Last updated: Sept. 10 at 7:18 p.m.
While driving down University Ave. Tuesday night, a woman reported that a large group of Queen’s students swarmed and rocked her vehicle.
The students — whom the women identified as from Queen’s by their clothing — caused roughly $800 of damages, as the spoiler was ripped off the car.
After hearing of the incident, Queen’s student Max Moroz, Sci ’13, set up a Tilt fundraising page, on behalf of the Queen’s community, in order to pay for the damages. As of 7:18 p.m. on Sept. 10, the fund had raised $865.
Speaking to The Journal via Facebook, Moroz said that he isn’t seeking attention for the good deed, but instead he thinks it’s important “to maintain good relations with the city and not be irresponsible.”
He added that “there just really isn’t a reason for being destructive and rude to anyone. However, Moroz maintains that the more spirited aspects of Queen’s aren’t to blame.
Sunday night: a bottle is thrown at a police cruiser
Kingston Police shut down University Ave. on Sept. 6, after at least one beer bottle was thrown in the direction of police, according to a Kingston Police press release.
The report states that at approximately 11:30 p.m., patrol officers were driving through the crowd when the bottle was thrown, striking the hood of a marked cruiser.
Due to the size of the crowd, estimated to be as large as 2,000 people, police officers couldn’t clear people from the streets or make any arrests due to safety concerns. Instead, the street was contained and access was shut off for one block from William St. to the south and Johnson St. to the north.
At least eight uniform patrol officers — normally available for regular calls for service, including 9-1-1 dispatches — were re-assigned to contain the street party.
According to Steve Koopman, media relations officer for the Kingston Police, the bottle-throwing was “a relatively isolated incident”. He called majority of the students and partygoers relatively calm otherwise.
However, he admitted that the large crowds were relatively unexpected, not having such incidences in prior years on the Labour Day weekend.
“We had to pull I think seven constables and one patrol sergeant away from regular calls for service,” he explained. “That did affect response times, and even potentially 9-1-1 calls, just so we could do containment for University Ave.”
No charges or arrests were made in relation to events on Sunday night, according to the police report.
After the incident, many took to social media to express their discontent with the partygoers.
According to AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner, Matt Kussin, students in the Queen’s community have condemned the actions of the few offenders.
“Students are taking it upon themselves, and realizing that this isn’t something that we can do. There is a lot at stake,” Kussin, ArtSci ’15, said. “We, as students, realize that it’s unacceptable – and we’re all, within our own student body, trying to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Other students took to the streets the next morning in an attempt to restore community relations.
Taylor MacPherson, ConEd ’15, woke up Monday morning to social media posts about the incident and decided to take matters into our own hands. She spent over two hours on University St. that morning cleaning up the debris of broken beer bottles and cans.
“What happened last night wasn’t a good representation of our university, and I wanted to do what I can to change the narrative,” she said.
Monday night: the crowds return
However, the following night, much of the work to clean up the University District was reversed, as Kingston Police were summoned back to the University District beginning around 10:30 p.m. The streets again overflowed with students; however this time police were on the scene early in order to maintain control.
“The main priority was simply to keep the peace, make sure public safety was a priority, and just to keep the sidewalks and streets clear,” Koopman said with regards to Monday night.
Several alcohol-related tickets were issued along with warnings and only one arrest for public intoxication. Otherwise Koopman said partygoers on Monday were generally compliant with the requests of CORE (Community Oriented Response and Enforcement) and Street Crime Units.
“The students, and anyone that was in and around the University District, for the most part were very respectful for the officers,” he said.
Tuesday night: hundreds of students gather at the pier
Tuesday night saw more of the same situation, as Kingston Police were called back to the University area.
Two individuals were taken to hospital for intoxication over the course of the night, and a single student was arrested following a fight around 1 a.m.
At around 11:20 p.m., a separate incident was called into Kingston Police, reporting hundreds of Queen’s students on the pier and in Lake Ontario. Due to concerns of intoxicated students jumping into the water, eight officers were assigned to clear the area throughout the night.
Thursday: Principal Woolf sends an email to all students about the “disturbing and unacceptable behaviour in the near-campus neighbourhood”
In his email, Principal Woolf called the recent incidents “an embarrassment to both our student body, the university as a whole, and the city of Kingston.”
He issued a warning to any individuals involved in the incidents. If identified, he wrote, they will be “referred to the appropriate bodies, whether it be the Kingston Police or the non-academic discipline system.”
Woolf also expressed his concern for student safety near the pier, where students were reported to have jumped off while drinking alcohol.
“No one wants to see the tragic alcohol-related events of 2010 repeated,” Woolf wrote.
The email proceeded to warn students that if this behaviour continues, discussions of Homecoming will be negatively affected. The event was brought back in 2013 after a five-year ban.
“I ask that you do not put me in that position; it will only hurt you, your fellow students, and our alumni.”
Over the next few days, we have the chance to turn our actions around. Remember to take care of yourselves, take care of your friends, and take care of your home.
Posted by Alma Mater Society on Thursday, September 10, 2015
Frosh Week, street party, University District
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