LGBTQ+ sports leagues exist and are here to stay

Volley Boréal is one of the many LGBTQ+ leagues aiming to provide a discrimination-free space

Every Monday, the players at Volley Boréal gather at Collège de Maisonneuve for their weekly game night, a tradition that has been alive since its foundation in 2004.

Volley Boréal is a not-for-profit mixed-gender LGBTQ+ volleyball club. It was created following the fusion of two gay volleyball clubs that existed in the ’80s and served different purposes: competition and socialization. It encompasses 12 recreational teams and 12 semi-competitive teams with a total of around 200 members.

“A lot of players have a need to come socialize in a safe place, to play without any fear of discrimination, and to be themselves,” said Karl Côté, president of Volley Boréal.

Côté joined the league in 2008 when he was looking to connect with the LGBTQ+ community while staying physically active. He found the league through a friend — like most players do — and was immediately welcomed, even though he had never played volleyball before.

Warm welcomes and inclusivity are what Volley Boréal thrives on, according to Côté. Their website emphasizes that “any form of discrimination based on sex, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation is prohibited.”

Volley Boréal is an extremely diverse club, which is immediately noticeable during their weekly games.

“We meet people of all types of backgrounds,” said Mia Beaudoin-Dion, a transwoman who has played with them for two years now. “It isn’t reserved at all to queer people, we have a lot of heterosexual people, allies, that join us.”

When Beaudoin-Dion joined the league, she had just started her transition.

“I was looking for safe spaces in my life that would accept me for who I was,” she said. “I felt no judgment from the other players, unlike with family and friends, where it was more difficult. The volleyball club made me feel better because it wasn’t a big deal. My transition was just accepted and normalized.”

Jean Gilbert, another member, has been with the club for 16 years, as long as he’s been in Montréal. He saw the recreational league grow from six to 12 teams and he witnessed more women starting to participate. It was important for him to be a part of an LGBTQ+ group, but as a 66-year-old man working from home, there was more to it.

“I don’t necessarily see a lot of people,” he said. “By coming here, I can meet people, I’ve made friends. It’s important for me to have a space that can break my isolation and make a change from being at home.”

The need to socialize is also the main reason Sébastien Shah, now vice-president of Volley Boréal, first joined as a member back in 2019.

Even though Shah didn’t join the team with no intention to find a partner, he ended up meeting his current boyfriend of three years. Since then, he’s had the club engraved in his heart and that’s why he decided to join the board of directors: to give back to them like they had given to him. It isn’t even conceivable for him to leave the club.

“I have four classes at university, I’m preparing for internships, my head is barely above the water and everyone around tells me to cut somewhere, to cut in volleyball,” Shah said.

But for him, the volleyball club is a way to decompress from his busy life and to cope with mental health. Being on the board of directors might be demanding for Shah, but it’s fun and gratifying. It gives him his energy for the week, and he counts the days before each Monday.

Shah emulates the feeling of most — if not all — of Volley Boréal’s players. There is an unequivocal and contagious joie de vivre in the gym when they play. Volley Boréal is the proof that inclusivity and sports make for a match made in heaven.


I’m not watching the World Cup this year

Qatar’s record of basic human rights violations makes the World Cup a farce

The first games of the 2022 Qatar World Cup are underway and even though I usually follow the World Cup diligently, I can’t bring myself to watch a single match this year, and I know I’m not the only one.

FIFA has rightfully received tons of backlash since it announced Qatar as the host country due to the country’s constant disregard of basic human rights, including workers’ and LGBTQ+ rights. All of those violations were also documented and known even in 2010 when FIFA officials voted to choose Qatar as the host country in 2022.

In fact, in 2012, the non-profit organization Human Rights Watch published a report detailing its concerns that “hundreds of thousands of mostly South Asian migrant construction workers in Qatar risk serious exploitation and abuse, sometimes amounting to forced labor.” The report especially targeted the construction of infrastructures linked to the World Cup.

As for LGBTQ+ rights, simply put, they are non-existent. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden under Islamic Sharia law and punishable by either fines, imprisonment, or lapidation (stoning). Although there are no documented cases of the death penalty being enforced in that context, there is no shortage of testimonies from LGBTQ+ Qataris being severely beaten due to their gender expression or sexual orientation.

