After years of debauchery and wreckage, Queen’s has finally stepped up to do something about the giant Aberdeen party that has occurred every Homecoming weekend since 2005.

In case you’re new or you’ve just been out of the country (yes, this made national headlines) for the last four years, Queen’s students and their friends from other universities have taken it upon themselves to shut down Aberdeen street on the Saturday night of Homecoming weekend for a wild, dangerous and very expensive party. Arrests have been made in spades, there have been numerous injuries, police have been brought in from other cities (on the tax payer’s dollar) and residents who aren’t students (yes students, we do exist) have had to endure the loud ruckus and damage to their private property.

I went to Queen’s and I receive the alumni emails that go out every month or so. Today there was one in my inbox that I have long anticipated but never thought would actually come. A letter from the principal regarding homecoming weekend. Principal Tom Williams wrote: “I have reached a very difficult decision: the University will not be hosting its Fall Homecoming Weekend for a minimum period of 2 years, beginning with the Homecoming of Fall 2009.”

Finally! After many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, the school has finally stepped up to do something that could actually be effective!

Now, I don’t want to be insensitive to those who are disappointed. It really is unfair to the alumni who come here yearly to genuinely celebrate Homecoming and make this their one chance each year to reunite with their friends from university. I especially feel bad when I think of the graduates in their 70s and 80s who are so proud of their university and so excited to be back. It’s disappointing that the new generation has taken advantage of what should be a fun and meaningful weekend to the point where we have to ruin it for everyone; however, as I mentioned in my post this past Homecoming, sometimes drastic measures must be taken to get a point across.

The good news for alumni is that Queen’s still intends to host a weekend for them, it will just happen in May, long after classes have ended and students are back at their summer jobs.

So the question is, can we still keep students from throwing a ridiculous party? The internet is a powerful thing and word gets spread pretty fast these days. What’s stopping students from planning a weekend on their own? Hopefully a lack of motivation and maybe – gasp!- the realization that they don’t have the right . Only time will tell.

See Principal Williams’ letter here .

2 thoughts on “Homegoing

  • Honestly, I never thought that Queen’s would have the cahones to make this decision. It’s a pretty tough one, and it will certainly impact the local economy in a negative sense. Having Homecoming in May won’t be the same as there won’t be a football game, and it might even conflict with other Summer-y tourist events that use up all the hotel space around here. Perhaps they can give alumni a true back to their roots experience and let them stay in the dorms. How I would love to return to my old place in Leonard Hall. In any case, it was only a matter of time before someone died on Aberdeen…but isn’t that best rationalized by our friend Charles Darwin?

  • I think this is one step in the right direction…but I still think more needs to be done.

    Non-Queen’s students were also involved (most often in greater percentages than actual students) and the parties are still going to happen regardless of there being a special event taking place.

    I don’t have any suggestions for a solution – but maybe it starts with better living conditions in the ghetto, more landlord accountability, and overall a better sense of ownership of the students and their “homes”. You wouldn’t light a car on fire at your parent’s place – so why would you do it at your own house?

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