Frosh Week 2011 earned a surplus, allowing the Orientation Roundtable (ORT) to make a charitable donation. The extra $5,000 was given to Kingston General Hospital (KGH) on Jan. 31, with an intended focus on youth mental health.
ORT is a body that co-ordinates Frosh Week for all undergraduate faculties. Its sub-committees deal with finances, event-booking and overall logistics.
ORT Co-ordinator Rachel Shindman said the surplus is a result of over-budgeting. The Frosh concert incurred less costs than expected, with less money spent on artists and venue.
The goal of ORT is to break even every year, Shindman, ConEd ’12, said.
“The idea is to budget to $0 and spend the money collected in any year on that year’s Orientation,” she told the Journal via email. “The concert this year was a bit of a special case because of the venue change.”
Since 2008, the concert has been held off-campus due to noise bylaws. Last May, city council granted a noise bylaw exemption, allowing the concert back on campus.
“Because it hadn’t been on campus for three years, we weren’t really sure how much it was going to cost,” Shindman said.
KGH wrote a statement of support for the ORT, which was given to city council and was a significant factor in getting the noise bylaw exemption.
“We wanted to really make sure that we were proactively talking to the people who were most affected to make sure that … wasn’t going to have negative effects on them.”
The concert, held in the parking lot outside Miller Hall, was scheduled to end at 11 p.m. instead of midnight, and speakers were faced away from the hospital in an attempt to lessen the impact on KGH.
Ticket prices remained the same despite the change of location.
With the exception of Concurrent Education and Computing students, most Frosh Week participants had the ticket price of $18.90 included in their overall orientation fees.
In the past when the concert was held off-campus, there was no surplus, Shindman said. The Frosh Week 2012 ORT plans to continue holding the concert on-campus.
The prevalence of mental health issues on campus was a reason behind the donation to KGH, Shindman said, adding that ORT felt it relevant to donate specifically to the child and adolescent psychiatry program at KGH.
“[Mental health has] always been an issue on campus and people are just noticing it more now,” she said.
Denise Cumming, executive director of the University Hospital Kingston Foundation at KGH, said the psychiatry program focuses on in-patient programs for children and youth who are coping with mental health issues.
“Queen’s students have been phenomenally supportive of the hospital for many years,” Cumming said. “They’re great volunteers and we have a fantastic relationship with Queen’s and the student body.”
Though the unit is specific to individuals 17 years or younger, there’s another unit for adults.
“It provides in-patient care for people who are seriously ill or in crisis,” she said. “I would hope that Queen’s students would not find themselves in crisis, but if they should then … this is the unit that they would be admitted to.”
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