Due to Qatar hosting the World Cup amid all these human rights violations, some are accusing the country of sportswashing, which is defined as the practice of restoring one’s reputation by hosting huge sporting competitions, buying sports teams, and/or participating in competitions, all of which Qatar is doing through the World Cup despite not even having a big soccer culture in the first place. 

Earlier this year, the Beijing Winter Olympics was also a “great” example of sportswashing. The Chinese government’s genocide and general abuse of human rights against Uyghurs and other religious minorities, as well as their repression of protests in Hong Kong, hid conveniently behind a grandiose large-scale event and beautiful ceremonies.

The International Olympic Committee refused to acknowledge the situation. “It’s a complex world,” they twice told a journalist from The Guardian.

The World Cup is undoubtedly the biggest international sporting event in the world. Roughly two million tourists are expected to attend the World Cup in Qatar. However, this year, Canadian tourists attending the event are being told by their own government to “dress conservatively and behave discreetly” for their own safety and to steer clear of trouble with authorities. 

Now, it’s one thing to abide by a country’s laws and culture, but it’s hard to support a country that wouldn’t respect me as a woman, a queer person, and a journalist.

It’s worthwhile to mention that this column would have been impossible to write if I were in Qatar. According to Reporters Without Borders, the World Cup host ranked 119 out of 180 countries on the basis of press freedom due to the hardships reporters encounter when covering local political issues. Human Rights Watch even had to publish its Human Rights Guide for Reporters to inform and help out journalists in their endeavours in Qatar.

It’s disappointing to see FIFA making their decision to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar solely based on profits. International sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics could be great opportunities to strengthen diplomatic ties between countries in a world that is constantly shaken by conflict.

I thought it would be common sense, but apparently it’s not.


 Hip-hop: a genre of music or society’s scapegoat for gun violence?

Another rapper has been killed in the United States as a result of the gun violence epidemic

On Nov. 1, American rapper Takeoff from the hip-hop group Migos was shot and killed in Houston, Texas. The 28-year-old rapper was outside of 810 Billiards and Bowling Houston when an argument broke out that led to the shooting. 

The news of Takeoff’s death spread rapidly and left many in disbelief because it seemed that he died over nothing. There were no drugs, weapons, or anything criminal found on him, which left many wondering why this happened.

It seems that every year, at least one rapper gets shot and killed and then their death eventually becomes another statistic.

Sadly, Takeoff was the latest victim in this ongoing crisis. 

According to a summary of the statistics by CNN, in 2018, XXXTentacion was robbed and gunned down in Florida. In 2019, Nipsey Hussle was shot over 10 times while helping out his community in Los Angeles. In 2020, Pop Smoke was shot during a home invasion in California. King Von was also shot and killed in 2020 during a dispute in a parking lot outside of a hookah lounge. Lastly, in 2021, Young Dolph was fatally shot while buying cookies in Memphis.

However, not everyone feels pity for these rappers. There is crime committed in all communities but when it comes to this genre of music, it’s reported differently towards the public. 

Ben Shapiro is a US political commentator known for his controversial opinions. In 2019, he interviewed a rapper named Zuby and discussed how hip-hop negatively impacts people. “From the outside, when I listen to hip-hop, I don’t hear a bunch of family-oriented messages. In fact, I hear a lot of messages that are degrading to women, I hear messages that push violence, that are disparaging to the police.” 

It seems as though people who blame hip-hop for the violence in Black communities can’t separate fiction from fact. 

Hip-hop and rapping is a form of storytelling and rappers are often talking about their own life experiences and problems, with some exaggeration to make it entertaining.   

Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, also known as 21 Savage, is a famous rapper who’s respected in the culture. On his 21st birthday, he was shot six times but survived to tell the story. This year in August, he sent out a tweet that was faced with instant backlash. “Atlanta we have to do better, put the f****** guns down!!!!!” the tweet read. 

21 Savage was called a hypocrite because his lyrics depict him shooting, killing and robbing people. He responded back and informed the public about how his music is a narration of his life. “I ain’t never promoted violence. I just rap about what I’ve been through, or what I’ve heard about, what I’ve saw. That ain’t me promoting violence,” the rapper said on Instagram. 

