Tackling worldwide issues requires a new definition of proximity

COVID-19 tested our ability to care for strangers, and this test will only continue as we face climate change

I scoured the internet for the name of the first man to die of COVID-19. I learned that he was a 61-year-old man from Wuhan, China. I learned that he was a regular at the live animal market, he had previously been diagnosed with abdominal tumours and chronic liver disease, but I couldn’t find his name. He’s a number; he was patient zero. His heart failed on Jan. 9, 2020, and since then, there have been over 5.5 million COVID-19 deaths worldwide.

As consumers of news, there is always a disconnect when reading about events happening overseas.

These stories lack one of the seven ideals in newsworthy journalism: proximity. If you want people to read your articles, you need to report on issues that affect your reader or their communities directly. A man died of a virus in China, why should I care?

At this point, the answer to that question should be clear.

After that first death in Wuhan, it only took three weeks for the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency, on Jan. 30, 2020.

Every single person on the planet was affected by COVID-19 in one way or another, and as the world becomes more globalized, there will be more of these worldwide issues that affect all of us. What we thought of as “proximate” is no longer relevant.

The problem we’re facing is that these new types of global issues are blurring geographical borders, but we are all still inclined to care more about issues directly affecting our family, friends, and neighbours. It’s hard to care about strangers overseas.

In international news reporting, we need to be connecting readers to issues by fabricating a sense of proximity. This would lead to better global awareness and a deeper understanding of events that will inevitably affect us all.

Personal narratives can be used to “reduce” distance and diminish the disconnected feeling we get from reading about foreign issues.

Having journalists report on people’s lives in a more intimate way can make it easier for audiences to empathize with the subjects — even those from far away, and even when they are not directly affected.

About two months into the pandemic, NBC News published a story about 60 lives in 60 days, which told the stories of some of the first American victims of COVID-19. They outlined other hardships the victims overcame in their lives and provided testimonies from loved ones. While this project didn’t receive an overwhelming number of likes on social media, the comments posted in response were genuine. Strangers were mourning these deaths.

However, in some cases, cultural or political barriers don’t allow us to gain the insight we need to make these connections.

Obviously, reporting operates differently in China.

Whether the country was trying to downplay the virus in January 2020 as they did with SARS in 2003, or whether the government’s official statements were delayed due to its complex, rigid system, it is possible that patient zero’s name purposely wasn’t shared. But not sharing his name was a disservice to the rest of the world.

If you had told me he left behind a wife or kids, it would’ve made me think of deaths that occurred in my own family. It would’ve brought about a fleeting wave of sadness, and it would’ve sparked an emotional connection.

Award-winning writer Walt Harrington wrote that more intimate journalism stories open “windows on our universal human struggle,” — and death and mourning are inevitable for all of us; it’s relatable. Sure, patient zero’s personal details wouldn’t have been all that relevant in reporting the spread of the virus, but readers abroad would’ve been able to connect.

COVID-19 isn’t the only ongoing global issue. Climate change is creeping up on all of us. And I mean all of us.

Developing countries have been suffering for decades from earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters as a result of global warming. And if that’s not enough to make you care, the recent floods in British Columbia are an indicator that these problems are not as far away as they may seem.

Sound familiar? The virus once felt far away too.

COP26, the most recent UN climate change summit, is one example of a collaborative effort — however flawed it may be. After 26 gatherings, the Earth should be in better shape, but what we do benefit from is the exposure to those people affected by climate change.

James Cadet, the Minister of Environment of Haiti, spoke in French about how their lives are “intimately linked” and their economies are “interdependent.” It doesn’t matter how far away Haiti may seem; COVID-19 wasn’t bothered by geographical borders, and climate change won’t be either.

Haiti is a vulnerable country and undoubtedly feels the intense consequences of climate change. Hearing first-hand about the hardships faced from a Haitian native creates a new type of proximity in which listeners feel closer to and empathize with the speaker.

Some journalists have turned to different forms of media to fabricate this sense of proximity.

