City in brief

5 Days campaign a success

Concordia volunteers who participated in the annual 5 Days for the Homeless campaign last week managed to raise more money than the other 21 participating Canadian universities, successfully meeting their $35,000 goal. The event saw volunteers sleep on the street for five days to raise money and awareness for Dans la rue, a Montreal organization that helps the city’s homeless. The participants’ first day on the street turned out to be the most successful in the initiative’s four-year history at Concordia, raising $4,500.

JSA and CPSA to disappear, for now

The Arts and Science Federation of Associations is set to lose two of its member associations, at least for now, as they were unable to attract candidates for their executive elections earlier this month. According to ASFA VP internal Nicole Devlin, the Journalism Student Association and the Concordia Physics Students Association will always have the possibility of holding by-elections in the fall to fill the positions. The JSA had even tried to extend its nomination period in order to attract candidates, but to no avail, said president Emily White, also life editor at the Concordian. The JSA received close to $2,900 in funding this year from ASFA, and it remains a possibility for journalism or physics students to apply for ASFA student-at-large funding if they wish to plan activities. The CPSA held fall byelections in 2010 to fill empty seats. According to Devlin, there are also a handful of MAs who did not manage to find candidates to fill all of their executive positions in this year’s MA elections.

ConU building updates

Two major infrastructure projects at Concordia are apparently moving along nicely, according to the university’s media relations office. At the Hall building, a new escalator will be installed by late April between the lobby and the mezzanine. Because these repairs will be noisy, they will take place outside of business hours and because the large escalator will have to be brought into the building through a window, there may be traffic disruptions on Bishop and De Maisonneuve. At the GM building, a large crane will begin tearing away at the exterior walls on March 26, in order to give the building a new shell by 2012. During construction, some GM occupants will be moved temporarily, and passersby are encouraged to access the building via the EV building.


Concordia’s little mystery

Concordia continues to investigate the origins of an ancient sculpture it has had in its possession for a decade and put on display last week in hopes of gaining new answers from members of the public. Identified as “The Starving of Saqqara,” the limestone sculpture features two sitting figures with large heads and includes an inscription in an unidentified language. The artifact was donated to the university in the 1990s by the estate of Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos, who had amassed a large collection of ancient artifacts that are now dispersed in museums around the world. The word “Saqqara” refers to the vast burial ground in the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis, but how it came to be associated with the sculpture remains unclear. The university has lovingly dubbed the mystery “CSI: Concordia Sculpture Investigation.”


It won’t collapse, we promise

The federal government pledged $158 million last week toward repairing the Champlain Bridge, while telling drivers that the structure is still safe. The money has been added on top of the $212 million the government already pledged in 2009 toward repairs and maintenance. Despite the government’s assurances, two reports from a federal bridge agency leaked to La Presse last Friday found that certain sections of the Champlain are in a severe state of deterioration that could progress exponentially. The agency noted that a partial or complete collapse of the bridge should not be ruled out. Opened in 1962, Champlain is Canada’s busiest bridge with more than 60 million drivers a year.

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