Avoid Aberdeen, already

Last year Principal Tom Williams officially cancelled Homecoming, but that hasn’t stopped the Queen’s community from speculating if the dangerous and unsanctioned Aberdeen Street party will rear its ugly head again this weekend. The City of Kingston has elected not to close Aberdeen Street as they have in the past, and Queen’s Red Hat volunteers will no longer be present. Police forces will be in the area to protect community safety and provide crowd control.

The Aberdeen Street party is unrelated to Homecoming’s greater purpose as a positive, spirit-building reunion weekend. It’s a shame the entire event had to change in response to the dangers of a careless party. With fewer safety measures in place, it’s important for students to be in control of their actions this weekend. Wandering in a crowd of inebriated high school students, known sexual predators and out-of-towners with no academic reputation

to protect is a recipe for disaster. Searching streets covered in broken glass for friends you’ve lost doesn’t make for a fun night out, either.

It’s up to us as students to withdraw from the Aberdeen Street situation and resist the temptation to be a bystander. The majority that attends the street party only to see the spectacle forms just as much a part of the problem as the few who intentionally cause trouble.

Students are the only ones who can effectively stand up against the lunacy of the fauxcoming party. No other authority has as much sway in convincing our peers than we, as friends and floormates, do. Our choices will make the greatest difference in curbing the danger. It’s likely this landmark year will set the tone for the future of the Aberdeen Street party, and the University should pay close attention to what unfolds.

It’s unfortunate the car-flipping, fist-fighting and bottle-smashing sparked by so few affects all of our reputations as Queen’s students. It’s on our shoulders to show the national media—who will undoubtedly be watching—that we’re not complete animals, but competent academics.

To Queen’s alumni, the Aberdeen Street party isn’t a tradition—it’s an embarrassment. As students, we should bear in mind this event will alter perceptions of the place we’re proud to call our school.

This weekend, let’s use the sense that got us into Queen’s and avoid the scene on Aberdeen.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.