Mia Lindgren, Professor and Dean at Swinburne University of Technology, discusses the effectiveness of audio media in storytelling. Mediums like radio and podcasts create proximity with the human voice. Hearing the warmth in the voices of strangers makes it easier to relate and sympathize than it would be through a piece of text.

Ear Hustle, a podcast which is recorded and posted by current prison inmates, is a perfect example of how technology has made it much easier to keep up with people beyond our own geographical and social borders.

Listeners can feel the pain, sadness, or guilt in the voices of the podcast host and guests. Audio storytelling achieves the element of proximity outlined in the principles of successful, newsworthy journalism.

Not knowing the name of COVID-19’s patient zero created even more distance in a situation where it was already difficult to connect. What if he wasn’t just a faceless victim? What if we had the opportunity to feel for him more deeply, 11,000 kilometers away?

If Wuhan wasn’t reported on, the situation could’ve been very different once COVID-19 reached North America. If there wasn’t communication across various nations, it’s possible that vaccines would not have been developed as quickly as they were. People need to be aware of events happening internationally – that’s how solutions are found.

This lesson learned from our pandemic response can be applied to every sort of global issue. Solutions will require worldwide collaboration, so again geographical proximity becomes irrelevant.

The Montreal Protocol is the most impressive example of this much needed communication and collaboration, as it is the only UN treaty to ever be ratified by all 197 UN-recognized countries. This collective agreement to protect the ozone layer came into effect in 1989. Among its notable achievements, it has led to the phaseout of the production and consumption of 98 per cent of ozone depleting substances. Global cooperation led to fixing global-scale problems — weird!

The traditional definition of proximity is no longer relevant in deciding what is “newsworthy.” As our problems get bigger, we have to widen the scope of our concern accordingly. Journalists have the power to create a feeling of proximity through their storytelling and make us care — something the world desperately needs as we face unprecedented, worldwide issues. The stories of those already affected by climate change must be shared, because we saw what happened when the world couldn’t sympathize with patient zero.


Graphics by James Fay

Once again, I am asking for you to take to the polls

It’s time to vote, Concordians

Just under a month ago, we headed to the polls to cast our vote on a surprise federal election. The underwhelming result of the ballots tied with evidence of a historically low voter turnout, made for a truly bummer display of civic duty. And while we sit with that, Quebec is calling on us to retrace our steps to the voting booth.

Generally speaking, reasons to not participate in elections usually fall between feeling disenchanted in our voting system, or not wanting to waste a perfectly good Sunday standing in line. After all, why waste the effort when the real election is over, right?

However, it’s arguable that municipal elections have more weight on our day-to-day lives than a federal election do. Unlike Ottawa, the debate governing the bureaucratic red tape is in our neighbourhoods for our neighbourhoods; which includes deciding on bike lanes, building codes, and business policies, to name a few.

Last election in 2017, Montreal voted for Projet Montréal’s candidate Valérie Plante to help bring accountability to local government and city construction projects, decrease housing costs, and increase pedestrian spaces, along with a number of seemingly progressive policies to take the city to the next level. Whether or not you think she has succeeded, Plante played a crucial role in breaking or accomplishing these promises.

Just over 70 per cent of Concordia students are Quebec residents (or approximately 32,000 people). Given that the last election was decided by a margin of 27,138 votes, Concordians have a real weight in determining our city’s future.

To put it in perspective, this election will determine how the local government will handle the housing crisis, funding of the police, French and English language laws for business and education, expansion of the public transportation system, revitalizing the downtown economy, protecting heritage sites, and more.

This week, take time to research and compare the different party platforms running to steer the city, because ultimately, this is our city to decide on too.


Photograph by Alex Hutchins

You’re not alone in your fatigue

Getting used to our pre-pandemic schedule is going to take time

It’s not just the pre-midterm slumps that are getting you down this year. Since March 2020, strict pandemic lockdowns and health safety measures have kept us predominantly at home for both leisure and work over the course of this year and half. As we gradually return to our pre-COVID schedules, many are feeling more exhausted than usual. But it’s not just you: between July 2021 and September 2021 google searches for the phrase “Why am I tired all the time?” have hit historical highs.

