Aberdeen draws smaller crowds

WEB UPDATE: Police clear the annnual street party by 1 a.m.

Queen’s second Fauxcoming started with rumors of a party on Kingston Field.

The Facebook group ‘Queen’s Homecoming 2010,’ announced the location of a previously secret location at 7 p.m. last night. The group boasted almost 6,000 members, but at 9:07 p.m., when the group was supposed to descend onto the field, only a small number of students showed up.

Geoff Hoy, Sci ’14, said he went to Kingston Field as an alternative to the traditional Aberdeen Street party.

“I came here for the atmosphere … because Aberdeen is crowded with police.” he said. “I want to keep the spirit of Queen’s alive a little bit. Being a part of [Homecoming] makes you feel a part of Queen’s.”

Despite the small turn out at Kingston Field, Kingston Police came out in force.

Inspector Brian Fleming said police were at Kingston Field to ensure security.

“The only reason we’re down here is because this is university property,” he said. “The crowd dictates how long we stay. We want to make sure everybody’s safe.”

David Patterson, director of Campus Security, said he was working with police at Kingston Field.

“We made sure our staff came down so we could ensure the safety of our students and the Queen’s community,” he said. “It was a very small gathering of people.”

Early on in the night, AMS Vice-President (Operations) Ben Hartley said he wanted a calm Fauxcoming celebration.

“The important thing is a quiet night,” he said.

As in previous years, the Aberdeen Street party was a hub for partying. It peaked in numbers at around 11:30 p.m. Students and alumni crowded front lawns while police patrolled the street.

Journal reporters estimate that at its highest point, the Aberdeen Street party had about 1200 people.

Alumnus Eric Tremblay, ArtSci ’92, said he has attended the Aberdeen Street party for the last four years.

“I think it’s kind of a spectacle. I’m very interested in seeing how the crowd and police behave. It’s almost tame this year … pretty controlled,” he said. “People are moving a lot more … nobody is congregating.

“Queen’s cancelled Homecoming for two years. You can’t cancel Homecoming. I don’t know what they’ll do next year. I’m hoping they put it back.”

Journal reporters estimate there were approximately 100 to 150 police officers on the street at the party’s peak. Officers from Kingston Police, Durham Region Police, Toronto Police, and Ontario Provincial Police, were brought in to control numbers and rowdiness on Aberdeen Street.

Kingston Resident Brian Leiter said he disapproves of the Aberdeen Street party.

“I’m just out for a walk with my family. This [Aberdeen] is terrible,” he said. “These kids just want to come out in public and drink and ignore the law. It’s not right. They’re breaking all sorts of laws.”

Mark Desjardins, Constable with Toronto Police Public Order Unit, said police aimed to ensure safety at this year’s Fauxcoming.

“We’re here as more of a precaution,” he said. “If something happens and we’re not there it’s worse.”

Reporters saw a number of arrests and tickets, but official numbers have yet to be released.

By 1 a.m., Aberdeen Street was mostly empty, bringing an end to Fauxcoming 2010.

-With files from Terra-Ann Arnone, Jake Edminston and Andrew Stokes

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