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Enhancing student and community safety

The University District Safety Initiative, unveiled this spring, will be in effect for Orientation Week.

This fall marks a number of firsts for the Queen’s University community. Along with an updated Orientation Week schedule and a new fall break, a joint initiative between the City of Kingston, Kingston Police, and the university will be implemented in September.

[Principal Daniel Woolf and Mayor Bryan Paterson announce the UDSI]
Mayor Bryan Paterson and Principal Daniel Woolf announce the University District Safety Initiative in June 2018. (Photo: University Communications)

The University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) is a pilot program developed to help promote a culture of safety and respect in the neighbourhoods surrounding Queen’s. A new enforcement approach will mean a summons to court for anyone issued a ticket for specific offences under the city’s Nuisance Party and Noise by-laws, as well as the Liquor License Act, during events including Orientation Week, Homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day.

“The university shares the City’s concerns around the impacts of large unsanctioned parties in the University District. We have also heard the same concerns from local health and emergency services experts,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Our students are part of two communities, Queen’s and Kingston, and this initiative is one way we are promoting positive citizenship both on and off campus.”

Individuals issued a summons by the City will now be required to appear before a Justice of the Peace in Kingston, regardless of where they live, and will not have the option to pay a fine online or by phone.

The university can then identify and assess these cases, as appropriate, through the Non-Academic Misconduct system. Incident reports will be considered individually, with the focus on citizenship development, harm reduction, and helping students who are showing additional signs of distress. Outcomes could include community projects, conversations with community members, formal warnings, restitution, peer education initiatives, and/or loss of privileges.

Work has been underway to inform students and community members about the initiative. Queen’s has spread the word throughout the summer with a media conference in June, Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR) activities for incoming students, and training for O Week leaders and Residence Dons. Online resources are available both on the City of Kingston website and the Queen’s Student Conduct website. Activities are planned throughout Orientation Week and the fall term to keep the initiative top of mind for students across campus through efforts by the AMS, Residence Life, departments and faculties, as well as the City and Kingston Police.

For more information, visit the Queen’s UDSI website and the City of Kingston’s UDSI website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this initiative targeting students?

The initiative is not targeting students, but targeting the area where problematic behaviour has historically existed - the University District. Not everyone who participates in this behaviour is from the Queen’s community, and the majority of Queen’s students do not engage in the types of disrespectful and unsafe behaviours that are of the greatest concern.

When does the UDSI take effect?

The UDSI took effect on Thursday, Aug. 30 and continues indefinitely. Specific days and times of enforcement can be found on the City’s UDSI webpage.

How will this initiative be evaluated?

The UDSI pilot program will be re-evaluated in the spring of 2019 by the City of Kingston, Kingston Police, and the university.

What area does the University District cover?

Kingston Police have the discretion to enforce this initiative anywhere in Kingston.

The use of the term University District identifies the neighbourhood that has historically been the site of unsanctioned large-scale street parties.