Our muscles are getting used to backpacks and metro rides, we’re adapting to 8 a.m. class discussions, and dealing with the emotional drain from daily in-person events. As we approach almost our halfway point during the semester, and the days become shorter, many students may be affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD). All this includes the accumulated affliction from the past year. It’s important to be compassionate with yourself during this phase.

In early 2020, when we were first told to remain home, many felt grateful to stop and rest from the flurry of our daily lives, in a phenomenon named “lockdown relief.” It was short-lived. As the pandemic wore on, unemployment sky-rocketed, panic set in various ways, and to date, we have lost 28,186 Canadians to COVID-19, on top of the deaths from those that could not seek proper medical treatment because hospitals were overburdened with the aforementioned virus.

Don’t get us wrong — many are excited to be back to in-person activities. But nevertheless, we’re still reeling, and undergoing, the effects of a year full of changes and loss. Since the expectation that we would return to in-person learning, there have been mixed reactions.

Results from a poll in May 2021 found four in five Canadians don’t want to return to their pre-pandemic schedules, as some workplaces prepare for the likelihood of burnouts as workers  seat themselves at their long-abandoned desks in their company centres. Additionally, 35 per cent of Canadians said they would quit their job in the advent of being forced to return to their workplace by their employees.

Students also had mixed reactions about going back on campus.They felt weary about the logistics of in-person and hybrid learning, and of rules around vaccine mandates.The CSU released an open letter calling on the university to ameliorate the equitability and quality of the safety measures and accommodations for students. Almost 1,500 people have signed a petition to give themselves the choice over how they attend hybrid classes. The Concordian has also asked university to provide better support for the education of international students and those with health concerns.

Last week, Concordia responded by releasing a short-term absence form to offer better support for students with “unexpected physical or psychological health concerns.” And while that is a welcome resource, we wanted to remind students that you’re not alone, and that reaching out for help when you need it is important. Whether that be with professional help, or calling a friend — we all need support sometimes.

While we welcome students back from the (much needed) Thanksgiving break, we also want to let you know: you’re doing great, and it’s ok to seek out help if it’s getting too much.


Photograph by Alex Hutchins

On Concordia’s update: 22 reported COVID cases

There is no evidence there is no on-campus transmission at this time

Well, it finally happened. On Sept. 23, Concordia let us know that there are 22 reported COVID cases from people who “may have been on campus while they were contagious. For many, this update was expected; others, like students who have health concerns and lack a proper hybrid educational system at Concordia, feared it.

To appease our concern, the university reassured us in the manner expected by an educational institution. In bold, the email read, “There is no evidence of on-campus transmission at this time.”

“Clearly,” the email continued, “everyone’s vigilance in respecting the health and safety measures we  put in place as part of Concordia’s Return-to-Campus plan has had an impact.” After patting themselves on the back, they informed us that for every potential or certain COVID case on campus, the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) team would conduct a contact tracing plan based on public health authority criteria.

The announcement left many at the university confused and inquisitive about Concordia’s contact tracing plan. After all, absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence, meaning just because there’s no evidence COVID was transmitted on campus, doesn’t mean it’s proof it has not happened.

Members of the Concordia community attending in-person lectures and events are inevitably more susceptible to contracting COVID. So, how do you go about reporting if you think you have COVID?

According to Concordia’s official procedure for a suspected or confirmed COVID case, if a student feels any symptoms off-campus, they must call the COVID-19 information Line* at 1-877-644-4545 (toll free) or 514-644-4545 and follow their instructions. If instructed to quarantine, students must fill out the COVID-19 self-isolation form on the MyConcordia website. If a student was on campus 48 hours prior to developing COVID-19 symptoms, the EHS will initiate the suspected COVID-19 investigation.

