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Kingston, Ontario is well known for both The Tragically Hip and some pretty raucous university parties.
Queen's University has made a name for itself as Canada’s party school, with school officials having to cancel popular homecoming celebrations for five-years at one point due to a rash of arrests.
Homecoming parties were rebooted in 2013, but the hiatus did little to calm their wild nature.
Earlier this year, a garage roof with several people gathered on it collapsed during a St. Patrick’s Day party and this past weekend Kingston police reported laying 132 charges between Sept. 1 and Sept. 6 to begin the school year.
In an effort to stamp-out public drunkenness, Queen’s is now testing the University District Safety Initiative that will levy tougher consequences during certain times of year to those openly partying on city streets.
The most noteworthy consequence will require students to answer to charges in person at a local courthouse rather than paying a fine online or by phone.
Those who host unsanctioned street parties year-round, and those who attend such events during the university’s orientation week, homecoming weekend and the days around St. Patrick’s Day will be subject to the rules of the pilot project.
The rules include having students attend an actual court date in person to pay tickets, having their names released to the school for an official misconduct process and possibly being referred to rehab.
“I have spent countless days and nights dealing with the consequences of these parties and worrying about the potential harm that can come from these activities not only to our students, but also to our neighbours, community partners, and the broader Kingston community,” said University Principal Daniel Woolf.
According to local police, the project has already resulted in more than 100 charges since Saturday.
With files from the Canadian Press.