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    HOMECOMING 2013: Busy first weekend comes to a close

    By Communications Staff

    Hundreds of Queen's alumni returned to Kingston and to campus last weekend for the first Homecoming in five years. Dozens of official events were held throughout the city, and Kingston Police helped patrol the near-campus neighbourhood, which was busier than normal.

    "After last weekend, I remain cautiously optimistic that our next Homecoming weekend in two weeks' time will be a safe and respectful event as, for the most part, this first weekend was," says Principal Daniel Woolf. "Of course I would like to see the numbers of people in the near-campus neighbourhood and on Aberdeen Street decrease, but I have been told students and alumni were mostly respectful and responsible. I am also very appreciative of the Kingston Police and their efforts, and impressed by the Sunday morning clean-up effort, an initiative led by our students.”

    There was a large gathering in the near-campus neighbourhood on Saturday evening, though it was not of the same size, scale or tone as previous events that contributed to the cancellation of Homecoming. According to publicly available numbers, police arrested 16 people, some of whom were Queen's students and alumni, and issued 133 tickets. Those numbers were substantially lower than the incidents during the last official Homecoming in 2008. That year, 140 arrests were made and 619 tickets issued.

    The AMS' Student Maintenance and Resource Team (SMART) led Sunday's clean-up.

    Highlights of the weekend included several Gaels athletic events (among them a nail-biting football win over the Laurier Golden Hawks), the 25th reunion celebration for the class of 1988, and the 125th anniversary of the Department of English.

    "Hundreds of Queen's staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to deliver an unforgettable experience to our returning alumni, and there's not much time to rest, as they now turn to preparing for our second Homecoming weekend," says Vice-Principal Tom Harris. "We've also heard from our community partners that the returning alumni had a very positive economic impact on the city."

    Classes celebrating their 10th, 20th, 30th, and 40th reunions will return to Kingston on October 18, along with the Tricolour Guard, made up of alumni marking their 50th and greater reunions.

    Queen's will continue to work with our partners, including the Kingston Police, students and city councillors, as we prepare for the next Homecoming weekend. For more information on Homecoming, visit the website.