Receiving hefty court summons from Kingston Police and bylaw officers is not how some Queen’s University students expected to start their school year.
But that’s the reality after large, illegal parties were hosted in the University District over the Labour Day long weekend.
Some of those parties, Kingston Police confirmed, ranged in attendance from 3,500 to 5,000 people at various times.
Kingston Police say 11 individuals are facing summons that hold a minimum fine of $10,000 and 35 administrative monetary penalties were issued, totaling $7,000.
Additionally, 53 fines for open liquor were given out.
The Kingston Police Association tweeted its frustration on Labour Day, saying, “Our officers have had bottles thrown at them/ been attacked and are outnumbered by 1000’s. IT IS NOT AFE OR SUSTAINABLE. The student behavior is predictable, yet everyone acts surprised.”
Students are being reminded that the University District Safety Initiative remains in effect until Sept. 19, 2021.
This enforcement is a combined effort from the city, police and Queen’s to control large parties.
“Frankly I’m appalled by the number of the behaviours that I’ve seen over the last week,” says Kingston mayor Bryan Paterson.
“It’s dangerous. It’s disrespectful to the community.”
The mayor says he has hope that the message of zero tolerance is heard, now that fines have been issued.
“We’ve handed out over $100,000 in fines over the last number of days, and we are discussing ways to further ramp up enforcement as needed.”
Queen’s University released a statement saying that the university does not condone behaviour that puts others at risk and is very concerned and disappointed.
“We know that charges from local police and city-bylaw have now been laid and we will work with our partners as they refer students to us for processing under our student code of conduct,” reads the statement by Principal Patrick Deane.
“Cases considered under the student code of conduct can face a host of sanctions up to and including expulsion.”
Police remind residents to avoid large gatherings, and say that the crowds place an inexcusable strain on resources for all community partners, whether police, by-law, paramedics, or hospital staff.