The Concordia Student Union (CSU) allocated $5,000 to Concordia University’s mindfulness program to fund the Mindful Project during last Wednesday’s council meeting.
The Mindful Project, which hosts mindfulness events throughout the school year, was at risk of financial insolvency if denied funding. Co-founder of the Mindful Project Lea Homer pitched a $22,000 total budget citing positive feedback from the initiative’s participants.
Homer told The Concordian that the Mindful Project is an integral part of CSU funded initiatives to combat mental health struggles.
Homer’s pitch included data from last year showing high rates of positive feedback. Students reported less stress and an overall increase in their wellbeing. Scientific studies have found the practice to effectively lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and overall improve physical and mental wellbeing. Data collected by Homer showed Concordia students self-reporting similar benefits.
According to Homer, the CSU-funded mindfulness programming is no longer sustainable as a pilot program. She said meeting the increasing demand for mindfulness requires more than the previous year’s budgets, and $5,000 no longer meets the project’s needs.
“We can’t run it this year if we don’t get funding,” said Homer.
Although the resolution only allocates $5,000 towards the Mindful Project, CSU councillors and executives said they would try to secure funding for the proposed budget.
Désirée Blizzard, the CSU finance coordinator, said she would look into the matter and try to get as much of the remaining $17,000 requested as possible. Despite a lack of a concrete commitment, Homer left the meeting optimistic about the CSU’s reaction.
“I trust that the committee for finances is going to do all they can,” she said.
Maha Siddiqui, a CSU Arts and Sciences councillor, told the Concordian she valued presenters like Homer taking time to attend the CSU meeting and share their budgets. Siddiqui said that face-to-face interactions with students give councillors a thorough understanding of the proposals.
“Having them here, able to answer our questions right away makes a huge difference,” said Siddiqui, referring to representatives like Homer.
Siddiqui also said the in-person pitches and the subsequent question period help CSU councillors better understand student needs.
“We are receptive to student’s needs — that is why we were elected,” she said.
Feature photo by Cecilia Piga