Roughly 8,000 students of the Queen’s University congregated in Kingston’s Aberdeen Street a few days back and held an unsanctioned homecoming party. Police reports reveal that the unauthorized gathering began in the University District at around 2:30 PM. Unfortunately, the number of students participating in the same became so great that the crowd spilled over to the nearby William Street just after a couple of hours.
Responding officers were soon deployed to the areas where the students assembled because the event was officially tagged as an “aggravated nuisance party” and violated specific health-related protocols established to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition, an officer was also announced to be injured when some students began throwing things to prevent the assembly from being dispersed.
It was also reported that the unsanctioned homecoming party went on until the wee hours of the morning. Videos showing hundreds of people congregating in Victoria Park at around 1 AM surfaced on social media last Sunday.
To curb the spread of COVID-19 infection in the province, Ontario put up health guidelines limiting the number of people attending outdoor gatherings to 100 and 25 for those held indoors. Kingston also has a bylaw that organizers of an aggravated nuisance party may be slapped with a $10,000 fine, while those participating in it are liable to be fined $2,000.
The following Sunday, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane condemned the unauthorized gathering and described it as “reckless behaviour of some students and individuals.” He emphasized that “thousands of people gathered throughout the day and night, ignoring the law and showing little or no respect or care for others.”
“In these precarious times when the future is still uncertain, and the good health of our community remains at risk, I ask that you think about the impact of your actions, and you hold one another accountable,” Deane urged.