Who we are: notes from The Concordian staff

Melissa Gendron

My sentence as Editor-in-Chief began when the former E-i-C stepped down back in October. In my time here, I’ve seen the paper grow into a student voice that gets so many contributors that we cannot afford to print as many pages as we have stories handed to us every week.

A challenge for the next Editor-in-Chief will be deciding how to handle this along with other challenges such as staying consistent in the quality of our reporting, and working with minimal funding.

But the real difficulty for any editor is dealing with the extremely high stress the job brings. All of us have stayed late nights, ran on no sleep, and nearly failed classes, (and relationships) because of this paper.

Most of us have stormed out of the room at least once. Some of us cried. Sheer exhaustion will do that to a person. That’s why I always keep a bottle of Scotch in my office.

But knowing that thousands of Concordians read us weekly, makes even the crying worth it. So, as I hand over the helm, I want to thank the readers for picking up our paper every week. And raise my glass to my staff for putting out an excellent paper that is arguably the best student paper in the city.

Jared for covering every Stingers game even though often, you were the only reporter there.

Simon for never letting us down when we needed you.

Geneviève and Vanessa for catching little embarrassing mistakes.

Marc for having your finger on Concordia’s music pulse.

Siena, Ben, Adam, Kim, Ruben, Munibah for helping with the campaign.

Maria for always taking one for the team with the page count.

Aurelie for laying down the law and fighting for the little cash we have.

Geneviève Sasseville for thinking outside the frame and bringing creativity to the paper.

Annie for your dedication to arts, in all its forms. And your crazy layout.

Geneviève Marshall for making everyone discover crazy things like Consevapedia.

Tobi for news coverage people can trust. For putting the paper to bed every night. For being the mediator. For discovering the yellow couch was a pull out. For not walking out when everything was going wrong and you had every reason to.

You all make this paper shine.

Maria Barillaro
Features Editor

After the tragic Dawson shooting, I felt the only way to truly express myself would be to write about it. And I did. The Concordian printed a series of three articles I wrote, detailing the incident. I spoke to a student who feared for life and I interviewed James Santos, the young man held captive by the gunman that cloudy day at Dawson College.

After checking The Concordian’s website, I saw people were actually reading my stories. Some people even commented to me on how moving it was for them to read my words about a day so important to students everywhere, but especially to students right here in Montreal.

Shortly after those articles were printed, an opening for the Features Editor position presented itself. Was I sure I could do this job? No. Did I tell everyone I was? Yes. Did I know what was expected of me? Not really. But it’s the best thing I ever did.

This isn’t just a job I’ve taken to spice up my resume and God knows working for free isn’t one of the best perks.

But through my writing and the writing of others, I am able to bring students the words that matter.

I have spent hours every week since November, dedicating my time to producing a features section every week.

Why? Because I realize how important the student press is for students. Sure we can read The Gazette, too. But this is different. I take my time to ensure the articles printed in our paper reflect the needs and interests of the Concordia student body. If I have accomplished that as your Features Editor, then I have achieved my goal and am honoured.

See you back here next year. Same time, same place.

Jared Book
Sports Editor

My third year as Sports Editor at The Concordian was by far the most up and down.

Every team at Concordia had great moments, and they also had some huge disappointments.

My goal, along with my co-editor Cari McGratten, was to show the excitement and emotions that were present at the event to the reader who probably doesn’t care.

To the reader, if you liked what you saw in the sports section, that’s great.

If not, I’ll be happy to hear your comments at [email protected].

Annie Briard
Arts Editor

My dearest readers,

It’s been a long and winding semester, but I was happy to have the chance to share news of Montreal’s art scene with you. I’ve put a lot of effort into revamping the paper’s art section so that it would truly represent Concordia’s students, by printing reviews of your shows, interviews with some of you undertaking interesting projects, occasional calls for submissions to help you get your work out there, as well as calendars of events to promote your shows and get you out of the house any night of the week.

I also made sure you got the inside info on the art world’s film, theatre, dance, visual arts, festivals and new developments. Yes, even the occasional thriller interview, such as Wes Craven, to keep things hot. I’m also forever focusing on creating fun visuals for those of you who, like me, have a short attention span.

