Queen's moves Fall Homecoming
At a press conference this morning, Principal Tom Williams announced his decision to move Homecoming from the fall for a period of two years, beginning with Fall Homecoming 2009.
The university will hold a “homecoming-styled” Spring Reunion in May in combination with the MiniU weekend being held from May 22 to May 24, 2009.
“The decision to move Fall Homecoming is not an easy one,” says Principal Williams. “I have consulted with faculty, staff, students, our alumni, and parents, internal and external stakeholders and all those who comprise the Queen’s family. I have also sought advice from the Kingston Police, Fire and Rescue, the hospitals and legal opinion. After assessing all options, I have decided that the risks to our students and alumni, to members of the Kingston community and to the university associated with the Aberdeen event require decisive action.”
Removing the catalyst of a Fall Homecoming will allow the university to focus all its attention, efforts, and resources on working to help end the Aberdeen Street gathering – a large unsanctioned party that has coincided with Homecoming celebrations each fall.
“While Homecoming is not in itself the problem – Homecoming does not cause the Aberdeen Street gathering – I believe moving Fall Homecoming is an essential part of the solution,” says Principal Williams.
The loss of Fall Homecoming Weekend is significant to Queen’s Alumni and the local business community. As a result, the University is developing over the next few months, plans for alternative venues and times for reunions, class groups, and the Tri-Colour Guard dinner to come together during the MiniU weekend.
“While the QUAA Board is disappointed that the persistence of the unsanctioned Aberdeen Street party has overshadowed Homecoming and continues to put the safety of students and Kingston residents at risk, we respect Principal Williams’ decision to move official Homecoming activities to a Spring Reunion Weekend for 2009 and 2010,” said Sarah Renaud, Queen’s University Alumni Association President.
“Queen’s alumni value excellence as well as tradition, and the QUAA Board will work with the University to ensure a positive Queen’s experience when alumni return for the Spring Reunion Weekend.”
Queen’s supports peer-to-peer communications for influencing the behaviour of students, and we will continue to work with students and the student government on issues of student conduct during the fall.