Letters to the editors

Homecoming-inspired poetry

Dear Editors,

Re: “Spring reunion planned for May” (Journal, Nov. 21, 2008)

I thought, based on the approaching season and the recent announcement, I’d write a little something. You’ll find it below.

“How the Principal Stole Homecoming”

All the Gaels in the ghetto liked Homecoming A LOT! But Principal Williams, who lived just South of Union DID NOT!

He hated Homecoming: the parade and the party! All the complaints about it made him wheezy and farty!

Now, don’t ask why, no one can say, it could be he didn’t get accepted back in his undergrad days.

Some have suggested, “He’s too damned uptight.” “And that ivory tower is at too great a height!”

But I think the reason that is far more in tune, is that he has a heart of ice as cold as the moon.

Well, whatever the reason, his grades or his heart, he sat at his Dell and thought, “How do I start?”

“Do I tell them outright, that Homecoming is cancelled? Or do I give them some fake reasons before their plans are trampled!”

“Haha!” he laughed, “This is meaner than John Orr, when I eliminated dance tickets to keep out the poor.”

“Homecoming,” he said, “What a terrible mess! There’s the purpling, and people in Sci ’53 dress.

“Old people and young, mingling together!

Laughing and partying despite the bad weather?

“No,” he said, “I can’t allow it! I do not like Homecoming, not one tiny bit!”

“No more Aberdeen!” he crowed with a squawk! “That’ll keep partiers under key and lock!”

“Sure,” he reasoned, “It wasn’t a big deal. It’s not like the media’s reports were real.”

“But there was drinking! Some underage!” He thought with a thunk. “Now, Aberdeen will be beautiful! Instead of teeming with drunks.”

“All of Queen’s campus, will be squeakily clean! No complaints from busy-bodies is what no Homecoming means.”

So the Principal opened an e-mail, and created a To: list. All the while giggling, “Man... they’re going to be PISSED”.

So sure enough, the e-mail was sent. Alumi across the world knew what it meant.

They shook heads sadly, “Weren’t there options for ’09? “Cancelling festivities, this seems like a crime.”

They fumed for a while, talked to friends on the phone. And said to each other, “Wait, we’re not alone!

There are thousands of us, all over the place!” And just like that, FACEBOOK and MYSPACE!

The groups online grew and they quickly amassed. Williams thought nothing of it, until 10 months had passed.

Then, on one Friday, when Homecoming was, Tom Williams stood stupid, as stupidly does.

That Fall day in his ivory tower, Prince Williams did stand. When he heard something: “No, can’t be, a band?”

He leapt to the glass, and crooked an ear to the window. It started like a murmur, but music did flow.

“It can’t be,” said Williams, “I took it all away!” But sure enough crowds began to appear on that day.

They chanted and cheered and triumphantly called! To sing a song of Queen’s College, for one and for all.

And sing, they did do, of college sweaters and liquor. And suddenly, the Principal began to think quicker.

“Maybe Homecoming isn’t about a street?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s something not to be beat?”

And then, at that moment you know what they say? That the Principal’s heart melted that day.

He stormed down the stairs to join that big group. And told one and all, he’d been a big poop.

“We’ll figure it out and make it all work. I’m sorry, everyone, that I was a jerk.”

“Homecoming reinstated,” the principal cheered! No longer a douchebag, he was expediently beered.

The principal and Gaels, they partied into the night. Not a mob, or a riot, was ever in sight.

“This school spirit is amazing!” Tom said with a cry. And yes, that former grinch, even led the next Oil Thigh.

Hopefully everyone, Homecoming comes back. But until that does happen give the Principal flack. For caving to non-Queen’s interests, Tom: Show some sack!

Now the time has arrived for the end of this poem. So here is to coming!

Especially Home.


Chris Ball
ArtSci ’03

Do something about Homecoming

Dear Editors,

Re: “Spring reunion planned for May” (Journal, Nov. 21, 2008)

Since the Principal announced the cancellation of fall Homecoming there has been a flurry activity on Facebook. Immediately, at least four different groups sprung up to condemn the administration’s decision and an unofficial Homecoming event was planned, boasting over 3,500 attendees as I write this. Words have been exchanged by supporters and non-supporters to no avail. Yet a common consensus has emerged: Queen’s Homecoming should be about Queen’s students and alumni. I have not seen a single comment in the literally hundreds I have read that endorses the attendance of people not related to Queen’s. Even the unofficial Homecoming event description begins with “A call to all Queen’s Alumni...”

The clear message being sent is that Queen’s Homecoming should be for Queen’s. Yet few have put forth solutions as to how to have a Homecoming without attracting thousands who don’t have anything to do with Queen’s. And those who choose to stay ignorant to the reality of this difficult disentanglement are complicit in the problems that vegetate in what Homecoming has become.

Constantly I hear that “the minds at Queen’s should have thought of something else.” Well, you are a mind at Queen’s. You go or went there. You have a say.

