AMS develops proactive safety policy for Homecoming

City to issue Court Summons, AMPs during homecoming weekend

The City’s University District Safety Initiative will be in effect over Homecoming weekend, from Oct. 16 to 19.

As the annual party weekend approaches, the AMS is developing a proactive policy to encourage safe behaviour during Homecoming.

Due to restrictions on social gatherings, Homecoming will take place completely virtually on Oct. 17. The AMS campaign will launch at the start of that week, including a video, social media posts, and a contest.

Alexia Henriques, AMS vice-president (university affairs) first mentioned the policy in AMS Assembly on Sept. 24.

“With a second wave of COVID-19 occurring, it is important to emphasize community safety, avoiding large gatherings, and socially distancing from peers,” Henriques wrote in a statement to The Journal.

READ MORE: AMS Assembly: compensation policy for student labour in the works

“We hope to educate our peers on the possible fines or tickets that could be incurred and focus on ways that students can still celebrate their school spirit in a safe and respectful way.”

The contest will ask members of the Queen’s community to submit a video explaining their plans for a safe homecoming. The winning submission will receive a prize.

The AMS began working on the campaign in mid-September in consultation with stakeholders from the Community Partners Working Group. The Society created a taskforce composed of AMS Senior Management team members to work on the campaign. 

The AMS Commissioner of External Affairs, Director of Alumni and Sponsorship, Marketing Director, and Communications Director are all working on the campaign, along with partners from the City of Kingston and Queen’s Alumni Office.

StudioQ is developing video content for the campaign.

“To celebrate Homecoming safely, we recommend that folks stay home and keep within their bubbles. We suggest that students wear masks when social distancing is not possible and avoid sharing drinks,” Henriques wrote.

The City’s University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) will be in effect over Homecoming weekend, from Oct. 16 to 19. The UDSI was launched in 2018 as a collaborative effort by the City, Kingston Police, and the University to subdue the intensity of street partying.

READ MORE: City to enforce restrictions on social gatherings during pandemic

Those charged for committing an offence—breaking the Nuisance Party Bylaw, the Liquor License Act, or the Noise Bylaw—could be issued a Court Summons or an Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP).

Kingston City Council passed a measure on Aug. 11 allowing the use of AMP to enforce the Nuisance Party Bylaw and the Noise Bylaw because of the increased consequences associated with large gatherings during the pandemic.  

“We still want students to have fun and celebrate this day, however this year things are different since celebrations must take place in people’s respective bubbles. We hope our peers choose to stay home this Homecoming,” Henriques wrote.

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