I am soooo tired of hearing about homecoming at Queen’s. I’m not even in Kingston right now and yet it’s still a topic of conversation everywhere I go. The Globe and Mail had a story on Queen’s Homecoming just two days ago (complete with a map showing out-of-towners where exactly to go to find the party). It is time to lay the smack down. Seriously. I’ve had it.
One quote from the Globe’s article was given by a Queen’s alum and now businessman in Kingston. He said “It gets to a point of, what more can you do? Cancel homecoming? Cancel football? Not allow 17-year-olds to go to university?” well my response is YES, YES and YES.
When I was a child I remember a time when my class was getting really out of hand. We were going swimming on a weekly basis and the walk to and from the pool was getting worse each week. Students were leaving the pack and going missing for short periods or walking in people’s gardens and just being generally unruly. Know what my teacher did? She canceled swimming. For three weeks we sat and did math problems during swimming time. When we were finally allowed to go back to the pool, the class was so well behaved on the walk. And it stayed that way because the kids in the class below us heard what had happened so they wouldn’t dare step out of line for fear that the same punishment might happen to them.
We call this making an example of someone and it works. The problem with this approach is that it sometimes punishes the wrong people but I think we can make this work. For those who are actually alumni over the age of 30 and who come to Kingston to revisit their university years, we can still have a homecoming. Why not make it in February instead of September? If all people want is to come see their friends and participate in departmental events, then the time of year shouldn’t really matter.
Now, I know I’m stepping on thin ice saying this but how about no football? Just for homecoming. I know it could screw up the season in some way but find a way around it. Reschedule the game or have it somewhere else. That is how punishment works. The person or people being punished lose certain privileges which can inconvenience others as well, leaving the punished one to deal with the wrath of others.
As for keeping 17-year-olds out, obviously we can’t control that but perhaps Queen’s needs to do more to make sure these students understand from the second they arrive on campus that they are guests in our city and that this childish behaviour will not be tolerated. Queen’s, stop letting your clubs throw pancake keggers! Get tighter security at the game that actually keeps out the drunks and ticket every single person who arrives at Aberdeen with an open drink. I know it would be costly but it already is and maybe, just maybe a year or two of this will help deter the same behaviour in the future.
Young people today (yes I said it, call me grandma) have the world handed to them on a plate and all they do is pick the stuff they want from it. I think one of the responsibilities of our institutions of higher learning (especially now that the kiddies are so young) is to teach them to be respectful, decent human beings. So get in there Queen’s! Take it ALL away and show them who’s boss. Stop being the pushover parent who thinks their kid is so cute it’s okay that he’s a total brat. Help our city get its dignity back!
(By the by, I’m a 28-year-old alumnus myself. This year is my fifth homecoming but I’m not going because I don’t want to have anything to do with it.)