With Homecoming only days away, I invite you to participate in one of the many inclusive activities intended for the enjoyment of alumni and students alike. I also ask you to join me in encouraging everyone to demonstrate safe, respectful behaviour and good judgement throughout the weekend. Homecoming is a special event for Queen’s – it holds a unique place in the hearts of Queen’s students and alumni – and we all want this year’s Homecoming to be a success.
Please take time this weekend to welcome and help honour our returning alumni. Perhaps ask them to share some of their stories and memories that will have brought them back to campus. Join in activities such as Gaels games, tours, open houses, panels, and the ReUnion Street festival; these are all great opportunities for students to meet and greet returning members of the Queen’s family, who continue to cherish and support our university.
Safety for everyone is a paramount concern. Poor citizenship or irresponsible and unsafe behaviours can negatively affect peers and members of our Kingston community – so please consider the impact of your actions on others. For example, large street gatherings that block roadways, or taking up hospital spaces and resources with what could be preventable issues, divert emergency services away from urgent needs in the community. No one wants to see that happen.
During Homecoming, you are ambassadors for and representatives of Queen’s. The University expects you to set and follow a high standard of positive, community-minded behaviour, on and off campus, and ask that you, in turn, expect the same of your peers and of visitors. Have fun, but adhere to the Student Code of Conduct, and respect local laws and community standards. Misconduct can result in fines, charges, and referral to the university’s Non Academic Misconduct system.
In preparation for this year’s celebrations, Queen’s and the Alma Mater Society have made great efforts to promote student health and safety with the intent of reducing the number of student-related incidents involving city, public safety and healthcare resources.
Activities and services in place include Residence Life’s third annual Homecoming (HOCO) 101 – an opportunity for students in residences to learn about Homecoming, to prepare some spirit items for the weekend, and to receive reminders of safe drinking practices. There are also alternative evening activities, extended dining hall hours, water and snack distribution, additional capacity in the Campus Observation Room, additional AMS Walkhome staff and Dons on duty, and a host of other events to provide options to students, and promote personal safety. Students finding themselves in distress or needing support are encouraged to access all of the services available to help.
The Alma Mater Society executive and the Student Maintenance and Resource Team (SMART) will conduct a neighbourhood cleanup early Sunday morning. Please make the team’s work light by disposing of your trash properly and keeping the surrounding areas tidy.
Enjoy Homecoming, and please help me to encourage everyone to keep it a safe, respectful and inclusive event enjoyed this year and for years to come.