The parties were more subdued than last year, but questions remain about whether the decision by Western University to delay Homecoming was ultimately successful.
Thousands of students gathered for an unofficial celebration on Broughdale Avenue, which is exactly what officials tried to prevent by delaying the event until late October.
However, it appears damp weather and a heavy Police presence appeared to keep revellers in check.
London Police are expected to release within the coming days the number of tickets issued on Saturday, but there didn’t appear to be any major incidents.
— London Police ON (@lpsmediaoffice) October 1, 2016
After nearly 10,000 students flooded Broughdale last year, causing some concern in the minds of London Police and university officials, Western decided to make a change.
This past weekend was called “Reunion Weekend” by Western, with events that included the Alumni Awards of Merit and Golden Anniversary Dinners.
University officials announced in late may that Homecoming, usually held at the end of September, would be delayed to October 22nd in an effort to curb unsanctioned partying, especially on Broughdale Ave.
Last year’s gathering made it nearly impossible for emergency services to respond to the area. The crowd also left some property damage and plenty of litter in their wake.
It was estimated this year’s gathering on Broughdale, unofficially dubbed “Faux-Co” by students, was less than half the size of the 2015 crowd.
Councillor Phil Squire kept an eye things while celebrating with his law class.
“We had a great time,” Squire said. “We were on Richmond Street, we saw lots of students, generally well-behaved and having fun. No, I’m not in favour of doing away with Homecoming. Western is a big contributor to the city and they have these events and we all put a lot of effort into them and it’s worth while in my point of view.”
Squire joined the University Student’s Council on Sunday in a street clean-up.
“They get out here with a crew and they physically go around and pick anything up that’s left, and then we make sure that the people who actually own the properties are out cleaning up their own properties or they’ll get ticketed,” he said.
Landlords in the area were sent letters this year, warning them that they could face fines of up to $10,000 if their tenants break London‘s nuisance bylaw.
Squire questions whether the decision to delay Homecoming was ultimately effective.
“This year I am receiving less complaints, and we will have to do a briefing with Police to see how they feel about it,” he said. “I think the two Homecomings is not a great idea overall.”
Officials with the University Students Council say they were not involved in the decision to postpone Homecoming. University officials argued the decision was made following months of consultations with community partners.