Homecoming returns to Aberdeen

Notorious street party subdued by police presence during first Homecoming in five years

Police tried to keep partygoers off the sidewalks throughout the night.
Police tried to keep partygoers off the sidewalks throughout the night.

Kingston police were out in full force Saturday night, deploying up to 80 officers on Aberdeen St. and the surrounding area.

Officers, who were seen driving a paddy wagon around the Student Ghetto, arrested 10 students for public intoxication and disrupting public peace by 12:30 a.m., out of approximately 700 traversing the area.

A female student, who was hit with a beer bottle near Johnson and Aberdeen Streets, was taken away by an ambulance at around midnight.

For the first official Homecoming since 2008, Aberdeen St. was visibly calmer, given the heavy police presence, alumni said.

Kingston police attempted to keep students off the sidewalk and big crowds moving, while patrolling social media to prevent potential misconduct.

In 2008, 138 arrests were made over the weekend, 105 of which were made on Saturday night.

"We let you guys take it one year ... that was a very bad choice,” an on-duty police officer told a student on Aberdeen St.

By 1 a.m., most party-goers had dispersed from Aberdeen St.

The night, though, wasn’t without hiccups.

Kingston Fire and Rescue shut down a house party at 39 Aberdeen St., because of too many people populating the house’s front balcony.

Students were also seen vomiting, breaking beer bottles and lighting fireworks along the street.

“It’s controlled chaos right now,” Mike Lief, ArtSci ’98, said. “[But] it’s very tame this year, and I hope it’s because people know they will lose [Homecoming] if it gets out of hand.”

A first-year student, who requested to remain anonymous, was told to pour out his drink at approximately 9 p.m. after a police officer identified him crossing University Ave. with liquor.

The officer, though, didn’t ticket the underage student, who lied to the officer about not possessing ID.

“I feel like I should be able to cross the street holding a drink,” the student said.

Pierre Landry, who met his wife at Homecoming in 2006, didn’t see any particular difference in student behaviour this year.

“It’s just typical,” Landry, ArtSci ’06, said.

He added, though, that the tradition is significantly safer than previous years

“I was [here] in 2008, and [this year] was probably the safest Homecoming that I’d seen.”

For the full story, see Tuesday’s digital issue of the Journal.

- With files from Olivia Bowden and Abby Andrew

[View the story "Homecoming 2013 recap" on Storify]

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