News in brief

Queen’s to pay city for Homecoming

This may be the last year Queen’s pays the City of Kingston for costs incurred during Homecoming, Principal Tom Williams said.

“I can’t give a definitive answer, but there is a high probability,” Williams said.

Queen’s will make a payment to the City in an amount similar to last year, Williams said.

“It will be decided in the next month after we’ve found out what the costs will be and spoken with the police department,” he said. “It will be based largely on past precedent.”

Williams said one of the reasons for this decision is the growth of the Aberdeen Street party and the attendance by non-Queen’s students.

“The original premise was that Aberdeen was largely a Queen’s oriented phenomenon. Trying to contain something on Aberdeen is not possible,” he said. “Some students have no school affiliation.”

Williams said the decision will be based on a need to find a new way to deal with Homecoming.

“We need a totally new strategy,” he said. “I think we’ll make a decision what to do about Homecoming in co-operation with all the stakeholders—one of which is the city.”

Homecoming weekend cost the Kingston police approximately $257,000 in 2007. In December 2007, Queen’s made a payment of $175,000 to the police.

“I think whatever decision is made will be for next year. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will last forever,” Williams said.

Mark Gerretsen, Portsmouth District councillor, said a Queen’s decision to stop contributing to the City’s Homecoming costs would be disappointing.

“It would be taking a step backwards,” he said.

—Clare Clancy

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