In recent weeks the students of Concordia have been overlooked and ignored by university administration. Their “business as usual” approach to signing secret, exclusive contracts with major corporations is a practice that has gone on for far too long at Concordia. Students are seen as the target market or the consumers of these contracts, and yet no student representation is involved in the process of negotiations or signings. News for the administration: this is a university, not big business. We are not consumers, we are colleagues, peers, community members and equals.
Despite the beverage contract being signed with PepsiCo, the Concordia Student Union continues towards the goal of a bottled water-free campus; the contract signed includes a clause allowing for changes such as banning the sale of bottled water on campus. University admin have agreed to the formation of a bottled water committee, which will advise acting VP services Roger Cote so that the university may make an “educated” decision. This committee will include students, staff, faculty, community members and admin. This month’s CSU ASFA Green Week will include a panel discussion and open forum on bottled water, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. in room H-767: panelists will include Tony Clarke (water activist and founder of the Polaris Institute) and John Challinor (Representative of Nestle Waters and the Canadian bottled water industry). We’d like to encourage all members of the Concordia community to attend, get informed and ask questions.
The Concordia Student Union is also working to institutionalize student representation into the University’s contract processes. We want to see students’ interests represented with regards to contracts including enforcing the EAC’s recommendations and the university’s sustainable and ethical policies. We are stakeholders at this university and have the right to participate in these decision-making processes.
Students should no longer have to “bottle up” their anger about being ignored. We do not want unethical corporations hanging banners in our hallways or selling bottled water on our campus; it’s time for REAL student space. We are here, ready to be heard, it is the university’s turn to listen.
If you are interested in getting involved, learning more or volunteering, please contact email@example.com
CSU VP sustainability & promotions