Queen’s backtracks on plans for an in-person Homecoming 2021

In-person HOCO is a no-go

Queen’s held consultations with Kingston community stakeholders before making the call.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Though Queen’s had announced it was planning two in-person Homecoming celebrations in October, Principal Patrick Deane cancelled those plans this morning.

“[W]e have made the difficult decision to cease any preparations for an in-person event this fall due to concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Homecoming 2021 will be entirely virtual,” Deane wrote in a statement.

The decision was made after consultations with the University’s healthcare partners, the City of Kingston, and Kingston Police, according to Deane. 

READ MORE: Queen’s plans two Homecoming weekends in October

“Late last month, the university informed its alumni volunteers and reunion classes about plans to host two Homecoming events in October,” Deane wrote. “Many of our alumni were hopeful that this year, they might be able to return to Kingston.”

The announcement of the two events was made early to assist with organization, but Deane said the University made it clear that all activities were dependent on “evolving” public health guidelines.

He said alumni “around the world” will still have the opportunity to gather virtually at Homecoming 2021.

“COVID-19 has affected us all and it is clear we will be dealing with the impact of the virus for some time,” Deane wrote. “Our priority is and will always be the health and well-being of our Kingston and university community while we work to fulfill our mission to deliver high quality education and services to our students.”

“Despite the challenges, a virtual Homecoming 2021 will benefit all our stakeholders and most importantly, address any risk to the health and safety of our community.”

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