While there are many who advocate against gun violence, the number of rappers who have been killed this year only seems to be growing. 

In 2022, Trouble, Snootie Wild, Tdott Woo, Wavy Navy Pooh, Goonew, Lil Devin, Archie Eversole, JayDaYoungan, FBG Cash, Rollie Bands, Young Slo-Be, Earl Swavey, Money Gang Vontae, PnB Rock, Desto and now Takeoff all are dead due to gun violence. 

Although these rappers were senselessly shot dead, it seems as though because of who they were, how they looked and the fact that they rapped, they were expected to die. In reality, there is a gun control problem in the United States which is constantly left unaddressed when someone passes away in the hip-hop community.

Graphic by James Fay @jamesfaydraws


A brief guide to Montreal’s local live music scene

Here’s Where to find Montreal’s finest live music offerings

Sometimes, keeping up with show organizers is where it’s at

Good Shows

Ever since pandemic restrictions loosened up, Good Shows have proven to be one of the most exciting organizers in Montreal. With shows sprawling across town touching on genres like math rock and hardcore to dance-punk and everything in between, you’re always in for a rowdy and wild ride with Good Shows.

Expose Noir

For five years, Expose Noir has been throwing parties of the highest caliber, turning warehouses into full-fledged all night long rave frenzies. Their mainline multi-room events, or the smaller and more frequent single-room offshoot “volume x” always guarantee international DJ talent to the highest degree.

Blue Skies Turn Black

Blue Skies might be Montreal’s premier booker for the indie scene, frequently bringing some of the top rock and hip-hop talent that’s currently on the road to a great variety of venues, theatres, and halls throughout the city.

Greenland Productions

Greenland Productions is responsible for bringing some of the biggest shows to the largest clubs and venues across Montreal. Radiohead offshoot project The Smile, and drain gang predecessor Yung Lean are just a few of the heavyweight talents coming in the next few weeks — thanks to Greenland — and with multiple shows each week, there is something for everyone.

Five bars where you can hear live music on the reg

Bar Le Ritz PDB (179 Jean-Talon O)

Owned by the members of Montreal’s own Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Bar le Ritz is one of the best places to catch out-of-town up-and-comers. Shows span from various styles of rock and hip-hop, to hardcore and metal with plenty of exciting touring acts performing every week. 

Bar L’Hémisphère Gauche (221 Rue Beaubien E)

The beer is cheap, the staff is cool and the music is loud at Bar L’Hémisphère Gauche. Located in Little Italy, L’Hémisphère Gauche is where you can find local fresh new voices performing almost every night of the week to packed and rowdy crowds.

La Sala Rossa/La Sotterenea (4848 St Laurent Blvd)

Whether it’s the saloon atmosphere of the main room upstairs (Sala Rossa), or the smaller room devoid of a stage in the basement Sotterenea, you are bound to find an eclectic mix of bookings in this building.

Casa Del Popolo (4873 St Laurent Blvd)

The sister venue of La Sala Rossa, located just across the street, is a smaller room, darkly lit and decorated by beautiful moldings on the ceilings and chandeliers above the bar. Experimental shows spanning from harsh noise to power electronics happen frequently, and you can also catch a hardcore or indie show being put on by Good Shows or Blue Skies on a regular basis.

Collage by James fay @jamesfaydraws and Catherine Reynolds @catreynoldsphoto

Music On Repeat

 On Repeat: Fall songs edition

Need something for your fall playlist? The Concordian’s staff share their go-to fall songs.

Guillaume Laberge, Music Editor

“Death with Dignity” – Sufjan Stevens

It’s hard to put words on this song as it is genuinely one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking pieces of music I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. “Death with Dignity” is a folk track that sees Stevens opening up about his late mother in a truly touching manner. The gentle finger-picking guitar playing mixed with Stevens’ whispery delivery only reinforces the song’s theme and makes for a very intimate moment that suits autumn perfectly.

