Queen’s social media campaign over noise bylaws strains relationship with neighbours

July 14, 2014

A dispute between Queen’s University and some of its Kingston neighbours over noise complaints spread onto social media with unintended consequences. Some residents living near Queen’s west campus sports fields had complained that noise from sporting events, including referees’ whistles and amplified noise, violated local by-laws. Queen’s commissioned a sound study to identify how to reduce noise levels, and asked the city for an exemption between the hours of 9am and 9pm. But, after a social media campaign was launched with the hashtag "#SaveOurFields," city councilor Liz Schell said she received hundreds of emails urging her to vote in favour of the exemption. She said that many were “vitriolic” in tone. She claimed too that residents had been subject to namecalling on Twitter and other platforms. While Schell said that the university’s revised proposal has convinced her to support the exemption, she warned that its relationship with its neighbours may be more difficult to repair. Maclean’s | Kingston Whig-Standard