Thanks to the spirit and support of our alumni, Western's proud, long-standing Homecoming tradition is second to none.
In recent years, however, an unsanctioned street party on Broughdale Avenue on the Saturday of Homecoming has grown into an unsafe event attracting as many as 10,000 young people - not just Western students, but bus loads from other universities, high school students, as well as individuals police have identified as having criminal histories with no connection to Western. These kinds of parties are not unique to London, and are occurring with more frequency and severity in university and college towns and cities throughout North America.
The safety of our students is Western's highest priority and University administration, London Police Services, Middlesex-London Emergency Management Services, City of London officials, and hospital medical staff have held several meetings on the issue of Broughdale and share concerns this street party has escalated to such levels that more decisive action is necessary. For this reason, Western has moved Homecoming 2016 to Saturday, Oct. 22 ('Homecoming Saturday').
However, we recognize plans for Faculty reunions, as well as the Alumni Awards of Merit and Golden Anniversary Dinners, are underway and these events will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 2 as originally planned ('Reunion Weekend'). By moving Homecoming to late October we hope to discourage students from going to Broughdale as there are more academic pressures in terms of assignments and exam preparation. There is also a better chance weather in late October will be less favourable for a street party.
Moving Homecoming is only one of the means by which we will be encouraging students to find safer forms of entertainment. We are committed to doing everything we can as a university to build awareness on how serious the Broughdale issue has become.
In the weeks following Homecoming 2016, Western's senior administration will meet with London police and other community partners to assess the situation on Broughdale and determine how we approach Homecoming moving forward.
We thank you for your understanding of the importance we must place on student safety. And, whether you decide to come home to reunite with classmates on Reunion Weekend or take in the festivities of Homecoming Saturday, we're confident your time on campus will be fun-filled with new memories of Western.
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