With the start of a brand new school year, it’s the perfect time for this university to shake the dust from its heels, wipe away the grime of the old scandals and move on. Timing couldn’t be better with a new president coming in, fresh-faced and ready to take on the responsibilities that come alongside the glad-handing and posing for pictures. More than ever, students want someone who is willing to listen to what they have to say, and we can only hope that Alan Shepard is up to the challenge.
At the same time, a new Concordia Student Union comes into power, one who ran on a campaign overflowing with promises to make the academic and social lives of students better. A Better Concordia, remember? This executive who promised us more events, more sustainable projects, more love for Loyola, more transparency, more honesty; now is the time for them to put their words into action.
So what happens next? Is Concordia doomed to repeat history over and over? We hope not. It may sound like a fool’s hope, but this could be as Shepard puts it, “Concordia’s time.” This is a school that has a lot going for it and though some things never change, the gross mismanagement of funds, resources and people’s patience can.
CSU President Schubert Laforest may not have a lot of experience sitting at the big kids table, but maybe that is a good thing. Maybe students are tired of the ‘behind closed doors’ attitude and want someone to shake things up. Perhaps this is overly optimistic, but perhaps that may be exactly what this school needs. If we took a moment now and then to stop criticizing her and help her instead, Concordia could actually have a reputation we could be proud of.
There are people at this school — teachers, staff, administrators, and student leaders — who genuinely care about the Concordia experience and want to make it all that it can be. There are also people who don’t seem to care about students at all, and they are allowed to let their desire to turn public education into a corporation run rampant. To them, who make the rest of the people who give a damn look like helpless bystanders or worse, greedy accomplices, we say this: step aside.
Concordia deserves a fresh start and a clean slate after a long road of missteps. But that’s not going to happen if we let the bullies rule the playground for another year and only talk of change, instead of enacting it.