Saro Hartounian, Assistant Music Editor 

“Harvest Moon” – Neil Young

Where do I begin? It is THE fall song: the harmonica, the swish beat of the snare in the background, the sparse yet recognizable guitar riff played by the Winnipeg treasure. The harmonies of both Young and Nicolette Larson tie the song up into this calm accompaniment for your end-of-day fall activities, like sitting on the front porch on a Sunday evening. 

Dalia Nardolillo, Community Editor

“I Ain’t Worried” – OneRepublic

A song that has been on repeat for me this fall is “I Ain’t Worried” by OneRepublic. With the stresses of keeping up with a healthy work-life balance always looming above my head, this song reminds me to not get stuck on life’s little problems and just focus on the bigger picture.

Jeremy Cox, Assistant Arts Editor

“Black Balloons Reprise” feat. Denzel Curry – Flying Lotus

I tend to gravitate towards the creepy and psychedelic during the spooky season. As a fan of hip hop, soul, and R&B, I stumbled across Flying Lotus a couple of years ago, who’s able to fit my autumn needs on many occasions. As his 2019 album Flamagra is my favorite of his works, I’d have to pick “Black Balloons Reprise” featuring Denzel Curry. 

Cris Derfel, Head Copy Editor

“Retrograde” – James Blake

I always turn to James Blake’s music when the leaves begin to fall. His earlier work especially suits the melancholy of the season, and “Retrograde” from his second album Overgrown is on repeat for me throughout most of October. Blake’s voice is haunting and melodic as the synths and bass come together in an explosive crescendo — suddenly you’re hit, and if you’re like me you keep going back for more.

Evleen Kaur, Copy Editor

“Sleep On The Floor” – The Lumineers

Picture this: it’s a cold fall evening and you run into a philosopher on the walk to your apartment. He stops you and asks, “If you go today, will you go in peace?” Your eyes sweep over the dying leaves everywhere and suddenly you’re reminded of the tattoo you still want to get. You remember the hike you never went for because you were too paranoid. Now I’d tell you there’s a better way to picture all that, but then I’d be telling you to listen to this song.

Maria Bouabdo, Sports Editor

“Hurricane” – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s music hits different in the fall, but there’s something about “Hurricane” that makes me turn to this song in particular every year. It’s a beautiful song based on a true and heartbreaking story. I’ve always associated fall with endings and sadness, and to me, that cannot be encapsulated any better than it is in this song: the wrongful end of a man’s freedom.

Cedric Gallant, Podcast Producer

“The Ballad of the Runaway Girl” – Elisapie

This song is perfect when you finish school late, night time is creeping in, and you feel tired yet accomplished with your day. It’s moody yet stylish and relaxing, and it kind of prepares you for the winter to come. The vocals by Elisapie are mysterious yet endearing, the musical performance is detailed and serene. Honestly, I cannot recommend this song and this whole album enough, a true delight to the ears. 

Esther Morand, Arts Editor 

“Never Fight A Man With A Perm” – IDLES

This is the perfect song for midterm season, just before the snow falls. When you don’t know how you’re going to make it through even a single day, this song will carry you through. It’s the perfect song to help you write long essays and occupy your mind so you have energy to finish the semester!

Graphic by James Fay @jamesfaydraws


Concordia Food Coalition to develop new food enterprise

Following Concordia’s New Contract With Aramark, The Fight Is Still Not Over For A Food-Sovereign Campus

In April, Concordia’s board of governors signed a new contract with multinational food services corporation Aramark to return as the University’s food supplier until May of 2026, with the possibility of a two-year extension. Aramark has been notorious for its ties to the US prison system ,and offering poor working conditions. 

The University’s decision to sign a new contract with the corporation goes against a continual effort to steer Concordia away from multinational corporations and towards social enterprises or not-for-profit food suppliers instead, in an attempt to make Concordia into a food-sovereign campus. 

In 2021, it seemed as though the University was seriously considering this alternate option.  “Concordia was making an effort to explore options outside of multinational corporations,” said Shylah Wolfe, executive director of the Concordia Food Coalition (CFC). 

Oliver de Volpi, Concordia’s Food Services manager, corroborated this claim. “We investigated some other options. The one that was even presented by Concordia Food Coalition didn’t pan out. They weren’t ready to bid.” 

Ultimately, the University did sign a new contract with Aramark. But, it’s not the end of the movement for a food sovereign campus.

