queens homecoming 2019

The homecoming party at Queen's University was totally out of control

One of Canada's most notoriously wild university celebrations went off this weekend... well, pretty much exactly as you might have expected it to, if you know anything about Queen's.

The Kingston, ON, post-secondary school is well-known for its raucous homecoming festivities, which see students and alumni (mostly students, let's be honest) take to the streets by the thousands to get wasted all weekend.

More wholesome things happen too, of course — a football game, a giant pumpkin drop and a cute halftime parade among them — but it often seems to be some kind of drunken debauchery that makes headlines come Monday morning.

Last year, multiple people were injured during an unsanctioned street party. The year before that, a woman was caught on camera slapping a police horse. She and two other revelers were subsequently charged.

For 2019, we have the emergence of a viral video in which someone can be seen physically fighting a police officer before running away as bystanders cheer.

"There's no justification for assaulting an officer in the legal execution of their duties," wrote Kingston Police Sgt. Steve Koopman of the video on Sunday.

"Go to court later if you disagree," he continued. "This is a criminal offence and will be treated as such."

Another Kingston Police officer, Cst. Harry Brewer, lamented that nobody had even tried to help the officer while she was being attacked.

"All too busy taking video and laughing I guess," he wrote, inspiring dozens of replies from disappointed and angry Kingston residents.

"This kinda crap is disgraceful," wrote one. "It makes Queen's look bad and Kingston. Not to mention all those people watching an officer being assaulted... People are so horrible. Especially in large groups."

The video, which originally surfaced on Snapchat, has been seen hundreds of thousands of times across all of the social media accounts that have reposted it.

Sadly for police and paramedics, that fight was just one of many unlawful things to take place over homecoming weekend at Queen's this year.

More than 110 police officers were reportedly called in to manage what was declared as a "Nuisance Party" on Saturday. City of Kingston dump trucks were used as barricades along Aberdeen Street, but students could still be seen throughout the area drinking on sidewalks, roads and roofs.

Police encouraged all residents without a "lawful purpose" to be in the area to avoid it.

Local paramedics reported around 4 p.m. on Saturday that they were "extremely busy" dealing with intoxicated patients in the Queen's University District.

Videos posted to Instagram show at least two men performing dangerous stunts — one, a failed backflip off a truck, the other, a failed attempt to jump from one house roof to another.

Cst. Brewer shared photos of a destroyed Red Bull van, saying that its condition was the result of the energy drink brand running out of free product.

Members of the Queen's community were quick to point out that not all students were involved in the unauthorized street parties.

A small group of student government representatives actually woke up early to clean up after their peers, filling 50 garbage bags by 8 a.m. on Sunday.

"It's an easy target to say 'oh Queen's students; so disrespectful and messy'," wrote Queen's Volunteer Relations Officer Kathryn Vilela on Twitter Saturday evening.

"Okay, some of them sometimes," she continued. "But I worked with 100+ student volunteers this weekend that blew me away with their warmth to alumni and their commitment to making this weekend amazing."

Lead photo by

Sgt. Steve Koopman


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