Volume 93, Issue 20

October 1, 1999


Star's strategy angers papers

Commercialization raises debate

Bars prepare for Homecoming rush

Internet access quickens for students

Polls shouldn't be taken lightly

Program to improve cancer patient care


Caught on campus

Bars prepare for Homecoming rush

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

The calm before the Homecoming storm has allowed organizers and local area bars to prepare for an influx of alumni coming back to London.

Neil Kapoor, Homecoming commissioner for the University Students' Council, said while the numbers have never been precise, the weekend festivities may draw up to 25,000 alumni and students to Homecoming events.

To safely accomodate these kinds of numbers, local area bars are confident this year's Homecoming events will go off without a hitch.

Trevor Hinds, manager at T.J. Baxter's Tap and Grill on Richmond Street, said the restaurant was anticipating a large volume of traffic. "We're expecting summertime numbers." Hinds added the restaurant's capacity is almost 600 people, but he expected to serve close to 2,000 by closing time each night.

"I actually think the biggest problem we have is vomiting in the restaurant and outside on the sidewalk," he said. "As for violence – I've been here five years and I've never seen any violence on Homecoming weekend. It's just a lot of people getting drunk and having a good time," he added.

Paul McCart, manager of the Ceeps on Richmond Street, said he was looking forward to the weekend. "It'll be our busiest Saturday of the year," he said.

Still, McCart said the bar has always been adequately prepared for the annual rush by ensuring they are fully staffed. "It's the same every year," he said.

Although he could not guarantee it, McCart said Homecoming weekend was usually violence-free. "Homecoming is generally a little softer. People are coming out to have a good time. It's not just a regular night where guys are looking to act like banshees," he said.

Jennifer Brownchilds, manager of the Ridout Tavern on Ridout Street, said the bar was also expecting a packed house. She said the bar would be equipped with metal detectors for added security during the weekend celebrations. "We generally take extra precaution. I want to make sure everyone leaves safe so they come back," she said.

Sgt. Gary Harding of the London Police said the force would also be taking extra measures to improve safety on London's streets. He said the police force would have a more dominating presence in the downtown core along with a zero tolerance policy. "We're optimistic that things will go smoothly as they have in the past," he said.

"We've had really good co-operation from students and the university at large."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999