Brawls cancel Canadian college homecoming

Nov. 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM
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KINGSTON, Ontario, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Fall homecoming festivities at Canada's Queen's University in Ontario have been canceled for two years because of violent and rowdy behavior this year.

Principal and vice chancellor Tom Williams said the school in Kingston, 300 miles east of Toronto, would continue the tradition of a football game, but that alumni reunions would be moved from September to May, the Toronto Star reported.

Williams said the last straw was a beating in a restaurant in September that left a man comatose and a visiting student charged with aggravated assault.

Since 2005, when a crowd of homecoming revelers overturned a car and torched it, the school has been escalating security, the report said. This year, university and city police were joined by 300 officers from Toronto and the Ontario Provincial Police.

"Despite our best efforts, the situation worsened," Williams said.

Between 5,000 and 7,000 alumni return annually to attend reunions at the school, which was founded in 1841, and has an enrollment of about 25,000 students, the Star said.

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