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Principal Deane addresses coronavirus student party

Today, Principal Patrick Deane addressed the recent coronavirus-themed student party held on Saturday, Feb. 1 and reiterated his message from an earlier public statement, calling on the Queen’s community to come together and treat one another with dignity and respect.

“It was in bad taste and with great insensitivity that some students chose to hold a party that made light of the very serious coronavirus threat. At a time when our community is struggling with fear, misinformation and ignorance about this public health crisis, this party was justly met with outrage,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University. “Now, more than ever, the university must come together and ensure we take action so that all members of our community feel supported and this health crisis does not turn us against one another. We need to arm ourselves with knowledge based on caring and empathy.”

The university is working with the student governments and the rector to look at how it can bring the community closer together to support those most impacted to reassure them they remain a vital and valued part of the community. The principal is meeting this week with impacted students directly. There will also be a broader community meeting.

Principal Deane stressed that Queen’s remains committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all members of the community feel welcome and supported, and is committed to immediate as well as longer term actions.

“No one should feel unsafe or marginalized on our campus,” says Auston Pierce, President of Queen’s Alma Mater Society. “We know that words alone are not enough to prevent these incidents from happening again. We know there must be action. We are working with the administration to show that we, the Queen’s community, stand in solidarity with our peers.”

Tyler Macintyre, a student trustee on the Queen’s Board of Trustees, today announced his immediate resignation in the wake of concerns raised following his attendance at the coronavirus-themed event.