AMS video commendable

On Sept. 12, the AMS’s Municipal Affairs Commission (MAC) posted the video Let Our Alumni Come Home on Youtube.

The QTV-produced video is praiseworthy.

The video features alumni of various graduating classes discussing their time at Queen’s. It ends with the alumni asking to return to Queen’s for a reinstated Homecoming.

Former Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken and Editor in Chief of The Globe and Mail John Stackhouse, spoke about their time at Queen’s, underscoring the point that Homecoming isn’t just about a street party, it’s a celebration of Queen’s values, traditions and stories.

Homecoming was initially cancelled in November of 2008 in an effort to control the expanding Aberdeen Street party that drew a crowd of at least 6,000 earlier that year. A University-sanctioned Homecoming is suspended until 2014 when the decision will be up for review.

As a plea for students to stay away from Aberdeen Street, the video is a welcome change from previous attempts to control the party from behind a desk. Traditional AMS methods like mailing letters, tacking up flyers and sending emails have been unsuccessful.

Alumni in the video put a face on the issue and appeal to party-goers in the long term. Current students will be alumni eventually, and if they want the privilege of a fall Homecoming themselves, it’s in their interest to keep Aberdeen Street empty.

For Queen’s students, the importance of Homecoming is the connection with alumni. With nearly an entire undergraduate class who’ve never experienced an official Homecoming, the Aberdeen Street party has become an insufficient replacement.

There’s no place for the raucous Aberdeen Street party in the future of Queen’s Homecoming. The MAC’s video draws attention to this fact.

Let Our Alumni Come Home is too strong in its attempts at emotional appeal. The triumphant music is overdone.

The video fails to target out-of-town students who are known to descend onto Aberdeen Street each fall. It will have little bearing for this group, but the average undecided student may be deterred from inviting their friends from other cities.

The Aberdeen street party should be avoided because it’s a dangerous event that puts an immense burden on the community. The MAC’s video is a step towards solving the problem and putting the onus on students to reduce Aberdeen street traffic deserves praise.

Regardless, whatever your feelings towards Homecoming or the infamous street party, watch the video.

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