Last Saturday, Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf went door-to-door on Aberdeen and Earl Streets discouraging residents from participating in street parties or hosting keggers this weekend. Woolf passed out literature which contained information about official Homecoming events and the history of the reunion weekend. While cynical people will question the effectiveness of his strategy, going door-to-door is a better way of provoking good student behaviour than anything else that has been attempted.
It’s fun to speculate about the motivation behind Woolf’s personal appeal to Ghetto residents. It could have been an act of desperation in advance of one of his most important weekends as Queen’s Principal.
It could have been a public relations tactic to appease Homecoming’s critics, complete with an earnest Twitter picture of the act. It also could have been a genuine attempt to remind students of the historical and communal importance of Homecoming. Woolf hasn’t given us many reasons to be pessimistic about his motives, so we’re leaning towards the latter.
If Principal Woolf arrived on your doorstep and talked in a reasonable tone about the importance of a smooth Homecoming weekend, you would feel a little bit guilty about your plans for a raging kegger, wouldn’t you? In that sense, Woolf’s tactic might be marginally effective. A face-to-face meeting with the Principal will always mean more than a well-written but often ignored email.
Woolf’s approach is much more positive and edifying than the AMS’s “let’s not fuck it up” campaign. The student government’s video which featured numerous student talking heads telling the viewer not to “fuck it up” had confusing moments. Surely our student government could have come up with a more extensive and creative campaign.
Principal Woolf has effectively put the ball in our court. His door-to-door strategy has removed the barrier between students and the administration, and by having conversations with students, he’s treating them like adults. Woolf carried newsletters outlining the history of Homecoming, the implication being that this weekend, for better or for worse, we can make history.
This editorial has been updated to reflect the following correction: The AMS video’s message was “let’s not fuck it up”, not “don’t fuck it up”. Incorrect information appeared in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal. The Journal regrets the error.
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