As an editor, I’ve been lucky to have some awesome talented writers to work with, and even some columnists making sure you’d get your fix week after week. It’s been difficult to always get everything in there due to lack of funding for space, so I thank all of you who voted for our fee levy. For those who didn’t, I hope you help us make it happen next year.

Greens aside though, my only regret is not having as much interaction with you guys as we could’ve had. So next semester, write those happy or angry letters – as long as it’s passionate, I’m happy. It’s your paper, so get involved and tell us what you think. The art team’s always looking forward to hearing about your shows or to read your articles. Let us know what’s up at:

[email protected].

Thanks for reading us and have an awesome summer!

Tobi Elliott
News Editor/Production Manager

When it comes to the news section, I’ve learned there is only one constant factor: there is always more to say and never enough space to say it. More news, always more stories, always another angle, always someone else to interview.

OK, maybe two constants with news: it’s also always interesting.

The dynamics on the team have also been interesting. Many team members, myself included, have had to learn things on the fly and pick up more than one job. Personally, I did more than I ever thought I could because I love this paper, but I know everyone here picked up more than their share. But what we learned to cope with!

Computers “beachballed” (read: Mac crash) more times than I can count, often making us cry as we restarted an entire section’s layout. Loyola’s Internet access mysteriously vanished just as we were sending pages to the printer one night (ever figure that one out, IITS?). Innocent students with kendo sticks caused a security scare that unwittingly shut down the campus on another Production Tuesday. Routers broke, printers ground to a halt and there were never enough pens in the office!

Ah, but it was worth it!

The paper was printed every week, our writers got published, the stories got told, and I dare say, we were damn proud of it.

To those we interviewed: I pushed my writers to get the most out of you and we endeavored to always tell the truth, and nothing but.

To Melissa and the team: You pulled brilliance out of your bootstraps. And when I couldn’t do anything but eat Ramen and pull out my hair, you were there to help me do it. Mel, you especially – you never compromised on saying it like it is and getting us to see past our prejudices and preconceived ideas. Thanks for thinking big, and for pulling us along.

To my writers: Thanks for trusting us with your stories. Although I wanted to print every word you wrote, we still all need an editor.

It’s been a ride. Look for me on the other side – bylines here I come!

I hope you are all proud of the work you’ve done and the stories you found.

Geneviève Marshall
Opinions Editor

People take themselves too seriously. I know, because I do it too. As Opinions Editor this year I tried to bring a little bit of humour into the student press.

The opportunity to become Opinions Editor presented itself and I took it because it was one step closer to my goal of world domination.

That being said, over the year I hope I could at least make you laugh once, or at least roll your eyes.

Unlike news or music, or any other section in The Concordian, the opinions section doesn’t really cover anything specific. So it was great to read the articles covering a broad range of topics that people wanted to write about.

I’ve learned so much, including the fact that this has been one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had. In terms of money? I wish. It was getting to hear from the student body about everything from the CSU to police brutality.

The opinions section will always be a place for students to express themselves, and it was an honour to be in charge of it.

It was also an honour to work with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met.

A few things I learned while working here: sleep is highly underrated, Souvlaki George is always ready to deliver great food and sometimes slow computers can drive you mad.

Most importantly, I learned that an amazing group of people have worked hard this year to publish The Concordian. I thank every one of you. You have made my time at this paper extremely worthwhile.

I also learned that people are obsessed with Facebook. Go figure.

Marc Soucy
Music Editor

Nietzsche said “Without music, life would be a mistake”. Try a huge dull and empty mistake!

I was singing as far back as I remember. I’m not saying I’m any good, but I was singing. I think the first song I could retain in memory was the theme to He-Man or was it Jem? Anyway, I can’t sing!

I can however strum a guitar but I have clumsy fingers. I lack the discipline it would take to even dream about playing a piano and hold drum sticks and keep a beat? You get the idea.

So I try to write in the hopes of moving around some of that dust settled on top of the music scene.

There is so much music out there, more than you could ever imagine and it’s waiting to be discovered. You just need to dig a little. I’m digging and getting my hands dirty.

If I could write up one little interview and get someone turned onto someone they didn’t know, I’m not wasting my time.


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