It’s hard to predict what the homecoming weekends this fall will look like.
The annual event is scheduled to return to campus over two separate weekends: Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 18-20.
Homecoming had been banned from 2009 until last year due to highly-publicized cases of unruly behaviour.
Parties during the 2005 homecoming weekend resulted in a flipped car in flames on Aberdeen St., while the 2008 celebration saw 140 arrests, 700 liquor charges and 20 students sent to the hospital due to over-consumption of alcohol.
In December 2012, however, the University announced it would be reinstating the tradition, with safety as a major concern.
Residence guest restrictions will be in place during the homecoming weekends, as is the case during Frosh Week and St. Patrick’s Day weekend in March. Campus residents may not host non-Queen’s students in their residences during the weekends, and overnight guests from other campus residences must be signed in and out.
During that time, the University will be running the Campus Observation Room (COR), which is located in Victoria Hall and has volunteers helping those who have over-consumed alcohol.
“We continue to provide a safe place and resources, for example, residence dons and the COR as options for students to seek support and guidance during the weekend,” said Chauncey Kennedy, manager of Residence Life at Queen’s.
Tom Harris, the University’s vice-principal of advancement, said that security on campus will increase on both weekends, but students can be make decisions to ensure their own safety as well.
“If there is unsanctioned behaviour or a large student gathering, the best advice for students is to not be a part of that activity,” he said.
Harris said he believes students will behave well this year.
“We believe that over the past few years, students have chosen to behave in a much more respectful manner and that the escalating cycle of inappropriate behaviour has been broken,” Harris said. “We hope students and visitors will enjoy Homecoming in respectful and appropriate ways.” Nathan Stevenson, Sci ’17, isn’t too sure about what homecoming weekend will actually entail.
“All that I know is that it got cancelled because it was pretty nuts,” he said
Stevenson said if Queen’s provided alternative, dry events at night for those who wish to abstain from drinking, he’d partake.
There will be two dry evening events during the celebrations. On Oct. 4 and 18 in Market Square downtown, students and alumni can enjoy films shown at sunset.
“I have a few friends who are going to Queen’s and who don’t drink; it would exclude them if everything was centered on drinking,” he said.
Kaila Raimondo, ArtSci ’17, said she’d be happy to see some Homecoming events specifically geared towards first years.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, a good way to meet new people and make new friends,” she said.
She also said she plans not to focus on drinking during Homecoming.
“I don’t think I’m worried about [drinking]. If I want to participate, I will; if not, I can do something with a couple of friends,” she said. “It’s not a big deal to me.”
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