Kingston's mayor warns university students to behave at Homecoming
The mayor of Kingston, Ont., has welcomed Queen's University students back by publishing a letter that urges them to behave at Homecoming, after last year's festivities spurred dozens of arrests.
During the events that started the school season last fall,one reveller set fire to a car during a street party andpolice laid dozens of alcohol-related charges.Theout-of-control partying promptedMayor Harvey Rosen to publish an open letter of greeting in a local newspaper as students return to the university this week —and it included a warning.
"[The students] are members of the community. They owe a duty to their neighbours to behave in a responsible manner," Rosen said. "And any untoward event will impact the reputation of the university."
This year's Homecoming runs Sept. 15-17 and includes many campus activities for students and alumni, including a football game and numerous parties.
Rosen acknowledged thatonly a small minority of the estimated 6,000 in attendance at a street party in the fall of 2005 caused problems, but he's asking students to be cautious about who they invite from out of town.
Queen's officials said they're also hoping to avoid any trouble.
"[We are] making sure the disciplinary system is prepared to be responsive," said Jason Laker, the vice principal of student affairs. "Also a media campaign will be unfolding to encourage them to participate in the legitimate Homecoming activities, of which there are many."
The undergraduate student group at Queen's, which is scheduled to release its plans for Homecoming this week, said it will visit as many students as possible to let them know how important it is to get through this year's event without incident.