Currently, the CFC is drafting a business plan for what they are calling the New Food Enterprise (NFE), which will be modeled largely off of Diversity Food Services (DFS), a social enterprise providing food service at the University of Winnipeg. 

The CFC’s website states that “the NFE will be an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable social enterprise capable of becoming Concordia’s campus food service provider. We are building a coalition of community stakeholders and local food producers to supply affordable and sustainable food options at scale to the university.” 

The NFE will bring together the Concordian Student Union, the Hive Cafe, SEIZE, and collaborate with the University’s senior administration. The CFC website states that “there is already broad understanding that the NFE is the transformative model that Concordia needs. Our job is to bring it to fruition.”

The Concordia Student Union has contributed $50,000 total to the NFE project. The CFC has taken $10,000 of the aforementioned funding to contract Chief Operating Officer of DFS Ian Vickers as a consultant. The VP Student Services Office has also pledged $25,000 to the project, Wolfe told The Concordian, with the remaining funds supporting additional planning, financing and partnership development.

“They’re putting their money where their mouth is, and taking us a bit more seriously. Now that we have four years to develop an alternative that is not just lip service, it will be an actually fleshed-out plan,” said Wolfe.

The money was pledged by the University before Aramark won the Request For Proposal (RFP) bid, with the CSU’s funding coming in during the bidding period. 

Since 2020, and during the RFP period, the CFC and other student representative groups sitting on the Concordia Food Advisory Working Group (FAWG) advocated for Concordia to adopt a model similar to that of Diversity Food Services. This would include cooking from scratch, more involvement in local food economies, and providing better benefits for staff. 

“What we’re doing now is essentially taking a provenly successful model at the University of Winnipeg with Diversity, and essentially building out an offering on a silver platter to the administration that we would run it with Diversity closely consulting,” said Wolfe.

According to Wolfe, the business would be owned by stakeholders made up of the University, the CFC, and DFS.

According to the University’s sustainable food systems plan, Concordia and Aramark are making efforts to be more sustainable and improve upon their last contract, by bringing in more local products, removing Aramark’s rights to operating vending machines on campus, and making meals offered in cafeterias one-third vegetarian, one-third vegan and one-third meat by 2025. 

De Volpi further stated that while Concordia did decide to re-sign with Aramark, the decision was not motivated purely by finances. 

“75% of the criteria for coming back to campus is not financially related. It’s sustainability operations, it’s nutrition, it’s that part of it. And Aramark won the bid. They’ve made contractual obligations to be easily a leader in Canada in both sustainability and nutrition. We’re going to hold them to it as well,” he said. 

But many advocating for a new food service model feel that their current goals aren’t enough.

“I think that the goals that the University has are commendable, but they’re not transformative. I think that it is difficult for them to ever do anything transformative if they continue with the bureaucratic processes that they are using,” said Wolfe.

“That last 25 percent is weighted twice as heavily as the other 75 percent,” explained de Volpi.

Erik Chevrier, a part-time professor at Concordia who did his PhD on building food-sovereign campuses, and a Concordia FAWG member, explained why Concordia’s sustainability goals can’t be too transformative under the current RFP model. 

“If you look at the targets, they’re not too hard to meet. So the targets are somewhat written for the big food service providers to be able to meet them, because if not, they’re setting unrealistic goals. So in some way, the idea that if they make this criteria too stringent nobody could actually fit the criteria. They’ll have no food service provider,” said Chevrier.

Financial aspects are involved in the RFP process. According to Chevrier, Companies need a minimum of $5 million annual revenue in food service before being able to bid. This requirement makes it difficult for small or new food service entities to compete for a contract. This is to help ensure that the companies Concordia partners with can remain viable throughout the year, and makes it harder for smaller-scale or new companies to compete during the RFP.

“There’s a big risk for us. We bring in [a food supplier] who’s never existed before that, you know, a month in and they say we just don’t have the personnel to operate anymore. We’re going to close down. Then what do we do with 1,000 students that live here and the rest of the population that depends on us?” said de Volpi. 

Wolfe feels that the risk is on the CFC and now with the ability to develop their own business plans, when the next RFP comes around in 2026, the New Food Enterprise will be able to prove their viability.