I, for one, choose not to heed the call to non-action characterized by the endless finger pointing that has taken place. Thus, I have started Queen’s Students and Alumni for Solutions to Homecoming, or QSASH. Call it the first unofficial cross student-alumni group, in true Queen’s acronym form. QSASH looks beyond the simple polemic of supporting or not supporting the administration and is dedicated to researching, engaging in dialogue and ultimately providing viable solutions to Homecoming. Currently we’re soliciting current students and alumni to apply to be execs to accomplish these goals.

I really believe that we can save the true spirit and tradition that lies somewhere buried beneath what Homecoming has become. Maybe you do too. You can find QSASH on Facebook or e-mail us at homecomingsolutions@gmail.com if you’re interested in being part of the solution.

Thomas Simmons
ArtSci ’08
QSASH Founder/President 

Students should wake up

Dear Editors,

Re: “Spring reunion planned for May” (Journal, Nov. 21, 2008)

In the wake of Homecoming being cancelled, I have joined several Facebook groups and spoken with many other alumni who are unspeakably angry and disappointed with the decision. As I look through the online edition of the Journal, I see an attitude that is completely different. The blasé reactions that permeate this newspaper make me wonder how a student body could change so much in the three years since I left it. Do you understand what it is we have lost, or should I say, thrown away? I have never understood why irresponsible students invite their moronic friends from other universities and then refuse to take responsibility for them. We work hard to get into Queen’s. We work hard when we get here. Homecoming is our reward for that, as well as the chance to revel in what it means to go to Queen’s University. Your friends don’t understand that because they don’t go to school here. Too bad for them. And now, too bad for me and the other alumni who will be missing Homecoming because of your complete inability to appreciate a good thing when you have it. The graduates of 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 have a new responsibility—to earn back Homecoming. Don’t use these two years to throw an illegal party or maintain a generally indifferent attitude. You owe Queen’s University alumni more than that. Use them to grow up.

Haley Rose
ArtSci ’05, BEd ’06

What’s your solution?

Dear Editors,

Re: “Homecoming going awry” (Journal, Nov. 21, 2008)

In the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal, your editorial writer states, regarding the cancelling of the fall Homecoming and the introduction of a Spring Reunion: “It’s disappointing that the University’s taking such a drastic action that punishes the innocent parties involved without solving the problem.” Criticizing a decision is easy to do. What I, and I’m sure others in the Queen’s community, would love to hear is the Journal’s (or editorial writer’s) detailed solution to “solve the problem” that takes into account issues of cost, safety, liability, reputation, alumni relations, town-gown relations, etc. Please tell us how you would “solve the problem.”

Andrew J. Daugulis
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

Daily oppression

Dear Editors,

Re: “Deciphering campus graffiti” (Journal, Nov. 21, 2008)

At first I was concerned with the recent developments in critical thinking here at Queen’s. Now I’m just entertained. Richard Day has to “deal with every day” the “worry” caused by “suits and ties ... parking lots ... and fluorescent lights?” That’s the first thing I think of when I see someone in the parking lot across the street wearing a suit and tie, “Oh fuck not today! I thought I’d go one day without being oppressed!”

Is there any fault more prevalent in the left today than the fact that it has some good ideas and some ludicrously inane ones, and that it states both categories with equal conviction?

Gareth Chantler
ArtSci ’09

End the politically correct ‘brainwashing’

Dear Editors,

Frankly, I could not believe what Queen’s was up to when I read the Globe and Mail article on this a few days ago. Simon Fraser or “social justice” (oxymoron if there ever was one) Windsor, maybe, but Queen’s? All I can say to your e-mail to alumni trying to defend your indefensible position is take a long, flying leap off a very short communist-built pier. What Utopian, socialist idealist dreamed up this thought police force and who among the wretched un-idea’d souls in the student body, few though they doubtless be, are naive enough to “volunteer” to be a thought cop?

You are not only trying to control free speech in the last environment on earth (which would be academia, in case Queen’s forgot why it exists) where it should ever be controlled, you are now broadcasting propaganda e-mails to spread the Mighty Queen’s Word to alumni. Why do I think China? USSR? Hitler?

And you guys want money eight times a year from me? Are you serious? Kill this stupid politically-correct mongering, social engineering, brainwashing bullshit before it kills you. Because it will.

A no longer proud alumnus and former Journal reporter,

Philip T. Cheesman ArtSci ’80
Library litter

Dear Editors,

Each morning at 8 a.m., a handful of colleagues and I attempt to tidy Stauffer Library in preparation for the day ahead. Hitherto, this task largely involved picking up books and returning them to the shelves but, since September, it has taken us an increasing amount of time due to the volume of garbage that patrons see fit to leave behind. Despite there being many receptacles for waste throughout the building, patrons who use the north and south reading rooms and the fireside room persist in leaving these areas looking like a pigsty.

It is generally accepted, I believe, that the presence of rats denotes the presence of food. Given the half-eaten muffins, tins of energy drink and mugs of cold tea and coffee picked up each day, how long will it be before the JDUC rats follow their noses across University Avenue?

Sheila Cornett
Arts ’69

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