Queen’s University has announced that it will be cancelling its in person homecoming after having “difficult discussions” with its community partners. The university previously announced that it would host homecoming over two weekends following overwhelming interest from its alumni.
The advancement office initially stated that this would depend on the circumstances at the time and would align with public health advice. “The announcement was made as early as possible to assist with organizing events. It was also made clear that all activities would be subject to evolving public health guidelines and considerations,” wrote the university in a statement.
“However, after recent conversations with both the university and Kingston community, including out health care partners, the City of Kingston and police, we 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,” said university officials of Tuesday. “Homecoming 2021 will be entirely virtual.
The university reiterated that the health and well being of the Kingston and university community will always be a number one priority. “We will continue to work closely with our community partners as we gradually bring back our inperson campus operations and safely resume the research and teaching that is the foundation of our institution.
The university faced scrutiny over the past week over its decision to host a two weekend, in person and virtual homecoming. Despite this, the university maintained that it was important to plan the event in advanced, otherwise the event would not happen. In a previous statement, Mayor Brian Paterson said that he had no knowledge of the university’s plans to plan a two weekend homecoming but felt assured that they would be approaching him as soon as it was possible.
More to come.