Aberdeen to close for Homecoming

City council approves AMS proposal to close street to traffic during Homecoming weekend

Aberdeen Street will be closed Homecoming weekend following a motion passed by Kingston City Council Aug. 22.

The motion was part of an AMS proposal put forward to council with the help of University administration and police.

The three-pronged proposal also advocated an exemption from the noise bylaw for students partying that night but council vetoed this proposal.

AMS President James Macmillan said the AMS worked with different members of the Kingston and Queen’s communities to arrive at its current stance on Homecoming.

“In terms of how the proposals were crafted, we approached various people over the summer, including police, administration [and] city officials, and built on work done by committees that were run throughout the year,” said Macmillan.

Jason Laker, dean of student affairs, worked with the AMS on the proposals.

Laker said the street closure is not a measure to condone a street party but to prevent traffic in places where people might gather.

“The city council, the Queen’s administration and student leadership are investing a great deal of trust in the students,” he said. “It is important that students rise to the occasion and demonstrate they merit this trust.”

From the report “Aberdeen Street - Potential Street Party Risk Management and Mitigation Strategies,” the AMS and University administration proposed three suggestions.

The proposals sought to allow an exemption from the noise bylaw, to temporarily close off Aberdeen Street, and for the city and the University to enter into an agreement, setting out roles and responsibilities of each party to be approved by the city’s Chief Administrative Officer.

The proposal to close Aberdeen Street was approved by the council in order to reduce conflict between students and police.

The Johnson Street and Earl Street entrances of Aberdeen will be closed from 12 p.m. on Sept. 16 to 12 p.m. on Sept. 17. William Street will also be closed from 8 p.m. on Sept. 16 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 17.

Macmillan said the closure will help facilitate a safer environment during that weekend.

“The police won’t have to kick people off the street. It’ll allow police and other people who are there to focus on more serious things that are going on, rather than spending time ushering students off the street,” he said.

The barriers on Johnson and Earl Streets will also keep people who are not from Queen’s off the street, said Floyd Patterson, councillor for Sydenham Ward.

“One of the problems last Sept. 24 was a lot of people who were not Queen’s-connected, and had no loyalty [to], or knowledge of the Queen’s code of conduct, infiltrated the street,” he said. “They ignore all the regulations of the Queen’s campus, and this becomes an anarchy factor.”

The noise bylaw prohibits loud noises and amplified music outdoors. Students who break the bylaw will be charged with a fine.

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