Similarly, if a student feels symptoms on campus, they must call security at 514-848-3717, and security will transfer the call to the EHS, which will begin the suspected COVID-19 investigation.

The investigation includes the EHS collecting details from the person who has potentially contracted COVID, such as locations visited and names of individuals they came in contact with on campus.

Those individuals will be told to call the Public Health COVID Line for instructions; their case may be subject to an investigation by the Direction régionale de santé publique — and it is them who will make the ultimate determination if the individual who came in contact should self-isolate, get tested, or may return to campus.

It’s important to know the process in which COVID cases are reported on campus, because students not knowing how to properly report when they think they may have COVID, may very well be the reason why Concordia has no evidence there was COVID transmission on campus.

The truth is campus transmission is not only possible — it’s highly probable. Let’s give Concordia the data they need to better protect our community.

*The Public Health COVID Line is available from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Outside these hours, call Info-Santé 8-1-1 (24/7)


Photograph by Alex Hutchins


This past academic year at The Concordian has been one for the books. Between onboarding a mostly-new staff to changing up our content, we’ve made a lot of adjustments along the way — not to mention adapting to the whole COVID-19 thing. It turns out that publishing in a pandemic isn’t so easy.

The Concordian would like to sincerely thank you, the Concordia community, for your continued support during these past 8 months. This has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging years in our 38 year history — serving Concordia since ‘83, baby — and it wouldn’t have been possible without our readers. Despite the fact that most students haven’t set foot on campus for over a year, knowing that so many of you still took the time to engage with our content means more than words can express. You guys truly are the best.

A big thank you to our contributors for lending us your written words and choosing to share your stories through our platform. Our digital door is always open to new stories, new voices, and new ideas, so if you’re still around next fall, you know where to find us. We love you!

And finally, a big, huge, fat, enormous thank you to our whole staff of managers, editors, assistants, artists, and production professionals. You guys are the heart and soul of this operation. Here’s to (hopefully?) meeting in person someday. For those of you who are sticking around, have an amazing summer, and we’ll see you soon. <3


Feature photo by Alex Hutchins

It’s the little things

We all know the pandemic has negatively affected our lives in a variety of ways, and that it has disproportionately harmed some more than others. But hidden within the chaos and confusion that is the year 2020, there are a small handful of silver linings that make this “new normal” just a little more bearable.

Take masks, for example — as the cold weather begins to consume Montreal, wearing them has become less and less of a chore. We no longer have to soil our scarves with runny noses, since our trusty mandatory-masks do us the favour of keeping our lips and noses warm, while also protecting against the transmission of our least favourite virus.

Speaking of transmission, without having to commute to campus for class, there’s fewer reasons to ride the germ incubator — ie. the bus, metro or shuttle — anymore. Even when life was normal, it’s hard to say that taking the bus was ever the best part of the day. And now, for the lucky ones who don’t need to ride as much, it’s just a warm memory.

And speaking of warmth, wearing warm, comfy pajama bottoms to class seems like something we would’ve killed for before the pandemic. Now, it’s a way of life. No more social expectation to look “together” and cohesive. We all know we’re in the same boat. If that means wearing your cozy Harvard sweater, your Spongebob socks or your Roots sweatpants from your pre-adolescence, we get it.

It’s the little things.

If one thing is true, it’s that there’s plenty of time to spend alone now, and with that comes a lot of loneliness and sameness. But at the same time, these open Friday nights with nothing to do have given us the time and space to practice self-care and self-discovery. Maybe that means doing a weekly bath ritual, or having private karaoke nights or even beating your high score in Mario Kart. Whatever it is that helps you be you, do it. The biggest pandemic perk? Having the time to get to know yourself.


Feature photo by Alex Hutchins

The red zone blues

This lockdown feels different from the last

Back in March, when lockdown first began, a little something called self-reinvention came into vogue. For many students, early quarantine was characterized by at-home workouts and loaves of bread baking in the oven. We video chatted with friends and family, took long walks in the cool spring mornings, and finally cracked open the dusty books we’d been meaning to read. We did anything and everything we could to make the days go by faster and to drown out the anxieties that come hand-in-hand with global pandemics. Whether this actually worked or not is still up for debate.