“We’re basically taking all of the risk for them, to develop this, to garner the support, the political will and also build out the actual back-end with a supply network. We’re essentially going to build them a business that will do all the things that they said they were going to do, but give them none of the risk,” said Wolfe.

Chevrier pointed out that Concordia has a number of student-built food initiatives that have been able to remain viable for many years.

“We’ve created them in the past, or students have, like the People’s Potato,” said Chevrier. “Nobody believed that it would last 20 years when it was first incarnated.”

Across Canada, Concordia has one of the strongest student-run food economies, with seven organizations operating in 2018. 

JAMES FAY @jamesfaydraws

These economies all work together across Concordia in a way that Aramark doesn’t. 

Aramark makes half of their money off a mandatory meal plan for most students in residences. This plan provides flex dollars that can only be spent at Aramark’s other retail locations across campus. Chevrier believes that allowing flex dollars to be spent at student locations would be largely beneficial. 

EVAN LINDSAY/The Concordian

“First of all, it’ll create competition for the big food service providers, maybe get them to behave a little bit better. And second of all, it could actually provide a local economy, where students can actually choose where they want to go,” said Chevrier.

While DFS, the business the New Food Enterprise is based on, did struggle during its start-up phase,  has now yielded a better performance for the University of Winnipeg than their previous multinational supplier, Chartwells. 

“The University does better with us than they ever do with Chartwells because we sell three times what Chartwells did. People actually want to eat real, made from scratch food a lot more than they wanted to eat that processed food.” said Vickers.

The new contract with Aramark is an improvement on the last, but the problem many have with it is not Aramark themselves, but Concordia continuing to work with multinational corporations. 

“There’s a lot of evidence to show that actually, the global food industry is decimating our planet. So basically, most of these big corporations, externalized costs in that they basically externalize them to people,” said Chevrier. 

Concordia has a long history of working with multinational suppliers. Their relationship with Aramark began in 2015, and prior to that they worked with Compass-Chartwells and Sodexo, two other multinational food supply and hospitality corporations.

Combined across Canadian universities, these corporations make up 60.8 per cent of the food suppliers among universities in Canada, according to Erik Chevrier’s thesis on building food-sovereign campuses. 

“Each of these corporations really relies on supply chains that actually drive down costs as much as they can by externalizing the environmental and social costs,” said Chevrier. 

“Concordia, as an innovator, I think should actually be looking towards how we can better the world, especially in some of the industries that they’re actually partaking [in.]”

The advantage of moving away from multinational corporations and towards social enterprises like DFS is that they are able to better interact with local farmers and food producers. Currently, according to University Spokesperson Vanninia Maestracci, 43 per cent of food offered in cafeterias is local or sustainability sourced. 

JAMES FAY @jamesfaydraws

Vickers stated that last year, 72 per cent of food served by DFS was locally or sustainably sourced. Purchasing locally most of the time is naturally better for farmers, who have experienced a 31.5 per cent increase in total outstanding debt across Canada since 2017, according to Statistics Canada. 

By working with more local food suppliers, DFS is able to better manage its supply chain and from-scratch cooking is made more possible to attain.

“Our cooks come in first thing in the morning. They bring in fresh turkeys, the first thing the chef will do is throw the turkeys in the oven instead of roasting them off so that she can slice them out and then cut it down and that becomes turkey sandwiches. She takes those bones and she puts them in a pot and starts making turkey stock. Then she can make gravy for what’s going to go on the poutine, as well as make soup,” said Vickers.

According to Vickers, the cost of bringing in local food is largely the same as well.

“We tend to be between two and three per cent less expensive,” he claimed. 

Independent food suppliers have the freedom to work with as many producers as they like and don’t suffer the same turnaround times for payment as larger corporations do. 

“When it’s an independent business, being able to pay farmers for cash right at the farm gates or out of their delivery truck is more possible,” said Wolfe. “We can work with as many suppliers as Diversity does, which is sometimes up to 100 different local producers.” 

“Large corporations like Aramark or even the University would not be able to do that because they have like sometimes 90- to 120-day payment processing so they have to work with huge distributors,” she stated.

