University and community partners work together to encourage students to be safe, respectful of Kingston community

University and community partners work together to encourage students to be safe, respectful of Kingston community

October 12, 2022


Queen’s University and its campus and community partners are actively working to address the potential risks associated with unsanctioned student gatherings in October. The university, student representatives, the City of Kingston and Kingston Police Service are implementing wide-reaching communications efforts including a social media campaign, door knocking in the University District, and providing supports such as food trucks, alcohol harm reduction education, alternate programming and events, and supervised recovery to encourage students to be safe and respect the community. Those individuals who are found to have violated local city bylaws may face fines as well as sanctions by the university under the Queen’s University Student Code of Conduct.  

“Our priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our students and the Kingston community,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Principal and Dean of Student Affairs. “The university and our partners all recognize students are going to get together and socialize. What we are concerned about are potential safety risks and disruptions to the community, including climbing on roofs, breaking glass, blocking roadways, or disrespecting residents, other students, or first-responders. We are strongly encouraging everyone to be safe, and respectful and make choices that avoid placing additional stress on Kingston’s already strained healthcare system.”

The university, the Alma Mater Society (AMS), and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) continue to meet regularly with staff from the city, Kingston police, bylaw, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, KFL&A Public Health, and Frontenac Ambulance on outreach activities to students.

“It is important for students to have a voice in the efforts to address student behaviours,” says Eric Sikich, AMS president. “We are working closely with the university and community partners to help deliver important safety messages to students, offer educational opportunities to learn about the importance of harm reduction, and actively support safe partying with food trucks, water and Gatorade on campus.”        

Here is a look at a few highlights among the many actions being taken:

Social Media Campaigns

A targeted  social media campaign on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook is currently running focused on the theme of Building Community Together.  The campaign encourages respectful behaviours, harm reduction, and is also focused on fostering a a community of consent. The ads will also play on digital screens across campus. The TikTok campaign will speak directly to students, discouraging dangerous and disruptive behaviours including climbing on roofs, blocking roadways, and breaking glass.

Social media posts will continue to share important information and resources, including a Health Resources Map, so students know where to go if they need medical treatment..

University District Neighbourhood Door Knocking

University staff and students will be joined by Kingston bylaw staff and Kingston police, going door-to-door in the University District to hand out information to students living in the area including wellness and harm reduction tips, as well as information on the University District Safety Initiative (UDSI), and potential fines. This follows similar efforts in September which saw information distributed to more than 1,000 students. It is anticipated up to 1,000 homes will be visited throughout October.

Peer-to-Peer Student Communication

The Alma Mater Society will reach out to students directly. Their efforts will include:

  • “Save our paws” – a social media campaign on @queens_AMS featuring students and dogs to encourage people to avoid using glass bottles
  • AMS asks U – a social media video about the Campus Observation Room (COR), an on-campus, confidential overnight alcohol detox service for Queen’s students
  • Harm reduction event – hosted by the AMS with COR and Queen’s First Aid (QFA) to educate students on safe partying habits and harm reduction strategies
  • Bylaw reminders on social media – reminding students of City of Kingston bylaws

Food in University District

Residences will serve a ‘Big Breakfast’ on key weekends in October. Food trucks will also be outside the Queen's Centre on Earl Street the weekend of Oct. 28. Students who attend a planned harm reduction event will receive a free food truck voucher.

Safe Supervised Recovery from Intoxication on campus

The Campus Observation Room (COR) is an on-site non-medical detox service overseen by Student Wellness Services with the support of trained student volunteers and Kingston Health Sciences Centre professional staff.

No guest policy and alternate activities in residence

Residences are closed to guests on the weekends of Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30.

Between Oct. 28-31, Residence Life and Services will be offering alternate social activities for students to take part in, including a movie night, a haunted house, and paint night.

Athletics and Recreation is hosting several varsity playoff games on campus on Saturday, Oct. 22 and Saturday Oct. 29, including:

Saturday, Oct. 22

  • Men's lacrosse vs. McGill (2 p.m., Miklas-McCarney Field)
  • Women's basketball vs. Bishop's (2 p.m., ARC Main Gym)
  • Men's basketball vs. Waterloo (4 p.m., ARC Main Gym)
  • Men's hockey vs. Carleton (7:30 p.m., Memorial Centre)

Saturday, Oct. 29

  • Men's basketball vs. York (4 p.m., ARC Main Gym)
  • Women's hockey vs. Brock (7:30 p.m., Memorial Centre)
  • Men's volleyball vs. York (8 p.m., ARC Main Gym)

Stepped up Enforcement

The City of Kingston has announced that the University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) and Nuisance Party Bylaw will be in effect from Oct. 14 to Nov. 1. Officials caution that local bylaw violations could result in monetary fines of up to $2,000 and a court appearance. Students issued fines will also be referred to the Non-Academic Misconduct Office for review under the Queen’s University’s Student Code of Conduct.