It’s October now, and while many things haven’t changed, lockdown feels different this time around. These past few weeks at The Concordian, we’ve been having discussions about COVID fatigue and how a lot of us are feeling burnt-out and uninspired lately. Our pandemic-induced hobbies have fallen to the wayside, only to be replaced by an incessant consumption of Netflix and the ordering of box after box of takeout (granted, we did all this back in March, too, just with more exercise and soul-searching in between).

In retrospect, the pressure we put on ourselves in those early days of quarantine was unrealistic and unfair. It turns out that worldwide catastrophes are not particularly conducive to awe-inspiring, all-encompassing self-improvement. Who knew?

As we wait out the second wave of this storm, let’s embrace a slightly different approach to personal growth. If it made you happy the first time, take up baking and yoga again, and incorporating some more morning walks into your routine couldn’t hurt. But keep in mind that not every step you take needs to be an Instagrammable moment. Sometimes improvement looks like eating a vegetable for the first time in days; sometimes it’s taking a breather on the balcony; sometimes it’s calling your grandma; and sometimes it’s asking your professor for an extension.

So, if you’ve been feeling blue lately, you can try what many of us at The Concordian will be practicing in the coming weeks: treating ourselves with tenderness and care, and trying to drink more water.



Feature photo by Alex Hutchins

The Concordian is hitting the airwaves again

Introducing The Concordian Radio Hour

On Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m., we aired the first episode of The Concordian Radio Hour, our new show on CJLO 1690 AM. While we’ve been on the air before, we wanted to try something new this semester and bring you auditory versions of our favourite articles, often read by the authors themselves.

We’ve divided our show into five segments, one for each section of our publication: News, Commentary, Arts, Music, and Sports. You’ll hear everything from album reviews and personal reflections to updates on current events and local sports happenings.

The idea was to extend The Concordian’s outreach. Especially during this enduring pandemic, access to print media and posts online are not always enough to sustain and promote the voices that make The Concordian, The Concordian. The show aims to bring the same community focus and energy we’re known for in our publications, but delivered freely to anyone with an AM receiver or an internet connection.

Accessibility is, after all, a major idea that guides how we write and publish here at The Concordian. We want to make this publication a site where local and underheard voices can express themselves. With CJLO 1690 AM, we can literally give voice to these stories. Through our media outreach, whether it’s through words printed on the page or spoken on the airwaves, we hope our stories not only reach and inform a broader audience, but give the Concordia community more ways to reach out and speak.


Photo by Alex Hutchins

Editorial: Feeling disillusioned?

This past week has been jam-packed with some hard truths.

On Sept. 16, The Concordian reported that the university will not be complying with the Human Rights Commission’s recommendations regarding the handling of sexual assault complaints. This news is the latest in Concordia’s long and checkered history with the subject of sexual violence on campus.

On Sept. 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, died at 87. Naturally, her passing reminds us of her decades-long fight for gender equality, abortion rights, and marriage equality. But Ginsburg’s death has also highlighted her more dubious decisions, such as her vote to allow for the quicker removal of asylum seekers, or her support of the Atlantic Coast pipeline.

On Sept. 20, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé announced that Montreal has entered the “orange zone,” meaning restrictions due to COVID-19 have been tightened once again. New cases in Quebec have shot up to 637 in a single day, the highest number we’ve seen since May.

On Sept. 23, a U.S. grand jury decided that Kentucky police officers Brett Hankinson, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove, who fatally shot 26-year-old Black healthcare worker Breonna Taylor, will not be charged with her death. The decision follows months of protests against police violence in both the U.S. and Canada.

On Sept. 28, Quebec Premier François Legault announced that Montreal has entered the “red zone,” meaning restrictions due to COVID-19 have been thoroughly tightened once again. New cases in the province have shot up to 896 in a single day, the highest number we’ve seen since May. On that same day, Concordia announced that the winter term will occur remotely.

