Undergraduate Trustee apologizes for attending Coronavirus-themed party

Macintyre acknowledges actions were “in poor taste”

Images from Saturday's party.

This story was updated with new information at 7:45 p.m. on Feb. 3.

Undergraduate Trustee Tyler Macintyre apologized Monday for attending a Coronavirus-themed party on Saturday night, where students wore surgical masks, drank Corona beers, and decorated the walls with biohazard symbols.  

“I attended a Corona party on Saturday February 1st 2020, this action was in poor taste and I apologize,” he wrote in a post on his Facebook profile. “I am aware that my participation implicitly made light of a serious issue that affects many people, both inside and outside of the Queen’s university community.”

The Journal reached out to MacIntyre on Sunday for a statement after learning about the event that took place. Macintyre issued an apology on Facebook regarding his attendance on Monday morning.

In a statement published Monday afternoon, Principal Patrick Deane warned students against ostracising members of the Chinese and Asian community.

"Actions taken out of fear, guided by misinformation and false assumptions, do a disservice to every member of our community. Ignorantly ostracizing Chinese and Asian students will rip apart the beautiful tapestry of our international campus and must be repudiated by everyone," Deane wrote.

"Now is a time to come together and care for one another, with dignity and respect. This virus does not discriminate, and our greatest weapon against it is knowledge and correct, preventive action," he added.

In his statement, Macintyre said he didn’t consider the meaning behind his actions or the real-world consequences of the Coronavirus when he attended the event. He also noted the stigma faced by Chinese students at Queen’s. 

“I meant no harm to anyone in doing so. I extend my most sincere apology to the University community, and particularly to anyone who I offended with my actions,” Macintyre wrote.

“Further, I acknowledge the stigma facing Chinese students at Queen’s at this time. I vehemently oppose any marginalization of the Chinese community on campus, and I deeply regret any legitimization my attendance provided. In the future, I will more carefully consider my participation in events, and challenge the elements of Queen’s culture that encourage inconsiderate actions that run contrary to either my own or the University community’s values.”

Last week, The Journal reported that two Queen’s students from Wuhan were asking the community for medical supplies to send home to their families.

In a statement published on Monday evening, the AMS said it "wholeheartedly" condemns the recent events. 

"Our community needs to do better and to be better, particularly when engaging in discourse surrounding issues that affect our world," the statement read. "We need to rise above resorting to ignorance and hatred. Belittling or invalidating a person’s feelings and opinions only serves to fuel the discriminatory rhetoric that we should all work to eliminate from our campus."

"As the leaders of tomorrow, we need to set the example by considering how our words and actions have meaning."

Corrections

The account of a student who wrote to The Journal via email to discuss the party has since been removed after it was deemed to be unreliable.

The Journal regrets the error.

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