Walkhome has been a staple of Queen’s University since 1988, providing safe and anonymous walks on and around campus!
1988 – 2000
- Autumn 1988: Walkhome started with the Alma Mater Society executives answering phones and Student Constables going on walks
- April 1989: $1.00 student fee was established to buy equipment and market the service (the current fee is $19.55)
- Anonymity of patrons a core value of Walkhome from the start, with ideas of uniforms for staff rejected
- The first logo was nicknamed “Three Aliens Stealing a Bike”
- September 1990: Walkhome was no longer volunteer-based, beginning to pay staff members, making it the first paid University safe-walk service in all of Canada
- Conversion to being a paid-service was done to incentivize people to work during times when volunteers would typically be rare (ie. exams, holidays)
- 1991 – 1992: Walkhome provided teams with bicycles from Cyclepath to ride to pick-up destinations, reducing the wait time for patrons
- Eventually removed due to the compromising effect on the service’s anonymity
- 1992: Walkhome’s staff size considerably increased due to an overwhelming increase in demand for the service
- In September of ’92, 300 calls were expected, but 817 came in!
- Fall-hiring increased staff size to 150, making Walkhome the largest student run AMS service at Queen’s
- 1998: the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs provides an annual grant of $40,000 to help cover Walkhome’s operational costs
2000 – 2010
- April 2000: Walkhome gets a new logo, the “Double Bubble”, replacing the original “Three Aliens Stealing a Bike” logo
- 2002: Walkhome made Maclean’s magazine’s “What’s Hot” list in their annual University ranking
2010 – 2020
- 2011: Walkhome saw its highest number of walks ever, with over 12,000 walks in the 2010-2011 school year
- 2012 – 2013: Walkhome hosted its first ever 24 Hour Walk-a-Thon to celebrate 24 years of being Canada’s largest safe-walk program
- 2014: Walkhome formed the Trisafety Services with the Student Constables and Queen’s First Aid
- 2015: the iconic “Double Bubble” logo was replaced after 15 years with the current Walkhome logo
- With the new logo, new signs and advertisements, and a new kiosk in the JDUC, Walkhome completed a total rebranding initiative
- GPS functionality was introduced to the radios used by Walkhome teams, allowing for more efficient service and a safer environment for staff and patrons
- 2018: Walkhome celebrates it’s 30th Anniversary!
- August 2018: Walkhome releases the first ever Walkhome app! Students are now able to request a walk through the mobile app, over the phone, or at the kiosk.
- 2019-2020: COVID-19 forces all AMS services to close in March. Walkhome remains closed until Fall 2020.
2020 – Present
- 2020-2021: Walkhome operates on an app/phone-request basis ONLY. Classes operate through remote learning and campus buildings remain closed to the public.
- 2021-2022: Walkhome opens for the Summer of 2021 and operates under COVID-19 protocols such as a mask mandate and social distancing. In November, Walkhome offers “maskless walks” to promote discretion. Lockdowns and rising cases of COVID-19 continue to complicate Walkhome’s operations, but we persevere!
- February 2022: Campus returns to fully in-person operations (with a mask mandate) and Walkhome remains operational for the rest of the year! The first in-person Walkathon in many years is held in April to raise money for the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston.
- June 2022 – Present: Queen’s University lifts its mask mandate on June 1st and Walkhome returns to pre-COVID operations! We are currently open from 9:30 pm – 1:30 am Thursday – Saturday. We’re so excited for the school year to begin and are planning for multiple in-person events/initiatives throughout the 2022-2023 school year!