It’s the end of another great year at The Concordian. While we’re sad to say goodbye, we thought we could dedicate this final editorial to the important issues that have been discussed on campus throughout the year.
We know how easy (and satisfying) it is to finally leave exam halls, submit final assignments and close the doors on Concordia at the end of each semester. It’s an exhilarating feeling to embark on our summer vacations, whether they consist of binge-watching Netflix or travelling the world. But, we at The Concordian think it’s vital to keep some things in mind even while we step away from our university this summer.
This year was…eventful, to say the least. We’re proud to have covered and highlighted important issues in our newspaper, from the significance of sustainable foods, to Concordia’s ways of handling sexual misconduct allegations. We think it’s important to leave you with a few key issues to keep in mind while away from Concordia.
First, the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence will be taking place until May 2018. These allegations regarding Concordia’s creative writing department were significant in raising awareness about sexual misconduct at our university. It highlighted how power abuses can lead to dangerous environments for students. Ultimately, it opened our eyes to how Concordia can sometimes fail at addressing such allegations in the first place.
Although we won’t be surrounded by the news every day this summer, it’s still important to check up on the Task Force’s progress addressing sexual misconduct at our institution. It’s our responsibility, not only as students, but as citizens, to remain aware and engaged in these issues at our university. While we commend Concordia students for speaking out against sexual violence and shedding light on this issue throughout the year, we hope students can continue to talk about sexual assault every day—since, unfortunately, it happens quite frequently.
We also hope Concordia students remain interested in the Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) Daycare and Nursery Project. Although it was initially proposed in 2011, and has experienced many setbacks such as obtaining construction permits, we at The Concordian are still keeping an eye out for the project’s final establishment. According to a 2017 article by The Concordian, the daycare was supposed to open in March 2018. As we’re already into the month of April, it’s clear to see the project is still experiencing difficulties and obstacles.
The daycare would be an outstanding achievement by the CSU, and more importantly, it would help student-parents feel more supported by the school. According to a study commissioned by Concordia in 2011, student-parents comprise about 10 per cent of our university’s population. That 10 per cent of students are more likely to feel stressed by missing classes and exams and handing assignments in late because of their responsibilities as parents. This is all due to the university’s lack of safe and affordable childcare options, which is why CSU’s daycare project is so important.
We at The Concordian hope that this daycare can be established in the upcoming months. We hope students can continue to talk about this project, support it and help actualize it. It would be extremely beneficial for so many student-parents, and it will be a positive addition to our school.
There are many important discussions and projects happening at Concordia. Throughout the year, we saw students speaking out against unpaid internships, the importance of voting and environmental abuses. One such group highlighting environmental abuses is Divest Concordia, an initiative that calls on our university to end its investments in fossil fuels. The group has called on the university to make a decision on divestment and to announce whether or not they will be taking concrete steps towards more environmentally-friendly investing. Unfortunately, however, Concordia has been postponing the announcement—and still has yet to comment on its divestment. We believe that even though Concordia hasn’t made an announcement yet, we cannot forget about Divest Concordia and its important stance. We need to support such groups and initiatives in order to better our time at Concordia, and to contribute positively to our world.
So this summer, keep the conversation going. Keep speaking out against sexual assault; keep shedding light on racism and discrimination; keep supporting groups pushing for a better university; remind yourself to check up on Concordia’s steps in building a better environment for students. We know how easy it is to say goodbye, but we at The Concordian hope you choose to keep our university in mind this summer.
Graphic by Zeze Le Lin