Letters to the Editors

Homecoming and Aberdeen not causally linked

Dear Editors,

Re: “Looking ahead to Homecoming’s future” (Journal, Oct. 23, 2007)

I fundamentally disagree with Garrison’s view that “It’s not very productive to continue the weak argument that the two [Homecoming and Aberdeen] are separate. Queen’s has to accept that the two go hand in hand and find a solution that is going to impact both.” To assert that Aberdeen is a result of Homecoming simply because the street party occurs after Homecoming starts is not just a weak argument but a logical fallacy.

The problem with Garrison’s argument is that it makes a connection between Homecoming and the Aberdeen street party that does not necessarily exist. If Aberdeen street parties had existed since the very first Homecoming, then this argument would prove persuasive. The problem is that we all know that is not the case. For all the talk of ‘traditions’ surrounding Aberdeen, it is a relatively recent phenomenon, especially in its recent extreme form.

There’s a disconnect in the logic of Homecoming, therefore Aberdeen has historically been classified as “post hoc ergo propter hoc.” Or for those of us who aren’t in Classics, “after this, therefore because of this.” Just substitute “Homecoming” for “this” and you basically have city council’s thinking in a nutshell. The problem is, as I have shown above, this doesn’t necessarily follow.

To condemn Homecoming on the strength of an argument about an event to which it’s not necessarily connected seems absurd. I’m not trying to argue that something shouldn’t be done about Aberdeen, because something should be. What I am trying to prove, however, is that arguments about Aberdeen should stay on topic.

Eric Grigg
ArtSci ’09

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