A statement from Queen's Bands

Bands operations managers comment on recent suspension

BooHoo the Bear is the Queen's Bands mascot.
BooHoo the Bear is the Queen's Bands mascot.

Queen’s Bands reaffirms its sincere apologies to the Queen’s community. The Queen’s Bands executive takes full responsibility for its actions and the actions of previous Bands generations. Queen’s Bands vows to institute organizational change in concert with the University administration and the Alma Mater Society.

Currently, Queen’s Bands is concerned with the conflation of content in the internal Bands publication, the “Banner,” and content in the songbook.

It must be known that the “Banner” was proactively banned by the Queen’s Bands executive on Sept. 9, 2011. It’s unfortunate that this has not been recognized in coverage of the situation to date, as the executive has been actively reforming the internal dynamics of the organization for several years.

Therefore, the Queen’s Bands executive regards any coverage which associates the now-defunct “Banner” with the actions of Queen’s Bands since Sept. 9 to be misleading.

Queen’s Bands’ vow to reform its practices must not be mistaken. As an organization, we agree that the content of the songbook is inappropriate. To rectify this, Queen’s Bands will undertake the completion of conditions which have been imposed by the AMS and the University.

These conditions include, but are not limited to, mechanisms to ensure that such issues do not arise again.

We must reiterate: coverage of this issue has not reflected the process of reform within the organization which has been ongoing for some time, as demonstrated through the proactive discontinuation of the “Banner” several months ago.

We’re concerned with this imbalanced coverage, as it has manifested into a hostile environment on campus which has compromised the health and safety of many Queen’s Bands members.

In the last week, various members of Queen’s Bands have endured physical and verbal assault. It’s resulted in some of our members seeking counselling, while forcing others into hospital.

We’re also concerned with the targeting of other Queen’s community members who have been falsely associated with our organization. We wish to work with the university administration, the AMS and the student body to ensure that campus remains a safe environment for everyone.

Queen’s Bands in its conception and mandate is an organization that represents the spirit and camaraderie that defines the Queen’s community. It’s been doing so since 1905.

We represent Queen’s University at various parades across North America including, but not limited to the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, the Montreal St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade and previous appearances with Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

We are the largest and oldest university marching band in Canada and the only one which maintains a pipe section and cheerleaders. Queen’s Bands also performs at all Golden Gaels football games and many basketball and volleyball games in the winter semester.

Locally, Queen’s Bands can also be regularly seen at the Kingston, Bloomfield and Brockville Christmas parades.

Queen’s Bands is active in many other charitable endeavours including the recent Trick or Eat campaign, and free lessons for anyone interested in learning the bagpipes and highland dancing.

Queen’s Bands will return in January as a reinvigorated and recalibrated organization. We are actively implementing a series of reforms which will open a new chapter in our history, and enable Queen’s Bands to return as a positive, inclusive vanguard of your Queen’s traditions.

Queen’s Bands has represented this University for more than a century, we look forward to representing the University with pride in the new year.

Andrew Loucks is Queen’s Bands operational and finance manager, Quartermaster and Pipe Sergeant.

Chelsea Randall is Queen’s Bands operational and finance manager and Drum Major.

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