In an AMS Municipal Affairs Commission video posted on Youtube this week (see below), a number of Queen’s University alumni talk about their favorite memories of Queen’s and ask students to stay away from Aberdeen Street this year.
Aberdeen Street, just outside the northern edge of main campus, was the hub of mass partying by students, alumni, and “townies” during the latter years of the traditional fall Homecoming celebrations.
However in 2008, after what the administration called “an unprecedented number of police charges, arrests, violent incidents and injuries”, the event was canceled for at least two years and replaced by a Homecoming-style reunion of Alumni held in May – although large gatherings in and around Aberdeen Street continued during the traditionally held weekend every year since.
In 2010, Principal Daniel Woolf extended the suspension of fall Homecoming by three more years, stating his concern that “if the University’s homecoming is reinstated next fall, not enough time will have passed to truly break the cycle.” It was stated at that time that the decision would be reassessed late in 2013.
In this Alma Mater Society produced video, a plea to current students is made by Queen’s University alumni that include former Speaker of the House of Commons, Peter Milliken (pictured above) – who recently joined Queen’s University as a Fellow in the School of Policy Studies – and John Stackhouse, Editor in Chief of the Globe & Mail newspaper, who visited his old stomping ground at the Queen’s Journal last year.
The Alumni message that they “want to come home” is joined by the AMS’s Youtube page caption:
This year, let’s show our Alumni that we want them to come home and celebrate our school with us.
This year, let’s show our University that we want a fall homecoming back.
This year, let’s step up as students and put an end to the Aberdeen street party that ruined our homecomings.
The video’s appearance seems to have come at the right time, as conversations about “Fauxcoming” – the name used for the street partying that continued even after Homecoming was suspended – is already beginning to appear on Twitter and other social networking sites.