On Sept. 16, Principal Patrick Deane announced that students who ignore provincial regulations of social distancing will be reviewed under the Student Code of Conduct and could face the sanction of expulsion. A month later, no such punishment has been made for the parties that are still ongoing.
The global pandemic has drastically changed the way students perform their studies, as many have decided to stay home while others remain on campus. As classes are offered remotely, the temptation to gather with friends who are also on campus is prevalent.
Queen’s has mandated protocols that limit contact while on campus, such as the closure of in-class lectures and a staggered opening of campus facilities, which follow Ontario Public Health protocols. However, as much as the school has been limiting the spread of COVID-19 on campus, the real concern is the students and their off-campus partying.
Despite Deane’s statement on expulsion as a sanction for students breaching Public Health regulations, no one has been expelled.
With Homecoming being offered virtually for the first time in Queen’s history, the gatherings of students celebrating, while smaller than past years, brought little concern to the mandated threat of expulsion which Deane sent out.
The first curve was flattened by everyone across Ontario listening regularly to the bylaws in place and staying home. To flatten this curve, students must fear the consequences of breaking the bylaws set in place for their safety, not laugh at them.
Deane should not have made such a public statement on expelling students if he had no intentions of following through.
A Queen’s student myself, I have heard the parties and gatherings still taking place both on and off campus. Kingston is a small town, and if I’m hearing the disruption, I’m sure Queen’s is aware of it as well.
If we don’t see accountability for students who refuse to follow social distancing protocols, the curve will never be flattened.
We all want to go back to our normal lives as much as the next person. That starts with legitimate consequences being handed out rather than empty promises.
Julia is a second-year sociology student and The Journal’s Assistant Sports Editor.
expulsion, Patrick Deane, student code of conduct
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