Right now, many of us feel disillusioned, discouraged, and downright disappointed.

Concordia is still failing to treat victims of sexual violence with respect; cracks in the legacy of Justice Ginsburg have surfaced; the pandemic is far from over; and injustice continues to sink its teeth into our collective consciousness.

Needless to say, it’s been rough.

Although it may feel like the winds of change have devolved into the breeze of bureaucracy, it’s important to remember the value of resilience. It’s okay to be pissed off, it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to take a moment to breathe. We’ll pick ourselves back up and keep on moving forward.


Photo by Alex Hutchins

Welcome back: Concordia in the age of COVID-19

The strangest semester in the history of our university has officially begun

Along with the rest of the world, Concordia and its students are adjusting to a crushing new reality. To date, over 27 million people have been infected with COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has claimed nearly 6,000 lives in Quebec alone, and while the death rate has slowed, the number of losses continues to climb. Marked by insecurity, inequality, and inexhaustible anxiety, the past months have been a challenge, to say the least.

Despite this, we’ve somehow managed to stumble our way through half a year of this mess. We’re adapting, a little clumsily at times, but enough to continue our studies in the midst of a global meltdown. All things considered, it’s pretty impressive.

For most of us, adaptation will take the form of Zoom classes in our pyjama bottoms and study dates in the park. Some obstacles, however, will be more difficult to tackle: in the wake of such colossal uncertainty, countless students are faced with a lack of funds, a lack of accessibility, and a decline in their mental wellbeing. Demanding support from the institutions that vow to support us is crucial, and this includes our university.

This year at The Concordian, we aim to connect students with the resources they need; to hold our university and other institutions accountable for the promises they make; and to tell the stories of students, faculty, staff, and everyone in between as they navigate these treacherous times. If you’re someone with a tale to tell, or maybe you’re interested in amplifying the voices of others, we strongly encourage you to pitch us your ideas. Our digital door is always open.

As much as we hypothesize about the months to come, it’s hard to say exactly what the fall semester of 2020 is going to be like. One thing is for certain: it won’t be one to forget.



  • Homeroom – A weekly virtual homeroom where students can make friends and learn must-know information about starting university. Registration is required and participants will receive perks based on attendance.
  • Centre for Teaching and Learning – Get help navigating online learning, Moodle, assignment submission, and setting up your phone and laptop.
  • Student Success Centre (SSC) – Get help from a learning specialist and one-on-one tutoring.
  • Support for mental and physical health – Find support for your mental and physical well being, as well as academic and financial support.
  •  Financial Aid and Awards Office – In-depth advice on planning finances and discovering bursaries and loans.
  • Concordia Emergency Student Relief Fund – Concordia has allocated over $1 million to support students’ economic hardships.
  • Student groups – Connect with over 200 student groups and see what they’re up to during the online semester.
  • Library services – While the physical library is closed, the librarians are working hard to support students online. Students can request textbooks to be put online. The Library is hoping to open limited study spaces by Sept. 14.
  • Stay updated – Keep informed about what Concordia is offering and any changing regulations.


A statement from President Graham Carr:

“Being a Concordian means being part of a community. This fall, as we start an academic year unlike any we’ve seen before, we’re looking forward to you joining this great community. Whether you’re a new student or a returning one, we’re here to support you and help you succeed in your studies. Please take advantage of the many services we have in place to assist you. Let’s continue being bold, being innovative and creating the kind of community that makes me proud to be a Concordian.”


Feature photo by Alex Hutchins


Editorial: An open letter to Graham Carr

Dear Graham Carr,

It has been almost two months since you’ve been appointed Concordia’s newest president. In the statement released on the Concordia website on Jan. 16, you expressed your excitement about building off of this “great momentum we’ve created in the last several years.”

While this sounds great, it is also a little bit brief.

