, I was bar staff, and now I’m overseeing the pub, so I wanted to start preparing in the summer so we could provide the most fun and safe experience for alumni,” said Swabrick.
He continued to say that each staff member has gone through extensive intoxication training ahead of the homecoming, and the pub will have additional security throughout the weekend. But the one change that Swabrick believes will make the most significant difference is the no shots rule.
“We know there is going to be huge crowds; we already have hundreds of people outside ready to go. We wanted them to enjoy their time here rather than trying to get drunk quickly,” said Swabrick.
The student-run pub, deemed the oldest of its kind in Canada, allows for 150 people inside and 400 outside on the patio, and they circulate the occupants every few hours. Swabrick told Global News that he expects upwards of 4,000 former and current students to walk through the doors over the weekend.