Homecoming is a time to celebrate, officially

On-campus, sanctioned programming is the best way to enjoy the weekend safely

A drone image of Wolfville's Main Street, Wu Welcome Centre, University Hall, and Raymond Field as the fading autumn sun casts long shadows.

Acadia and StFX universities, the Towns of Wolfville and Antigonish, and the Students’ Unions at both schools are working together to ensure Homecoming 2022 is safe for graduates, students, and citizens in both communities. These six partners have worked hard to offer excellent events for all to enjoy.

Set for October 13-16, with events organized by representatives from Alumni, Student Life, Varsity Athletics, and the Students' Unions, Homecoming plans also include operational protocols to promote inclusive, positive, respectful, and safe celebrations.

“Working with our Students’ Unions, we have created a schedule of engaging on-campus events to create memorable and safe Homecoming celebrations,” says Dr. Andy Hakin, President of St. Francis Xavier University. “We have seen what can happen when unsanctioned events occur off campus and how they impact communities. We want to prevent the significant risks to health and safety that ad hoc gatherings pose.”

Off-campus events inconsistent with the values and expectations of the universities and towns will not be tolerated. The partners have worked together to enhance services, policing, and surveillance to complement the array of sanctioned activities on campus. Official events can be attended without fear of being charged for breaking the peace by the police, the municipality, or through the student codes of conduct.

“We know the vast majority of students at Acadia and StFX will responsibly enjoy Homecoming on our beautiful campuses,” says Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor at Acadia University, “but those who choose to attend large, unsanctioned house or street parties must understand that in addition to penalties under the student code of conduct, they may be fined and face other legal penalties. Legal consequences also extend to those who host the parties and rental property owners.”   

Mitigation measures

Residence Life staff at both schools will be on hand to help students during Homecoming and to offer safe gatherings in the residences, which are students’ homes while on campus. To enable this, overnight guests won’t be permitted in residential buildings during Homecoming weekend.

There will also be increased campus security patrols throughout the weekend and increased police presence in the communities surrounding the campuses. In Wolfville, there is also video surveillance in the community.

The towns are notifying rental property owners and tenants about laws, by-laws, and their neighbourly responsibilities in the community ahead of Homecoming. There will be a zero-tolerance approach to large-scale street gatherings or anyone consuming or carrying open alcohol on streets.

In addition, Student Life communications will remind students of their obligations and the consequences of breaching the student code of conduct.

Message to students

“While Homecoming is a great way to enjoy our campuses and communities, we all have an obligation to be good neighbours and to act responsibly,” says Sadie McAlear, President of the Acadia Students’ Union. “I want to emphasize how this is especially true for students and visitors coming to celebrate with us, and I am ecstatic to celebrate on campus with them.”

This year, Acadia’s Students’ Union has prioritized on-campus evening programming specific to students, including a Saturday night concert open to all Acadia community members.

President of the StFX Students’ Union, Brendan Roberts, adds, “I am proud to represent students at X and want to remind them that, when celebrated in a safe and respectful way, Homecoming is a wonderful opportunity to socialize with friends, community members and alumni alike. It’s a time to focus on our community, both on and off campus. Let’s have fun safely.”

Welcome to all

While StFX and Acadia will be running Homecoming events, attendees will also enjoy all their communities have to offer.

The Mayor of the Town of Antigonish, Laurie Boucher, has a message to all. “We want Homecoming to be a positive experience for both the University and the Town. We want to work together for a safe Homecoming so that it’s a celebration that everyone can enjoy.”

It is a sentiment shared by the Town of Wolfville Mayor, Wendy Donovan, who recognizes the efforts that go into offering a slate of activities and safety measures. “We thank the organizers and law enforcement partners who will ensure those participating in Homecoming can do so safely and respectfully,” she adds.

Details about sanctioned events for Homecoming celebrations at Acadia University and StFX University are available on each institution and student government websites and social media accounts.

Acadia's slate of events is available online.

Information about noise and nuisance party by-laws can be found on the website for the towns of Wolfville and Antigonish.  


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