After a four-year ban on Homecoming, the annual tradition will see an official return in the fall.
Principal Daniel Woolf’s announcement on Dec. 11 was met with optimism from student leaders and alumni. The decision came after 16 months of planning between the University, the City and Kingston Police.
Discussions on bringing the event back began in Nov. 2011 after Queen’s Rector Nick Francis spear-headed a working group consisting of different stakeholders, such as student leaders, alumni and faculty members. “Obviously past years went in a direction that didn’t work out,” Francis, ArtSci ’13 said.
“When we first started brainstorming how we could bring it back, we focused on the roots and the essence of what Homecoming means and we built on that.”
This summer, an official planning committee was created to oversee programming and events should Homecoming make a return in the future.
It was decided that Homecoming will be split into two weekends — Oct. 4 and Oct. 19 — to deter mass crowds and unruly behavior.
The split will also give more opportunity to alumni to take part in Homecoming.
The first date will host events for reunion years ending in five, with the second hosting reunions ending in zero. A focus on alumni and student networking will also be featured during events.
Though the planning committee has met twice since the announcement, any further details for the events are being kept private for the time being.
Principal Woolf told the Journal on Dec. 11 that he decided to reinstate Homecoming officially after good student behaviour last October.
Though he said the City hasn’t come forward with an official position on the return of Homecoming, Bill Glover, Kingston city councillor for the Sydenham District, said that the University has improved its relationship with the City considerably since 2008.
“There has been a sea of change in the University’s administration since Principal Hitchcock refused to acknowledge any ownership of the issue and that was a big contributor to the standoff,” he said.
“Principal Williams immediately took ownership and started active discussions with one-on-one groups and Woolf has carried that on.”
Principal Hitchcock served from 2004 to ’08, with Williams replacing her.
Glover said it’s important to be wary of the risks associated with a Queen’s Homecoming.
“I have no great expectations,” he said. “How it’s going to be depends on the way students treat it.”
Sara Colozza, ArtSci ’12, said that though she’s excited to return to Queen’s for the official event, she’s wary of student’s behavior and thinks splitting Homecoming into two weeks will be beneficial.
“It’s definitely not going to be as powerful as a traditional Homecoming because not everyone is going to be there,” she said.
“But because we’ve had so many issues with safety and respect, it’s probably for the best.”
All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to email@example.com.