Kingston and the Islands MP says more needs to be done to stop University District parties

Queen's University said student who posted sexist signs from their University District homes over homecoming will face consequences. YGK News

Thousands gathered to take part in street parties in and around the campus of Queen’s University in Kingston over the weekend for unsanctioned Homecoming celebrations.

The parties happened in spite of strict warnings from the City of Kingston, Kingston police and the principal of the university, Patrick Deane.

When asked what the university intends to do with students who took part, he says there could be sanctions.

“We don’t have the authority for things they do as private citizens. But we do under certain circumstances under the code (where we) have the ability to impose sanctions,” Deane said. “And those sanctions can run from restorative justice to expulsion.”

Read more: More than 100 partiers ticketed over homecoming weekend: City of Kingston bylaw

But that’s not good enough, according to Kingston and the Islands MP, Mark Gerretsen, who took to Facebook Sunday to call out the university.

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“Queen’s needs to wrap their head around the fact that they are the only part of this equation that can affect the outcome,” Gerretsen, who is also a Queen’s graduate, said.

“I’m very frustrated,” he added.

Disturbing banners were seen that made light of sexual violence against women seen hanging from homes in the University District.

Sexual Assault Centre Kingston (SACK) and Kingston Interval House released a joint statement reacting to the banners.

“It is statements like these that feed into rape culture and make it more unsafe for women and other marginalized populations living in these communities,” the statement read in part.

“It’s unacceptable, it is antithetical to what the university stands for and those houses were visited by the university and those signs were taken down and the code will be used,” Deane said.

Read more: Students who posted misogynistic signs to face consequences under Queen’s code of conduct

But Gerretsen says much of what the university has been saying is simply ‘lip service’.

“What I’m calling on in a call to action is for the university to, say, listen if you’re charged and convicted of an offence during this special time when the city has put in special measures during special event weekends like this, you’ll be expelled from the school,” Gerretsen said.

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Students headed back to class Monday morning but the university and the city continue work to identify students who took part in or hosted Homecoming weekend parties.

So far, Queen’s hasn’t made clear what, if any, sanctions will be used. Gerretsen, meanwhile, hopes they will take the opportunity to send a message strong enough to put an end to this kind of behaviour.

Click to play video: 'Thousands partake in unsanctioned street parties during Queen’s University Homecoming weekend'
Thousands partake in unsanctioned street parties during Queen’s University Homecoming weekend

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