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Concordia delays move-in date for Le Mildoré Residence

Le Mildoré Residence’s exterior. KAITLYNN RODNEY/ The Concordian

After weeks of delays, residents of Concordia’s latest student residence are stuck waiting to move into their dorms

Residents of Concordia’s newest student housing, Le Mildoré, have been waiting to move into their new dorms for weeks since their original move-in date. 

Numerous construction delays resulted in Concordia Residence Life postponing Le Mildoré’s move-in date from the end of August to late October. 

The newest Concordia residence was supposed to provide the University with 22 four-bedroom units for use for the start of the 2022 fall semester. However, in an email sent on Aug. 26, Concordia Residence Life announced that all move-in dates to Le Mildoré were postponed and that residents would be provided units in the Grey Nuns Residence for the time being. 

Emma Clark, a first-year psychology student and resident of Le Mildoré, recalls that she was not surprised when her move-in date had been postponed. Clark doubted Le Mildoré would be completed in time for the fall semester after seeing the state of the building during the summer. 

“I remember visiting Concordia in June and I passed by Le Mildoré and it just was not ready at all,” Clark said. “I consistently emailed them [Concordia Residence services], like, hey, is everything going to be ready?”

Despite assurances from Concordia that construction would be done by the end of August, Clark says she got a call from Residence Life the night before her scheduled move-in date, informing her that she would be relocated to the Grey Nuns residence for the time being.

Clark says the last update she received from the University was in early September and that Le Mildoré would be open to students by late October. 

“It’s a little upsetting,” she said about the lack of information the University has provided her. “I just want to move in as soon as possible.”

To compensate affected residents, Concordia has offered Le Mildoré residents free meal plans and a daily credit refund equivalent to their rents. 

Unlike the Grey Nuns or Loyola residences, Concordia does not own Le Mildoré building. Instead, the University has leased out 22 units from the building’s management company, University Apartments Montreal. Despite appearing on numerous University advertisements, many Le Mildoré residents such as first-year linguistics student Ethan Knapp said they were unaware the residence was not owned by the University.

“The application process was the same as the other residences,” said Knapp. “So I thought it was owned by Concordia.”

On Sept. 27, The McGill Tribune published an article detailing accusations from current Le Mildoré residents that University Apartments Canada is responsible for providing inhospitable living conditions. 

The Concordian received a similar email. However, after investigating the claims, it found insufficient evidence to support the allegations. 


Just because it’s a law, doesn’t mean it’s right

Last year, during a series of sexual misconduct allegations from within the Creative Writing department at Concordia, two students filed complaints against a professor, alleging that they were harassed in the 1990s. According to CBC News, this professor is still employed at the university and was exonerated by Concordia of all allegations in September 2018. According to the same source, one of the complainants, Ibi Kaslik, only learned of this through a reporter at CBC at the beginning of this month.

Over the past year, Kaslik tried to remain updated about the complaint and was told by Concordia Associate Vice-President for Human Resources, Carolina Willsher, last month that “the investigator collected the information, presented it to the university, and the university reacted […] That’s all I can tell you,” according to CBC News. The university has been citing privacy concerns as the reason behind their lack of transparency. The Concordian has learned that by not informing the complainants of the results of the investigation, Concordia is following privacy laws, specifically the A-2.1 Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information.

Essentially, in this type of case, no personal information can be shared by an educational institution––even to the person who filed the complaint in the first place. However, the institution is allowed to tell the complainants that the investigation ended. Concordia hasn’t confirmed if they did or did not inform Kaslik and the other complainant of the investigation’s closure. But considering that the complainants only learned of the professor’s exoneration through CBC News, it’s clear to us that the university didn’t inform them of this decision when it happened in September.

While we do acknowledge that Concordia is acting in accordance to privacy laws, it doesn’t excuse the fact that the university’s administration wasn’t as transparent as it could have been, especially in its communication with the complainants. These laws are not survivor-centric, as they restrict those who complain from taking part in the discussions and decisions that will ultimately affect their lives. These complainants should have a right to know what happens to those they complain about––and Concordia shouldn’t sit idly by and claim it’s just following protocol. We believe they should step forward and do something to change this situation. Not only will it show that they’re on the side of the victims, but it will also allow those who want to speak out feel supported.

Just because you’re following a law doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing. Even though Concordia has enlisted a Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence, created guidelines that discourage sexual relationships between educators and students, and conducted a climate review of the English department, its actions are half-hearted, and the administration’s words hold no value. We need to see concrete change taking place at Concordia. We need to see the university respect and uplift victims’ voices. We need to see this institution protect its students, rather than its abusive educators. Stringing together a few words that excuse Concordia’s actions in PR statements isn’t good enough.

We at The Concordian would also like to note that this is a similar tactic used in 1969, when six black students at Sir George Williams University accused professor Perry Anderson of racism. The university didn’t communicate to the students about how their complaint was being handled, and Concordia exonerated the professor after concluding that nothing could support the racism claims, according to Toronto Star. He later continued his academic career. Rodney John, one of the six students, told Toronto Star that Concordia’s failure to address such bias was at the base of the incident: “It was mishandled from beginning to end.”

Mishandled. A key word here. We at The Concordian hope that the fight against sexual assault, harassment, and injustice at Concordia doesn’t end with the recent exoneration of the professor. Concordia shouldn’t be patting itself on the back. Yes, you followed the law and were not required to divulge the details of what happened to the complainant. But you could have informed them of the end of the investigation, at the very least. As a powerful institution, you aren’t doing enough. We demand more.

Graphic by Ana Bilokin

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