Recent incident highlights question on how Concordia maintains its offices
It all started as what seemed like thoughtful, positive idea. Concordia’s Geography Undergraduate Student Society (GUSS) thought that their old, now unused office space—located on the 12th floor of the Hall building—could be put to better use by being turned into a student-run cafe.
This seemingly harmless recommendation coincided with what was to be a university drive to increase space efficiency. In the end, they didn’t get their coffee room: it would become their office, with their larger space destined for those with higher priority.
They were occupying a space in the TD building, above the bank on Guy St. They were sharing this with the Urban Planning Association (UPA). UPA will also have to move to the old, smaller office space. Both groups used to share the old space in the Hall building, but have since grown, with 14 members currently between them.
At a meeting this week, the groups were told that the space they were currently using could not be guaranteed in light of space priorities for a long list of funded researchers, graduate students, and so on. The university replied by stating that it had staff overflowing, that this situation was not intentional, and that the situation was being optimized for the sake of space equity. That may be true, and it is well known that Concordia is hampered in its extent.
GUSS executives found this hard to believe. According to them, many of Concordia’s spaces in the TD building are empty. The school’s position is that they do not consider these usable spaces, but they also do not consider them worthy of repair for the purpose of renting them out.
In the light of the university’s present austerity situation, the entire motivation is to do more with less. Unused space, then, is to be minimized, and letting space deteriorate until it is effectively useless is egregious. If something is considered inefficient to renovate for the sake of renting, not enough is being done to preserve and maintain.
Even more worrying: what does this say about the current state of Concordia’s infrastructure? How many parts of the campus are falling behind and are in eventual risk of deterioration?
So much for wanting to turn a seemingly unused space into something everyone could enjoy. Sorry, GUSS. Looks like you might have to consider a coffee cart instead.