Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I can't help but laugh

I just received an email from some person that sends out emails to the Queen's community about events, calendar stuff, and really anything else that's important for Queen's students to know.

As you may or may not know, our homecoming celebrations have made national news for several years now, especially the Aberdine Street party.

Two years ago, the principle of the university stopped homecoming for two years, and said that the only way we could get our homecoming back was to break the cycle of the annual Aberdine Street party.

So last year, there was an unofficial homecoming deemed Fauxcoming. Police were out in full force, and being complete and utter retards in the opinions of most people who attended. I was there myself, not partying at all, but helping friends protect their house. I have to say, it was pretty terrifying. There was essentially a stand off. The students and party goers were on our side of the street in a huge line, while the police were also in a line on the other side. I had never heard so many people gathered on one street. I can't remember much about it, because I was I was playing guitar and singing with my friends so I didn't have to hear it. The one big thing I do remember though, was having to get home that evening. It was really scary. My friend's place was on Aberdine, but it had a backyard that came out on William street, so my friend and I decided it would be safer to go out the back way. We did so, but discovered that even on William, it was insane. There were bottles smashed everywhere, people drunk out of their minds all over the place, and God only knows what else on the ground. So my friend had to literally pick up Rosamae and cary her on his shoulders until we were able to get to a safe spot where we could meet my cabby.

Having said all this, we got an email basically outlining what actions ned to be taken in order for us to get our homecoming back. It reads as follows:

To the students of Queen’s University:

As the traditional time for Homecoming weekend draws near, the AMS and your faculty and residence societies would like to provide you with information on what to expect this weekend and in the months that follow. Included is information we have gained from discussions with both Kingston police and Queen’s administrators, so that you may make informed decisions throughout this weekend and the fall.

Homecoming Suspension

Two years ago, fall Homecoming was suspended for two years out of concerns for the safety of the Aberdeen street party by then Principal Tom Williams, as this street party had become linked to official Homecoming activities. The AMS, Queen’s, and the City had worked for several years to manage the event, but the crowd continued to grow and Principal Williams deemed cancellation the only solution. Last year, the University was encouraged by a lower turnout and good judgement shown by our community. They have clearly communicated, however, that it is not until the cycle of this party is broken that we may begin conversations about the return of a fall Homecoming.

In past years, the AMS has requested a street closure from the Kingston City Council in the interest of preserving student safety on Aberdeen. This meant that the street was legally closed and those on it would not be arrested or fined for being present. There was no street closure last year, and there will be no street closure this year.

Expectations for “Fauxcoming”

Kingston police will be responding directly to unlawful activities in similar numbers as last year. It is likely that they will be actively enforcing the Highway Traffic Act, liquor violations, and violations of the 24 hour noise by-law in Kingston. These offences carry fines ranging from $90+ for violations of the noise by-law to up to $1, 000+ for illegal sale of alcohol. For those in professional programs it should be noted that you may not practice your trade if you have a criminal record.

If you are approached by an officer, be mindful that their first concern is your safety and the safety of those around you. In the past, many people with no connection to our University have flocked to Aberdeen Street with no regard for this school and often questionable intentions, including those with criminal records well known to the police. If you have any questions or concerns about potentially suspicious activity, please do not hesitate to contact the police. If for any reason you feel that you have been mistreated by an officer, please contact the Office of the Independent Police Review Director to file a complaint. All information may be found on their website,

Moving forward to reinstate fall Homecoming

The final decision regarding the return of a fall Homecoming rests with Principal Woolf, and he will be looking closely at the events of the fall when he makes this decision at the end of the calendar year. He has said that the cycle of illegal and unsafe street parties, no matter where they occur, must be truly broken and show no sign of returning before he considers reinstating a University event that had become undifferentiated with such activities. While this may not happen immediately, it is important that as students we communicate our wishes to the administration via our actions this year.

An uneventful fall sends a message that we value Homecoming’s return, and allows the administration to truly differentiate between official University events and unsanctioned gatherings.

This weekend is of particular importance given the volume of recent media attention directed at Queen’s students. Our actions will be under increased national scrutiny, giving us the chance to demonstrate our commitment to, and respect for, our community and the traditions we hold dear. The AMS will continue to work in the best interest of students with the university to ensure that when the tradition returns, students and alumni can celebrate their university in a safe, sustainable way. If you are looking for more resources covering both on and off campus safety, please visit

Each of us is dedicated to finding ways to keep Queen’s traditions alive, and we value your input. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact...

So, let's look at this for a minute. I personally do not give a flying fuck about homecoming. I will not be here this year for it, and I'm very glad of that. I do think its insane and that the people who attend can get seriously out of hand. Having said that though, do they really think that cancelling homecoming will fix everything? I mean, it was still on last year and, while they say it was a lot better than in the past, it was still completely insane. Do they really think that students are going to heed this message?

I really have no idea what's going to happen, but if last year was any indication, it will be another crazy year.

The part I like about this email is where they talk about how the police are just there for your safety. Really? Is that why they're there? Let me tell you a little story.

Last year, I believe it was the Friday night, one of my friends was out for a walk. I believe he was talking on his cell phone, and accidentally walked into the side of a police horse. He was not intoxicated in any way. He just wasn't paying attention to where he was going. They took his wallet and all of his ID away, cuffed him, and took him to the drunk tank for the night.

But really, they're just looking pout for our safety. OK then. Well done, Officers. Never mind that they gave him a breath test and he blew a 0. Never mind that he told them he was sober, and got proof. He was hauled off anyway. Ridiculous.

So, I'm just glad I won't be around this weekend. I don't really live all that close to Aberdine, but I'm sure its going to be pretty insane even here. I'm not really sure how to end this, so have fun, be safe, and don't die?


Blogger Steve said...

What happened to your friend sounds like one of those they forgot that the dick is supposed to go *underneath* the horse situations. There are cops like that on every force and like it or not, this is never going to change. Even cameras in police cars and the rise in popularity of digital video cameras haven't stopped it, they've just brought it more out in the open. But the idea that the police are there to protect people isn't completely retarded. there are good cops and great cops, and it's a shame that the arseholes among them are what gets all the media coverage.

Now as for the official party coming back, I don't live in Kingston, but having seen the stuff in the news and hearing your story, I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for it. The nimrods and troublemakers aren't going to go away, so the university, if they think like a publicly accountable organization does, might just figure it's easier to wash their hands of the whole thing. Gives the whole what happened here doesn't represent what Queens stands for line in the post riot statements a lot more credibility.

8:40 PM  

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