Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Principal’s statement on Chown Hall investigation

The university has recently learned that despite their best efforts, Kingston Police have been unable to identify the perpetrator or perpetrators of the racist and homophobic incident in Chown Hall last October. No charges have been laid and the police now regard the file as closed unless new information presents itself.

This news I know will be received across campus with disappointment and sadness, perhaps also with anger and fear. I understand and sympathize with those feelings. Were the persons responsible to have been apprehended, our university community might have found at least some consolation in the thought that justice could be done and, in the process, Queen’s rendered a safer and more welcoming place for our Indigenous and LGBTQ+ students and colleagues.

Without such closure I do understand how vulnerable some members of our community will continue to feel. It is important to remember, however, that all the work to combat racism and bigotry that both preceded and followed the Chown incident is going on, its momentum in no way diminished by the outcome of the police investigation. In fact, that outcome underlines the greater importance of broad, fundamental cultural change across the university and our larger community. We undoubtedly still have a long way to go, but so long as every constituency and every person in this institution understands how imperative it is to combat racism and prejudice wherever we find it, we will continue to make progress. And so long as we all work tirelessly to support the vulnerable members of our community, we can ensure that whatever challenges penetrate from the world outside, Queen’s is a place where the individuality and humanity of everyone is nurtured and celebrated.

– Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor