Early on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Victoria Park, “direct” messages on white bed sheets were displayed across the park, urging partiers to be responsible this weekend.
City and university officials are preparing for thousands of partiers to take part in unsanctioned large gatherings for “Fauxcoming”, or “FoCo” for short – a sequel to Homecoming Weekend gatherings which were held in the University District last weekend, attracting approximately 8000 partiers.
The homemade signs are in response to the misogynistic messages hung last weekend in the University District.
Earlier in the week, Queen’s Principal and Vice Chancellor Patrick Deane also issued a statement, saying there is no excuse for sexist behaviour, sexual violence, or harassment, and that “action against individuals who displayed misogynistic signs at unsanctioned student parties [is] being pursued under [the] Student Code of Conduct.”
“While this weekend’s street parties and other forms of disruptive conduct might be explained sympathetically by some as an expression of the pent-up energy of young people emerging from COVID-19 isolation, no such excuse can be made for acts of sexual harassment or violence or sexist behaviour of any kind,” said Principal Deane in a statement.
Kingston Interval House and Sexual Assault Centre Kingston agreed with that sentiment in a joint statement. “It is [signs] like these that feed into rape culture and make it more unsafe for women and other marginalized populations living in these communities. If you think it’s okay to hang a banner like this, then what do you think is okay to do? Where do you draw the line?”, they said about the “misogynistic banners” and the “importance of addressing rape culture.”
Hundreds of first responders from communities throughout Eastern Ontario, including Ontario Provincial Police, Belleville Police, Toronto Police, York Regional Police, Toronto Paramedics and Vaughan Fire & Rescue have arrived to assist Kingston-based first responders over the course of the weekend.
With files from Lucas Mulder and Zoha Khalid