“Part of the reason Diversity is able to do this is because, while they are a for-profit business they are also a social enterprise,” explained Vickers.

“What would normally be the profit that you would pay to your owners, is invested instead in environmental, social, cultural, or local economic sustainability,” he continued.

“What [the University] charged myself and the rest of our management team with is taking the profit and reinvesting it into being a good player in the global economy. So what does that mean? It means that we buy as locally as possible every single time.”

Additionally, under this model Diversity Food Services is able to offer a living wage, benefits and pension plans to all of their employees. 

EVAN LINDSAY/The Concordian

There is a lot of money to be made in these contracts — a study by the CFC found that the food service providers who won the RFP process in 2015 stood to make a minimum of $7 million in revenue annually. 

Under the new food enterprise model, any money made by the business could then be reinvested.

“The profits, if there are any, would be in the community,” said Wolfe. 

“That money would be reinvested in the business so that it’s cheaper, so that meal plans and generally food is cheaper, or so that workers get more money or it would be donated to the community organizations that need funds to run their projects.” 

Creating a project like DFS at Concordia is ambitious, and bringing in more local food to supply the 3,000 meals a day that CFC provides is a big task. It’s one that Vickers says will need a really solid plan, but he doesn’t think its impossible.

“Your local agriculture is so much better equipped to do this than we are,” said Vickers. “It would be incredibly feasible.”


You’re Not Alone If You Pick A Cone

Why a cone is the proper vessel for ice cream eating

It’s time to tackle the world’s most heated and legendairy debate: cup or cone. 

So here’s the scoop. I am a firm believer that cones are superior when it comes to ice cream. And if you’re not already, in a few short minutes, you will be.

The most obvious point is that you tend to get more ice cream if you get a cone. Because of the cone shape, part of the scoop trickles down toward the bottom, causing the server to add some more sweet goodness on the top to get that nice circular shape. With a cup, you don’t get that extra bit, and as an advocate for eating the most amount of ice cream possible, I find that pretty criminal.

If you’re one of those people who just doesn’t like the taste of cones, I counter with this: how does it feel to have a personal vendetta against the environment? Sucking it up and eating a cone seems like a small price to pay for being more eco-friendly. In fact, when there’s no paper protection on the cone, they’re zero-waste (and even if there is, the paper is easily recyclable).

Cups, on the other hand, are generally not recyclable or compostable. And don’t even get me started on the plastic spoons they require. 

What’s more, cones are just infinitely more fun than cups. If the thrill of the melty drip doesn’t bring out your silly side, perhaps the golden bite of cone and ice cream will result in an ear-to-ear smile. 

If you’re still not convinced, I’ll offer this anecdote that, quite honestly, changed my perception of this debate once and for all.

It’s a perfect July day and I had just acquired a heaping cone of dark chocolate ice cream. I’m walking down the street with my friend, enjoying the weather and the cold treat.

Suddenly, a wave of inexplicable clumsiness comes over me. In slow motion, I watch my cone topple out of my hands and onto my beige pants. My friend screams. Pedestrians gasp. But I remain calm. 

I sprint into the nearest pharmacy and purchase some soap. I then make my way across the street to a shawarma place, dodging the customers who can’t look away from the massacre that is my pants. I slip into the bathroom, take them off, and begin working on the stains, fervently treating them with soap and cold water.

Ten minutes in, they’re good as new. The only problem? They’re soaked. Luckily, I have a men’s shirt in my tote bag, in case I get cold. Avant-garde fashion designer that I am, I manage to wear it as a skirt, ensuring that I can continue on with my day while I wait for my pants to dry. It’s most certainly a look. 

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself why I would tell you the magnum opus of cone horror stories to convince you of their superiority. My response is as such: while the great cone-gate of 2022 was less than ideal, everything worked out in the end. My pants are still in commission and I got another ice cream cone to replace my fallen snack. 

You see, I’ve wasted valuable years of my life saying no to cones in fear of making a mess. And when I finally started saying yes, of course there were bound to be some (major) slip-ups.

But, at the ripe age of 21, I’ve learned that worry shouldn’t stop you from going for the things you want, ice cream cones included.

