Reggies aims for inclusivity

Reggies re-opened their doors last year and became a co-op in 2016. Photo by Nelly Serandour-Amar

Employees and members gather for an annual general meeting to talk about improvements made in the last year

Concordia’s official solidarity bar, Reggies, held its first annual general meeting on Nov. 16, at Reggies, which is located on the second floor of the Hall building. The meeting went over the changes the bar has undergone over the last year and the positives impacts they have had. Approximately 30 staff and co-op members attended the meeting.  

Reggies officially became a co-op after CUSACorp, the for-profit sector of the Concordia Student Union (CSU) that was previously in charge of the bar, dissolved in May 2016. Being a co-op has allowed students to give their input and be more involved in the future of the bar.

Melanie Desrosiers, Reggies’ general manager, said the transition has been very positive. “Working with students is really exciting. It’s a student bar and they should make the decisions,” she said.

Desrosiers also discussed the work she’s been doing with Gabrielle Bouchard from the Centre for Gender Advocacy to make the bar more welcoming for all students. “I believe Reggies is one of the only bars that has a safe space policy being as thoroughly followed,” she said.

As part of this safe space policy, Reggies employees went through four types trainings, including  consent training, bystander intervention, completing a server intervention program, and a “Trans 101” tutorial given by Bouchard. The tutorial educated staff on the importance of a safe space and how to promote an inclusive environment. Reggies bathrooms are gender-neutral. “Everybody is welcome here,” said Desrosiers.

Reggies’ president, Adrian Longinotti, who is also the finance coordinator for the CSU, discussed the financial status of the bar. “The 2015-16 fiscal year was the first time that Reggies finished with a surplus in the last 15 years,” he read from the annual report. During the meeting, he discussed how the CSU helped Reggies with funding for renovations, which helped the bar to reboot in a positive position. He also told The Concordian the meeting exceeded his expectations, both in terms of the number of people who attended and the fact there was stimulating conversation where everyone exchanged ideas about what they hope to see in Reggies’ future.

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