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A tale of two campuses

by Archives March 18, 2008

Concordia has finally decided to renovate its sports facilities at Loyola. It’s about time the university undertakes such an important project.
With all the structures being built and renovated, I agree that this extreme makeover will rejuvenate NDG’s campus. After all, Concordia’s mandate for building projects should also focus on improving student services. However, I believe that building a complete sports complex downtown would be more beneficial to students than building one at Loyola.
After being open for only a year, Le Gym has already become a crowded downtown facility for students. Life doesn’t stop at six o’clock during fall and winter on the downtown campus as it does at Loyola. People walk, go to the library, grab a slice at Al-Taib and exercise at Le Gym.
Quartier Concordia promises to be a great project for downtown’s west end, which definitely lacks aesthetic quality and green space for students. My advice would be to convert the Faubourg into a complete student centre, where the CSU would have its offices. At the same time, we could move Le Gym there and build two basketball courts, as well as studios for dance and yoga classes. We could even build a pool in the basement.
Don’t get me wrong: renovating Loyola’s sport facilities is a great idea, and is long overdue. It will not only benefit Concordia’s community, but NDG residents will also have a state-of-the-art installation, including a complete training room, a pool and even two large soccer fields. But it would better serve Concordia students specifically if this were built downtown.
With a current student population of 34,000, the university must be certain that all its decisions to implement services on both campuses will be appreciated by Concordia’s community for years to come. With two campuses only seven kilometres apart, Concordia is two distinct schools merged under the banner of higher education, and both SGW and Loyola are constant rivals for the administration’s attention. After 40 years of maintaining an unsatisfactory status quo, the struggle continues. But by improving services and facilities on only one of its campuses, the university is only worsening the conflict.
It’s vitally important that Concordia provide a more accessible place for students to spend their leisure time. And if it truly wants to serve the interests of the greatest number of students, any new, comprehensive sports complex should be built downtown.

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