The Homecoming tradition is not much of a tradition in Canada…in fact, if one considers Wikipedia to be the all seeing, all knowing authority on anything and everything then there are only really two Canadian institutions that observe this phenomenon. Queen’s and Western…and I happen to find myself at one of them.
Homecoming is a phenomenon that most Canadians are familiar with (having grown up on a healthy dose of American high school/College drama movies and television programming) but it is also a term that most have absolutely no idea about. Not only was I classed in this ignorant category but it was also compounded by the fact that I’m from Western Canada – a fiercely independent place with few if any strong collegiate traditions.
Luckily for me I had the opportunity of meeting and becoming friends with numerous Americans during my time abroad and they would not only eagerly educate me on the comings and goings of the Homecoming experience but also on the finer points of the American Greek system (fraternities and sororities) – organizations which are essentially absent from the Canadian university landscape.
Apparently this weekend is Homecoming weekend here at Queens…it even made the Globe and Mail….twice. National Post. Traditions include a football game between Western, ‘pancake-keggers’, numerous alumni parties and infamous Aberdeen street party.
A very controversial event with threats of tasers, riot police and water cannons after a previous Aberdeen party got a little out of hand. The solution? Send in the old folks – apparently…according to a professor, legions of concerned citizens and parents will be patrolling the street handing out plastic beer cups (to minimize broken glass) and to repeat the always tempering phrase “Party-safe”.