Concordia’s annual fundraiser takes on a new virtual reality with stride
Rather than the usual collective walk from Sir George Williams campus to Loyola that has been custom for 30 years at the Shuffle, participants are now being asked to enjoy this tradition by walking in their own neighborhoods.
Alexandra Louridas, the development officer for community programs, explained to The Concordian that instead of taking place on the last day of September in accordance with previous years, “this year the Shuffle is actually lasting an entire week, with an outline of activities planned on our Facebook page. It’s amazing to see how all the Shufflers and the organizing team have adapted to the virtual reality of the event.”
The Shuffle, a Concordia tradition since 1990, brings in money for bursaries and scholarships. Louridas said, “in the past couple of years, we have Shuffle teams who are created and raised funds to create new awards, but also to support various student services at the University.”
In this less structured fundraiser, organizers have had to find ways to track people’s progress and donations.
Thanks to the online tool “Strava,” “[participants] can login into Strava accounts using their Shuffle page, and they can log their kilometres travelled on their personal fundraising page. So it’s really a great way to add that exercise and difficult activity element to the fundraising element,” said Louridas.
The Garnet Key Society, a group of highly academic students that are endorsed by the university’s president. Being a part of this society is described on their webpage as, “the highest honour which may be bestowed upon an undergraduate.” As such, they are enthusiastic participants in the Shuffle.
Gabriele Zambito, a student at Concordia and a proud member of The Garnet Key Society, is very excited to participate in this year’s Shuffle.
“It’s something we always do because we’re raising money for [any] undergraduate student who is remarkable, doing really well in school. Someone who kind of embodies what it means to be a Garnet Key,” he said.
With community engagement as a priority for the student society, Garnet Key has pledged to raise $500.
“We really wanna push community involvement because it’s something that we care about … so we set a goal of $500 for ourselves this year, and already we’ve surpassed it. We’re nearly at $1000,” said Zambito.
Although students won’t all be walking together, this fundraiser is about community and supporting one another. Louridas made sure Shufflers have a way of doing just that, saying, “Students and all Shufflers are invited to post pictures of their Shuffle and their walk to our Facebook Shuffle page. All you really have to do is use the #CUshuffle, and tag us @ConcordiaShuffle. So this is a great way to interact virtually with every participant in this year’s event.”
Pledging to supply us with daily stories, The Garnet Key Society is keen to share ‘walking stories’ with the various hashtags.
“We’re gonna be wearing our masks, not just because it’s mandatory, but also to set out a good image, and encourage people to wear their masks,” said Zambito.