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University and partners urge students to keep St. Patrick’s Day safe, respectful, and inclusive

Queen’s University and its partners on campus and across the community are urging students to keep their St. Patrick’s Day safe, respectful, and responsible.

In addition to student representatives from the Alma Mater Society, university staff from across the campus and community partners including the City of Kingston and the Kingston Police are working together to provide a coordinated series of services, communications, and responsive enforcement throughout the celebration with the aim of promoting student wellbeing, and reducing alcohol-related harms.

“The campus and neighbouring community have really come together to encourage responsible behaviour by our students when they are out celebrating,” said Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris. “I’m very gratified that Queen’s has so many smart, selfless, civic-minded students that regularly volunteer and give back to our community. Sadly, their good work can easily get overshadowed by a few inconsiderate acts, and a street littered with glass and Solo cups.”

Information on safer alcohol consumption is provided to students, along with substance free programming options for students choosing not to drink. Food and water is also being provided and encouraged as a way to mitigate the impacts of over-consumption, and AMS Walk Home will have extra volunteers on hand from 7 pm to 3 am for anyone needing a safe walk back to their residence. 

For those who need it, the Campus Observation Room (COR) is located on the Queen’s campus in Chez Lenny (across from the Leonard Dining Hall). The service is a voluntary, confidential, non-judgmental place where students who have had too much to drink can come to sleep it off. Access will be at the southeast entrance of Leonard Hall off Albert Street. Similar to last Homecoming, a second COR facility will open for St. Patrick's Day weekend located on Queen's University campus in the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC), Robert Sutherland Room. The hours are Friday, March 15 from 10 pm to 7am (Chez Lenny), Saturday, March 16 at noon to Monday, March 18 at 7 am (Chez Lenny), and Sunday, March 17 from 8 am to 8 pm in the JDUC.

Residence Life has also enacted a no guest policy for campus residences. Guests will be prohibited from resident buildings from Friday, March 15 at 8 pm to Monday, March 18 at 8 am.

“Our university team – which includes students – works closely with its community partners from the city, including police, bylaw and fire and rescue, as well as the health authority, ambulance service and the hospital, to take a holistic approach to these kinds of events,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “Working as a team we hope to encourage students to have fun while exercising good judgment and to respect that they are part of both the Queen’s and greater Kingston communities.”

A social media campaign is already underway by many of the partners involved, to encourage safe drinking behaviours, and to remind those gathering to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day that anyone charged for designated provincial offences under the University District Safety Initiative or the Nuisance Bylaw will receive a summons to appear before a justice of the peace in Kingston.

Additionally, cases involving Queen’s students may be referred into the Non-Academic Misconduct system for consideration under the Student Code of Conduct.

To learn more about the University District Safety Initiative visit the website