From the QUAA

Places to connect

Colin McLeod in front of a grey background, wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera.

For many Queen’s alumni, their sense of belonging at Queen’s was nurtured by a community of students, alumni, faculty and staff who shared similar lived experiences and identities. As students, they created and sustained safe and inclusive spaces that allowed them to thrive in and outside of the classroom and contribute to our Queen’s community. As alumni, we have a responsibility to build a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist community, and to Indigenize and decolonize all aspects of our university community. One way to serve the needs of equity-deserving groups is through the recently created alumni chapters.   

Queen’s currently has three alumni chapters - Black Alumni Chapter, Indigenous Alumni Chapter and Queer Alumni Chapter. Alumni chapters are composed of alumni and friends of the university and aim to promote and celebrate the contributions of their members to the alumni and Queen’s community and beyond. They work to build community through leadership, volunteering, networking, events, mentoring, and philanthropy. These chapters create places to connect, to support each other, and amplify the voices of their members.  

The founding of these chapters is not based on overwhelming positive experiences at Queen’s for marginalized groups. Chapters exist because of and to counter specific instances of oppression at Queen’s. For example, Black students, staff, faculty, and alumni have experienced and continue to experience systemic discrimination and anti-Black racism as members of the Queen’s community. The chapter helps to foster a lifelong sense of belonging for Black students and alumni. Queen’s has a strong colonialist legacy, and decolonization supports efforts to create space for Indigenous students and alumni to thrive. And as queer people continue to grapple with rising extremism, the chapter offers a community of support and strength for our alumni.  

For Queen’s to be a welcoming place for current and future students of all backgrounds, strong alumni leadership and commitment in this area is a necessity. Chapters are in need of volunteers, so I encourage you to consider giving your time to these groups. If you are looking to reconnect with the alumni community, make sure to sign up for emails, follow them on social media, connect with the leaders of these groups, or attend their next event. The choice is yours for how you wish to engage – just know that there is a chapter looking forward to welcoming you.

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