Festive Frosh Week

Frosh Week ‘not a major problem,’ police say

Members of the class of 2010 dance at a party hosted by MCRC Tuesday night.
Members of the class of 2010 dance at a party hosted by MCRC Tuesday night.

Frosh Week 2006, festive even without traditional house parties, hasn’t been a major cause of concern to police.

Last year, 66 charges were laid against students over the Tuesday and Wednesday of Frosh Week, and the annual Main Campus Residence Council’s (MCRC) dance had to be cancelled an hour and a half early due to underage drinking.

Patrick Hoffman, MCRC VP (social) said that for the MCRC executive this year, safety was a primary concern.

“For the dance we increased security two-fold,” Hoffman said, adding that he worked closely with Student Constables (StuCons) to develop an effective security plan.

StuCon ranks were doubled this year and a fence was used during the dance to help limit entrants.

“We admitted only sober frosh,” Hoffman said. “As an exec, we were quite pleased with the dance ... we feel the participants had a great time.” This year, Kingston Police are patrolling campus and the Ghetto with only a few extra patrols.

“It’s not business as usual, but it’s definitely not Homecoming,” said Staff Sergeant Brian Flemming, adding that underage drinking is not a major problem during Frosh Week.

“The biggest issue is always noise complaints,” he said. “Underage drinking has certainly not been a large issue ... certainly not a major problem.” Noise complaints have already lead police to break up several parties on Aberdeen Street. Kingston police would not specify how many.

Faculties this year had to deal with no longer being able to invite frosh over for house parties. In June, outgoing Dean of Student Affairs, Janice Deakin, made the decision to revoke the privilege, citing underage drinking as one of the main reasons for cancelling the parties.

Head Gael Sara Porisky said the absence of house parties didn’t have a significant impact on Frosh Week as a whole.

“In the large scale, it’s only three hours of the week that are different,” she said.

Instead of house parties off campus, activities will be held on campus, Porisky said. ArtSci frosh had an outdoor picnic at Summerhill Wednesday.

EngSoc President Connor Langford said Frosh Week for all the new Sci ’10s is going “exceedingly well.”

“The orientation leaders are doing a great job,” he said.

The ban on house parties put a minor crimp in plans for the Engineering Frosh Week, because these events were traditionally the time when frosh would get their “Eng Cuts.”

Instead, this year the Eng Cuts took place Wednesday evening near Clark Hall Pub, where frosh also got the chance to ask questions about academics and participate in charitable events.

“[The ban] certainly posed some logistical issues, but the important thing to remember is Frosh Week is for the first-years, and we have done everything possible to ensure frosh have the best experience possible, he said. “The two things we wanted to get out of this was Eng Cuts and a close, bonding experience.

“Both of those we feel we’ve accomplished,” Langford said.

In the annual Existère performance, one skit warned incoming frosh to act responsibly after mimicking a party that turned destructive.

Both Principal Karen Hitchcock and Mayor Harvey Rosen addressed all the frosh in Jock Harty Arena Tuesday.

While extolling the opportunity for learning that Queen’s is providing frosh, Rosen told the frosh to set an example with their behaviour.

“We must be mindful of the University’s proximity to other communities, how University events, sanctioned and non-sanctioned, can affect others,” he said. “Don’t make a choice you will regret.”

Hitchcock encouraged students to be thoughtful, caring and good citizens.

“Through volunteer efforts, you can contribute to this community,” she said. “These are the activities for which Queen’s should be known.”

—With files from Anna Mehler Paperny and Lisa Jemison

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