Woolf goes door-to-door asking for self-discipline

Queen’s Principal visits houses on Aberdeen and Earl Streets; tells students to avoid street parties

Principal Daniel Woolf visiting a house near campus. He posted this photograph on Twitter last Saturday.
Principal Daniel Woolf visiting a house near campus. He posted this photograph on Twitter last Saturday.

Principal Daniel Woolf went door-to-door last Saturday asking students to exercise restraint during the two approaching Homecoming weekends.

Woolf knocked on doors along Earl and Aberdeen Streets, and gave out Homecoming pamphlets and newsletters to students who answered their doors. He was accompanied by Kristyn Wallace, a Queen’s communications specialist.

Woolf said he felt the best way to communicate with students about potential misconduct was by visiting them in person.

“I wanted to have frank conversations about what we hope the event will and will not be,” he told the Journal via email.

Woolf said he told students to avoid large gatherings and street parties, which have been common in past Homecoming weekends.

The pamphlets and newsletters were intended to give students information about Homecoming events, he said, since many students are not familiar with the tradition.

“I wanted students … to know a little more about the event, the ways they can get involved and the activities for them to enjoy during Homecoming,” he said.

The newsletters also contained information about the history of Homecoming.

Woolf said he’s looking forward to Homecoming, but is concerned with keeping it safe for everyone involved.

“Above all I want it to be a safe event that is respectful of Queen’s, our alumni and the city of Kingston,” he said.

Tom Harris, vice-principal (advancement), said the eight-page homecoming newsletter contains information about alcohol safety.

He said the paper is part of the work done by Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services to help students make good choices.

“The choice to drink or not to drink, or how much to drink, is an individual choice,” Harris said. “What we can do is provide the resources and support to our students that allow them to make informed choices.”

He said the University will also limit alcohol consumption by checking all attendees at football games for alcohol, projectiles and other prohibited items.

Cassie Downe, PheKin ’14, who lives on Aberdeen St., said she was surprised to see Principal Woolf at her doorstep.

“It was neat, I’ve never met him before,” she said. “He just asked if we have any plans to host a party or a kegger, to which we responded ‘no’, because we’re not.”

She said he told her he wanted the keep Aberdeen St. as clear as possible. Downe said she wasn’t sure if the visits will make much of an impact, although the pamphlets were educational.

“It was really interesting to get the article with all the different things going on in Homecoming,” she said. “People sort of think Homecoming is just the football game and then the street party.”

Downe said she still expects this year’s Homecoming to be rowdier than the weekend celebrations of the last two years.

“I think it’s going to be a lot, lot louder, just from what I’ve heard,” she said.

Matt McGuckin, ArtSci ’14, said Woolf visited his house around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. He said the message seemed to be a warning against excessive drinking.

“[Woolf] basically said it’s a good time to enjoy with alumni, let’s try to get the tradition back,” he said.

McGuckin said he thinks this Homecoming will be more controlled than it was before the ban, which was implemented after 2008’s rowdy celebrations.

“A lot more people will find out where the line is now that it’s been so long,” he said.

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