Dave, Carolyn, and I want to apologize to all of you for the decision we made to close Queen’s Pub and The Underground for Homecoming and Frost Week. We were wrong, and we want you to know that we are reversing our decision.
Over the past week, we have been in the difficult situation of addressing long-standing cultural issues within The AMS Pub Services (TAPS). Our TAPS management team hosted a scavenger hunt social as part of their staff training. The activities that the management team asked their staff to complete were acts of hazing, and that is unacceptable. That evening, two staff members were hospitalized as a result of alcohol poisoning – one also had severe injuries after they went through a storefront window.
It is activities like this scavenger hunt that alienate members of staff, and dissuade students from applying to the service. They put the health and safety of our staff at risk, and bring into question our ability to provide a safe-drinking environment.
We are apologizing because we failed to take appropriate action immediately. After the incident we were being pressured from every direction – from the University, from students, and from our staff – and we tried to please everyone.
We made a mistake in an attempt to protect the managers we hired. We were told by the University to dismiss a member of the management team, or face the closure of the service for at least the remainder of the year. We thought by taking strong action – closing the service during two high-volume periods – we could change their mind. That decision was wrong. A closure punishes students without addressing the core cultural issues that led to this incident of hazing, and does nothing to ensure we are providing a safe drinking environment for students.
We resolved that the right thing to do is to hold our team accountable: earlier today we dismissed the head manager of the service. This is in addition to implementing dry training weeks for TAPS moving forward, cancelling socials for the remainder of the year, striking a committee to investigate cultural issues in the service, and providing written warnings to assistant managers.
Over the coming months, we will be working with our staff, the University, and the broader Queen’s Community to address the issue of hazing. We ask for your continued support in addressing this important issue, and in creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students.
Dave, Tyler, Carolyn
Your AMS Executive
Alma Mater Society of Queen's University
L’Université Queen’s est située sur les terres traditionnelles des peuples Haudenosaunee et Anishinaabe.