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University and community partners prepare for St. Patrick’s Day

  • Members of the Division of Students Affairs have been handing out information to Queen's students living in the neighbourhood surrounding Queen's University ahead of St. Patrick's Day. (University Communications)
    Members of the Division of Students Affairs and City of Kingston bylaw officers have been handing out information to Queen's students living in the neighbourhood surrounding Queen's University ahead of St. Patrick's Day. (University Communications)
  • Mary Ann Tierney, Manager, Student Community Relations, Student Affairs, and City of Kingston Bylaw Officer Shannon Bruce share information with a Queen's student. (University Communications)
    Mary Ann Tierney, Manager, Student Community Relations, Student Affairs, and City of Kingston Bylaw Officer Shannon Bruce share information with a Queen's student. (University Communications)
  • Student Community Relations team member Brynne Takhar and City of Kingston Bylaw Officer Graeme Gemmill go door-to-door handing out information ahead of St. Patrick's Day. (University Communications)
    Student Community Relations team member Brynne Takhar and City of Kingston Bylaw Officer Graeme Gemmill go door-to-door handing out information ahead of St. Patrick's Day. (University Communications)

Queen’s University and its many campus and community partners are preparing for students planning to join in community celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day and have already begun to roll out coordinated efforts to encourage safe behaviours while raising awareness that unsafe or irresponsible behaviours may come with a cost.

Staff from across the university, and the Alma Mater Society (AMS) have been meeting regularly with staff from the city, police, bylaw, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health, and Frontenac Ambulance to coordinate on outreach activities that promote safe behaviours and remind students that they could face fines and possible non-academic sanctions if they engage in dangerous activities like climbing on rooftops, blocking roadways or disrespecting the community and first responders.

“As we head into St. Patrick’s Day, our priority is the safety and well-being of our students and the Kingston community,” says Mark Green, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “The pandemic restrictions have been hard on everyone, and with many restrictions off campus being lifted, it is important that students make efforts to gather responsibly and respectfully.”

To help alleviate any additional demands on Kingston’s hospital, volunteers with Queen’s First Aid will be working with Campus Security and Emergency Services, and Student Wellness Services will be running an expanded on-campus walk-in clinic staffed by an emergency physician on St. Patrick’s Day to triage and treat injuries including cuts, bruises, sprains and strains. The university will also be operating its Campus Observation Room (COR) starting at 9 a.m. COR is a judgement-free, non-medical detox service for students who have had too much to drink.

In student residences, restrictions on guests, and reduced building access is in effect, and staff will be controlling access to locations such as the Queen’s Centre, where no alcoholic beverages will be permitted.

Over the past several weeks, university staff have also been partnering with city bylaw staff on a door-knocking campaign in near-campus neighbourhoods. Together they are distributing information to hundreds of students and answering questions about local bylaws, the University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) and offering harm reduction tips. The City has announced that the UDSI will be in effect March 10-20, 2022. Officials caution that local bylaw violations could result in monetary fines of up to $2,000 and a court appearance. Students may also subsequently face sanctions under the Queen’s University’s Student Code of Conduct.

In addition to direct communication to students living in the area and in residence, all partners are sharing social media messages to encourage students to exercise safe and respectful behaviours.

The AMS, a key partner in these student outreach efforts, is sharing these and their own messages on social media. They have also arranged for a food truck and will help distribute snacks and water to further encourage students who want to drink to do so safely.

The university has also posted an online resource hub for students with information and resources related to St. Patrick’s Day.