The ReUnion Street Festival was the epitome of what Homecoming is all about: spirit, community, and tricolour pride. Students and alumni were offered a venue to come together in celebration of their alma mater and Gaels of all ages attended the event to toast the place where it all began.
At a meeting between the AMS and our city partners, one gentleman said, “When you guys first came to speak with us, I thought this would never happen. And I happily stand corrected.” Together, we were able to pull off an event that responded to the feedback from students and alumni alike. The Festival proved that you can have an event that effectively brings together students and alumni; no matter how different they may be in age or interest. With the Festival, we were able to proactively take advantage of an unmet opportunity.
The Festival was so much more than just a “street party”: it provided a large-scale venue for students and alumni to connect over homecoming weekend in their shared celebration of Queen’s. As such, with a successful inaugural year, it is time to lay out how the Festival can become cemented as a Homecoming tradition.
Now, as we look forward to implementing this event as a Homecoming tradition it has been made clear that student support will be instrumental in the vision to have the Festival continue for years to come.
At Thursday’s Assembly the AMS will be proposing a $12.50 mandatory fee to be voted on by students at the Annual General Meeting on March 10th. The Festival allowed students to interact with alumni and celebrate their university in an unprecedented fashion. It provided a venue for people of all demographics and interests to interact. In particular, there was a mix of both passive and active entertainment, in addition to an outlet for students who wished to drink and those who did not. Conversations that took place immediately after the Festival, including at AMS Assembly and through the plebiscite question released in the AMS Fall Referendum indicated that this goal was achieved.
This year the festival was funded by the AMS Advantage Fund, which is to be used to provide a one-time source of financial support for major projects deemed by the Board of Directors and the Executive to be in the long term best interest of students and a benefit to the AMS membership and community. Due to the one-time nature of the fund, we will not be able to fund the festival through this avenue again. This is why we have looked to alternative sources of funding to ensure the event occurs in future years.
Alongside sponsorship, ticket sales to non-students, and support from external funding sources, the AMS is looking for student support.The reason the proposed fee will be mandatory is into allow the Festival to remain an open event for all students. Without the requirement for “ticket checks”, we will be able to keep the street ungated and free-flowing. As well, recognizing that all students stand to benefitfrom an event that brings students closer to their alumni and their city, we feel that it would be appropriate that all students be charged a fee. We are committed to ensuring that we consult widely to ensure that the desires of all students are met each year. The AMS will also seek financial contributions through other mechanisms every year with the objective of eliminating the need for student contribution in the future. Tickets will be sold to guests and alumni looking to enter the licensed area of the event, but current students will have full access to the entire festival space.
If this fee were to not pass it would mean that the festival would not be able to continue for Homecoming 2015. In order for this event to continue it requires financial contribution from both the students and the university.
The AMS is committed to entrenching the ReUnion Street Festival as a traditional Homecoming event. We have carefully analyzed the areas of success and areas in need of improvement moving forward. It is our intent to continue engaging all student, university, and community stakeholders to ensure that the Festival meets the needs of all parties. We are confident that with continued support, the Festival will be the pinnacle of Tricolour pride, and serve to bind the Queen’s community in an unparalleled fashion.
We hope that you will support this event alongside the AMS and vote to make your new Homecoming tradition. #keepthetraditionalive
Alma Mater Society of Queen's University
L’Université Queen’s est située sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Haudenosaunee et Anishinaabe.