Hear me out Opinions

Hear Me Out: There’s No Need To Flip The Table

How toxic masculinity plays on men’s emotions when watching sports

My friend came up to me the other day and started talking to me about her boyfriend’s sports-watching habits. She said that he becomes so violent when his team loses, that he has to take a 30-minute break before being able to have a conversation with her where he will not be verbally aggressive or loud.

How do I respond?

The short answer would be: send him to therapy. The long one is what I’m trying to unpack in this article.

This got me thinking about the culture of sports and how it ties into men and their emotions.

I love the idea of a community coming together to show support for a sports team, which is an important part of our culture and identity as a population.

In a digital age where we tend to not know our neighbour, literally and figuratively, sports can be a way for people to find communities, as they’re linked with territorial identification. Go Habs go, am I right?

But, was I the only one growing up scared of walking in front of a screen hypnotizing a group of men, or worse, to stereotypically ask them if they wanted another beer or more chicken wings in the fear of getting yelled at?

In a study on football hooliganism, six features are identified in the culture of sports and violence: “excitement and pleasurable emotional arousal, hard masculinity, territorial identifications, individual and collective management of reputation, a sense of solidarity and belonging, and representations of sovereignty and autonomy.”

As a sports fan myself, I understand the feeling of your favourite team winning. But I still cringe at the over-the-top reactions from men watching sports — whether it’s getting up from the couch to scream at the screen or making comments out loud on certain athletes’ performances as if they could hear them. Sometimes they even hug, but only because they’ve been made to believe that this is an acceptable time to show physical affection to another man.

If you’re having a hard time picturing what I’m describing, I’ll refer you to this Pepsi and Lay’s 2003 commercial where four men are watching a football game, taking touching each other in the slightest way too much to heart; but after a touchdown, they break into an orgy of hugs, butt slaps and grabs on the couch.

I won’t get into too much of a rant on homoeroticism and men’s sports, but in what other circumstances have you seen heterosexual men grab each other’s butts than in a football league?

In an even surprising yet probable instance, they also cry.

This cleverly goes against the way patriarchy brainwashes boys from a young age to think that their emotions are not valid or, at least, shouldn’t be shown in public.

Even male athletes crying or showing emotions that are deemed too “feminine” is accepted by society as the context of sports somehow gives it a stamp of masculine approval.

I’m not just saying that from personal experience.

In their study, Heather J. MacArthur from the department of psychology at Hamilton College presented participants with different scenarios of men and women crying in different contexts that were stereotypically masculine, such as firefighting and weightlifting, or stereotypically feminine like nursing and figure skating.

The results showed that men who cried during sports or professions that were deemed masculine were perceived as more emotionally appropriate and emotionally strong than the ones who cried in more stereotypically feminine settings.

Now I’m all for men showing their emotions. It’s just sad that they need an entire sports league in order to do so.

It somehow makes sense why men would cry watching sports because it’s something they are taught to care about.

After all, according to Michael Messner’s Televised Sports Manhood Formula, “boys are taught that paying the price, be it one’s bodily health or one’s money, gives one access to the privileges that have been historically linked to hegemonic masculinity — money, power, glory, and women.”

In their study, Messner also identified a link between violence and sports as he states that the stereotype of aggressive players getting the prize, and nice guys finishing last is impacting young boys’ views.

This is what concerns me the most about men watching sports.

Although Professor Daniel Wann attributes sports fan aggression mainly to alcohol consumption, he also points out that a personal identification to the team is an extension of the fan himself.

With that narrative, a sports fan watching their favourite team lose can be seen as a personal failure, or even worse, a personal attack from the winning team.

That is where the violence comes in.

Although I don’t personally feel the need to identify with a team so much that it would define who I am, I understand if that’s what someone else is into (though I might cringe a little).

It’s just frustrating as a woman to always be told that our emotions are uncontrollable, when men will flip a table or be verbally aggressive out of the blue because some other men in uniforms’ bodies did not perform well enough.

So now, what do I tell my friend? That her boyfriend is just another victim of patriarchy and that his handling of his emotions is just a result of that? No, that’s much too academic and pointless to be honest.

However, it’s the real answer that I found in my research. Even though it’s no small task, we need to address the general attitudes on gender dynamics and sports before ever getting to the case of my friend’s boyfriend.

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