We at The Concordian would like to make a few suggestions regarding what needs to be addressed at our wonderful school: 


Sustainability: While there have been some improvements, we can’t help but notice a lack of awareness when it comes to sustainability on campus. Some people remain unaware of sustainability groups, like CUCCR (Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse), and compost bins are scarce—-the CJ Building at Loyola only has one. We reported back in October that half of what the university sends to landfills could be composted, according to student groups. Becoming completely zero-waste isn’t going to happen overnight, but providing a clear plan will give the Concordia community an opportunity to track the university’s progress.

Transit: Yes, the university already had a conference concerning the shuttle bus, and we are pressing the matter again. While efficient, the shuttle bus can be unreliable at times. Universities across Canada include a transit pass as part of their tuition. Why not Concordia? As an institution with a large contingent of students reliant on public transit, it’s clear that the demand is there. This would also serve as an incentive for students who drive to campus to start using public transit instead.

Food: Concordia’s five-year agreement with Aramark comes to an end in May this year. For years, students have pushed for more independent and student-run food providers. Aramark’s reputation is also less than stellar. So let’s be realistic, feeding hundreds of students at both residences and the thousands across both campuses is extremely difficult and requires a large workforce. But what the university can do is commit to signing shorter contracts with large corporations, and begin transitioning towards independent and student-run groups becoming the main food providers on campus. It’s not an issue that can be solved immediately, but this is the type of legacy move that only benefits the Concordia community.

Online Opt-Out Consultations: It should come as no surprise that we at The Concordian are against online opt-outs for fee-levy groups. When opt-outs are done in person, Concordia’s groups, from gender advocacy groups (The Centre for Gender Advocacy) to food services (People’s Potato, The Hive), to student media (CJLO, The Link, The Concordian) have a chance to educate students about the services they offer. Following the recent vote to move to online op-outs, all that we ask is to be included in meaningful discussions about the implementation of this system. Will the website include a list of services offered by each group? Will it properly inform people of the role the groups play on campus, and how they can get involved? Or will it simply have a list of services to opt out of?

As our president, these are some of the issues that we ask you to consider as you plan what to tackle here on campus for the duration of your tenure at Concordia. 



The Concordian.



Feature photo by Alex Hutchins


In solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Recent tensions concerning the Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. have been thoroughly discussed on social media, with solidarity protests happening all over the country—from Saskatechewan, to Ontario, to Quebec.

Reports from the CBC state that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) enforced a court order against the Indigenous communities blocking construction on the Coastal GasLink pipeline last Thursday. Camps were set up near the pipeline, including at the Unist’ot’en healing village, which was a Wet’suwet’en-operated checkpoint on the road in 2009, preventing people working on the pipeline from accessing the territory.

Media coverage of the ongoing issue has varied, with some publications learning from past mistakes and putting the work in to accurately reporting on a complex situation. Despite these steps, The Concordian can’t help but notice that this progress is taking far too long. As members of the media, we have a responsibility to not phone in stories on this topic.

Some still don’t even know about the issue, nor the history behind it if they haven’t stumbled upon vigils, protests, or if they aren’t following Instagram accounts addressing the recurring problem. Facebook instates a “Standing in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en” profile picture frame to get people involved, and encourage them to further educate themselves.

The RCMP is forcibly removing people trying to guard land they never ceded to begin with. Does this ring any bells for anyone? How can Canada, or more specifically, the Liberal Government, claim to be moving forward with Truth and Reconciliation when they are consistently participating in colonialism and land theft?

The media should be doing more to call attention to this. The Via Rail train cancellations are being covered thoroughly, but the reason for them? Not so much. The media is covering the inconvenience that protests are causing privileged individuals, but not adequately educating the public on why the protests are taking place.

Wet’suwet’en land is being stolen and used for something its custodians don’t believe in.

This has been happening across North America for centuries––but we’re supposed to be correcting those mistakes. We’re supposed to be righting those wrongs. Remaining silent in times like these upholds and reinforces centuries of colonialism.

We need to do better. 


Graphic by@sundaeghost

Exit mobile version