We have the opportunity to cultivate a relationship between Queen’s and Kingston, one fruit and vegetable at a time — an opportunity we’re not taking.
Three times a week, the Kingston Public Market sets up in front of City Hall. The market generates a feeling of community between the city and its surrounding countryside.
Three times a week is plenty of time for Queen’s students to check out the local vendors peddling their wares and farmers selling fresh, local produce.
But from the time I’ve spent down in Market Square — having lived here for years before going to Queen’s for school — it’s clear that we need more tricolour involvement in our local market.
I’ve always felt that Queen’s is a city within a city. There’s so much in the Queen’s community and on campus that anything outside the Queen’s bubble is of little concern.
We can’t forget that Kingston has helped cultivate and nurture the Queen’s community. Since its beginning, Queen’s has been rooted in Kingston and developed along with the city. Although Queen’s has also contributed to Kingston, we have the opportunity to make more personal and lasting connections.
Although students are a major contributor to Kingston’s downtown economy, the smaller communities that border Kingston and the farms that populate them don’t necessarily feel the connection between the city and campus.
The market is a place where the surrounding communities that make up Kingston create a forum for commerce, activity and dialogue. But the lack of student presence makes me realize how little Queen’s students have participated in the personal connections that Kingston can offer.
By reconnecting with Kingston through local sellers, we’re able to feel our presence as more than just students passing through, but also as residents of this city.
It may also help students appreciate their experience at Queen’s more at the end of the day. There’s a lot more Kingston has to offer than it’s university.
Without participation from students in events such as the Kingston Public Market, the disconnect between Kingston and Queen’s will only widen. We can’t sit back and let it.
It’s time to look beyond our limestone buildings and connect to the people of this town who accept us into their city year after year.
Zachary is one of The Journal’s Copy Editors. He’s a second-year English student.
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