In the March student elections, Experience ran a campaign full of promises. Now that they are instated, is the motivation still running high? We caught up with Concordia Student Union President Khaleed Juma to find out.
What’s so bad about the administration building a student lounge on the mezzanine?
Right now we’ve got [several] student lounges. It’s never come to the point where we haven’t had enough lounge space for the need but what we are lacking more than anything is student activity space.
So, why would they do this?
They were under the assumption that when the new 7th floor was given to the CSU, it would replace the mezzanine. And that was never our understanding.
How would you describe your relationship with the administration?
More often than not, we find ourselves having to agree to disagree.
Let’s talk a little about your promises. an eco-friendly, heated bus shelter?
We’re realizing more and more that, it is a feasible project but it will require a lot more research. I don’t see building happening right off the bat however, I do see an incredible framework being put together such that building the project will just be a matter of signing on the dotted line.
Rejuvenating the Hive?
Student life on the Loyola campus is tremendously lacking. We want to turn the Hive into a workable space that students can occupy on a regular basis
I can’t speak to a specific timeline as of right now. We don’t want to be in a position where we invest time, resources, energy, and money into a project that we don’t even have concrete ownership of. We don’t want to build a heated bus shelter unless we know we’re going to have longevity and the University is not just gonna come along and say, “No. We don’t like this so much, it’s on our property-let’s get rid of it.” Same thing with the Hive.
A soup kitchen at Loyola with free meals?
We’ve spoken to the People’s Potato about that option, my understanding is that they don’t see a necessity to be out there. I don’t think it’s logistically feasible for them to run on both campuses right now, but we are trying to work with the Hive to provide students with an alternative to Chartwells.
So, no free food?
We’re working on it but what we’d rather see happen is putting the resources into turning the Hive into something that covers as many bases as possible.
Are we getting a new basketball court and skating rink?
Close to a million dollars was put aside for student life initiatives, specifically for buildings on campus. So far, very little of that has been touched. We’d like to gain access to those sums and to start with investment in terms of a basketball court and skating rink. I see the rink becoming the first thing that comes to fruition come the winter months and then the basketball court, hopefully by the spring.
What else are you going to do for sports?
We’re looking into hiring an athletics coordinator, someone responsible for building team support. We worked out a great relationship with Recreation and Athletics…this year, students will have free seats. All they have to do is go onto their website [athletics.concordia.ca].
How do we know you’re not misusing the
Any students can walk into the Union office at any given time and ask to see our financial records.
How about the daycare situation?
It is a little more tricky than we anticipated. Concordia daycare is currently pushed to its limit. I can’t promise a new daycare, at least not in the next couple of months. We are engaging in discussion to see what we can do about it because it is important. We fight for accessible education in terms of tuition, but being able to drop your child off while you’re in class means accessibility just as much as being able to pay tuition.
Do you now see, sitting in this chair that some of the things you promised may be unattainable?
What I will say to that is this job is as big or as little as we choose to make it. Everything is possible.
Would you say one school year is long enough to do your job?
Nowhere else in this world is anyone gonna give a 22 year old the opportunity to run a 1.6 million endeavor. I’d like to see as many people as possible gain the experience. (However,) the biggest fallacy of the student movement across the country is turnover. We all work towards these incredible goals and then a whole bunch of new people have to learn all this stuff all over again. One suggestion that I’d be willing to entertain is a much longer layover period.
Who’s on your speed dial?
I don’t believe in speed dial.
When was the last time your team had fun together?
We have fun everyday. Three o’clock in the morning we’re here and working but we’re smiling while doing it. And if we weren’t smiling this job would be a lot tougher. Oh, we’re trying to engage in a team sport. put together maybe an ultimate Frisbee or touch football team…
Foosball is a sport! It’s a sport I’ve been training for all my life!