Football: Queen's effectively kills Homecoming football game

You can kiss those crowds of 12,000 that Queen's regularly has its Homecoming game goodbye.

The university, bowing to paranoia, today took the easy way out with its problem of the quote, unquote illegal street party that has become part of the Homecoming weekend. In order to keep students from seeing Homecoming as a reason to party -- ha! -- they have moved alumni weekend to spring and will hold their 2009 homecoming weekend from May 22-24.

The impact on the football Golden Gaels will be devastating. The Homecoming game sets the tone for the entire season. It is also a valuable recruiting chip for coach Pat Sheahan -- look at the crowds you'll play in front of. You lose the Homecoming game, you're cutting yourself out of a major market.

The weekend itself, with the parade of alumni, some in the their 80s and 90s, around the stadium at halftime, is the best part of homecoming. That's gone, and with it, so are those those crowds of 12,000 people. Does Queen's principal Tom Williams understand that?

This is an all-time knee-jerk reaction. To quote Chris Hitchens, zero tolerance means zero thought. The weekend's purpose is to engage alumni and current students. What are alumni going "home" to when the campus is a ghost town because 98% of the undergraduates have gone home for the summer?

For this alumnus, a fond Queen's memory is being in the front row on the student side at Homecoming 1997, high-fiving and shaking hands with graduates from as far back as 1937 during the halftime parade. University can make you feel like a number. That day, for a few minutes, I was connected to something larger than myself.

Queen's Athletics will no doubt try to fill the void, and I'll support them in any way I can. Today, though, the university has thrown that away. What a terrible message. Who is benefiting from this decision? Tom Williams, the Kingston Police and some beancounters at City Hall. Not the students, not the alumni and certainly not the Queen's Golden Gaels football team, which has brought the university so much publicity through the years.

Queen's University moves Homecoming from fall to spring (Kingston Whig-Standard)

(Cross-posted to Out of Left Field.)
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  1. Frankly, Neate, there are a lot of Kingstonians who have endured the ridiculous street parties in the past, will open their newspapers today, read this article, and be incredibly happy. I think it's fair to say that Queen's has a responsibility to the community, and reducing the number of students partying during one October weekend will please many residents.

    In other words, there are other people who will benefit from this.

    Of course, there are better ways to control the parties rather than moving Homecoming to May. (That's kind of where this decision stops making sense.)

  2. So the people who are shortsighted and care only about themselves, we should let them make all the decisions? That's exactly why I don't live in Kingston!

  3. Are these street parties taking part around the university? Or are they being staged all over the city?

    I mean it would be quite stupid if the people complaining lived right by the school...

  4. What guarantee do they have that the parties will stop now? None. This is a bad move...a move that can't help recruiting efforts.

  5. I was glad homecoming was canceled this year but, it shouldn't have had to get that far. A man was assaulted last year by drunken students and has sustained a serious head injury. There were three sexual assaults as well as the usual property damage and over run emergency room here.

    As to the person above who is saying it would be stupid to complain if you lived near the university, you are assuming a hell of a lot.

    I live seven blocks from campus near the Donald Gordon center. This area is not a "student" area and was always mixed. Families have lived on my block for generations. Usually there were some grad students but not many. With the cutting of grade thirteen and the expansion of Queen's a lot of new problems have come up.

    There have been four families on my end of the block alone that have moved out because of the quality of life going downhill around here due to student disturbances, litter, broken bottles, vandalism, trespassing, and junk lying all over the place. Our property value has gone DOWN not up while our taxes are over four hundred dollars a month. Not all of us can afford this and we are caught in a bind. No family wants to buy into this area now because it looks so junky and they do not want to inherit our how to move away and let the students have it??? Not everyone who "complains" is doing so for no reason because they live near students.

    While you may not know this, the area around Queen's including Earl street and even Aberdeen was mixed with students and families for a VERY long time until the last family finally gave up on Earl just a couple of years ago. Why should people other than students feel they have to be run off from their homes? Other university towns have solved this issue and have mixed neighborhoods and benefit from it.

    No the situation with this party was out of hand as well as are many other issues to do with Queen's since they expanded.

    Many approaches have been tried by the city and the university after 2005, all to no avail. The party on Aberdeen and the surrounding area IS ILLEGAL. Loads of laws and by laws are being broken just in having drinking on the streets...and all that goes with it. I as a resident here have to obey the city laws and by laws or I go to jail or get charged at the least.

    People who live here are tired of the students getting away with bringing in large numbers of people from every other university in Canada to stage an illegal gathering that damages our property and is dangerous to boot.

    We have as much right to live here in peace as you do and WE are not the ones staging an illegal street party. Go there again and with the increased police presence expect to get charged with breaking the law if you are doing so just the same as any OTHER resident of this city would be.

    And to answer your question, yes these parties do branch out over the entire university area all the way to Sir John A. McDonald some years. So unless the students want to start paying our property tax bills then I suggest this street party die a well deserved death and get homecoming back or see it changed forever with a reunion for alumni in the spring.

    Homecoming isn't for current students. It's for alumni. Who I am sure are not concerned if you get to have a drunken brawl on Aberdeen and in the surrounding area where YES people *families* other than students DO have a right to live.