Black student accosted, then arrested at Stinger’s Dome

After his complaint against was disregarded, the Concordia student must face court.

It all started on Dec. 23, 2023, when a Black second-year student was playing soccer, a common occurrence, in the Stinger Dome at Loyola. Due to the ongoing criminal case, we will not disclose the student’s real name and will instead use “John” as an alias. The student’s daily routine came to a halt when a staff person at the dome played referee for the student’s game, resulting in a violent altercation that ultimately led to the student’s arrest. Now, the student is due in court on March 12, and is being supported by the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR).

When John was playing soccer in the Stingers Dome alone, which he’s been doing for a while now, a staff person came up to him, telling him he wasn’t allowed to be there, and demanded to see his student ID. 

“[The staff person] said to me, ‘What are you doing on the field?’ I said that I’m from Concordia, and that I have been training on the field for a long time. He asked for my ID and he still told me that I couldn’t play,” John said.

A teacher at the Loyola High School who knew John came to his defense, advising the staff person that John was allowed to stay. 

Two days later, John returned to the field for another practice when that same staff person approached him, telling him that he was not allowed to play, and threatened to call security.

John asked the staff member why he was calling security. “I have the right to play, I’m not a danger,’” John replied. 

“Then we start to discuss, I explain my situation in English,” he said. “It’s not my first language, I don’t fully express my words very well, and I don’t know why but he started making fun of my English.”

The staff person proceeded to make racist comments, stating that he should “return to your country like all immigrants” and that he’s “not a real Canadian.” The staff person then called security, pulled out his phone and started recording John.

John knocked the phone out of the staff person’s hands to stop him from recording. He didn’t understand why the staff member was taking extreme measures this second time, when two days earlier, they already resolved the issue. 

“There were other members of the staff that I saw a year ago and they asked me for the ID and I continued playing, no problem,” John said. “There are other people who are not even from Concordia who play on the field, there is no problem. So, why are you calling the police on me?”

The staff person picked up the phone off the ground and continued filming John, who repeatedly said that he didn’t want to be filmed. The situation escalated when the staff person punched John in the face. As the fighting continued, players from the Stingers soccer team saw the altercation and separated the two. 

“Afterwards, [campus] security came, they came to see the staff member. I explained to them that the staff member insulted me and that he attacked me. But they didn’t want to listen to me,” John said. 

When the police arrived, John and the staff person were each given a complaint sheet for security. The staff person gave his paper to the police without any problems, but John couldn’t.

“I was writing my complaint when the police came up to me and told me that I am under arrest,” John said. “I said ‘I have my complaint sheet, can I give it to you?’ They didn’t take it, they arrested me entirely. They asked me for my wallet, my phone, my personal information, all that.”

Fo Niemi, executive director of CRARR, will file the complaint on John’s behalf to the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission next week. When a student experiences an incident tainted by racial, gender, or homophobic bias, Niemi encourages students to take that action to strengthen their case. John’s is no exception.

“Because fundamentally, it’s about the rights to equality, the rights to safety, and the right to the safeguard of their dignity,” Niemi said. “In [John’s] case, we believe that there were many elements that were present during the incident that jeopardized the rights of the student.” 

In 2022, Concordia published their final version of the Task Force on Anti-Black Racism to promote Black excellence and to protect Black and Brown students on campus. Despite this milestone accomplishment, Niemi intends to look at John’s case as an example to identify what more needs to change to ensure the safety of these students.

“We are to take this opportunity to look at where things are at in terms of anti-Black racism and actions that the university has committed itself to set in place in order to prevent race-based incidents like what happened to John,” Niemi said.

John hopes that the complaint sent to the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms will help him for the outcome of his case. John is set to appear in court on March 12.


  • In a previous version of this article, in paragraph 15, it was written that “Fo Niemi, executive director of CRARR, filed the complaint on John’s behalf to the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission.” This is not correct. Niemi will file the complaint next week. We apologize to our readers for this mistake and take full responsibility.

From truce to truth: Insights on conflict reporting from General Roméo Dallaire

General Roméo Dallaire explored the importance of contextualizing conflicts from their prelude to their aftermath.

On Feb. 8, retired Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire gave a talk at the Loyola Campus about the role of journalism in relation to complex conflicts. Dallaire is a former Canadian Senator as well as a former government and United Nations advisor. He served as a force commander of the United Nations assistance mission in Rwanda and witnessed the 1994 genocide first-hand. 

Walking into the room with his brown briefcase in hand, Dallaire made his way to the whiteboard to map out the three parts of any given conflict: the “pre,” the “during,” and the “after.” He said the “after” category has demonstrated to be one of the most temporary periods of the whole process: “We’ve never, ever, achieved peace.” 

“The best we’ve done is establish truces. Over the last 20 years, of the nearly 15 truces and agreements that are happening in the world, the longest one lasted seven years,” Dallaire said. He added that since solutions in the “after” stage are so temporary, conflicts often go right back to the “pre,” and there is never any lasting peace.

The general also spoke about his time in Rwanda in the 90s. During the genocide, over 800,000 people died (excluding all the untold deaths in refugee camps), over 500,000 were orphaned, and four million people were displaced or became refugees. This all occurred over the span of only 100 days, and tensions between the two ethnic groups, the Tutsis and the Hutus, remain today. 

“This is a crisis. So where do you fit? Where does journalism fit?” Dallaire asked. He explained that more often than not, journalists and the media decide to start their reporting amid the “during” stage of a conflict. If the “pre” stage of a conflict was reported on, a deeper understanding of the existing frictions and build up could be understood. 

Dallaire also spoke about how he treated journalists not as the enemy in Rwanda, but as individuals with whom he could exchange information and have an open dialogue. This allowed for optimal broadcasting. “The media ultimately ended up, during this period, as the only weapon I had as a peacekeeper,” Dallaire said. He noted, however, that little to no journalists were there from the beginning to understand the “fundamental premises and debate behind why this [conflict] has blown up.”

Dallaire emphasized the importance of separating reporting from sensationalism to the room filled with future journalists. Situating a conflict and presenting it to the audience as a culmination of social elements rather than a spontaneous explosion or a re-assault of frictions is key. Dallaire also discussed the reality of the business side of journalism and how certain stories end up on editors’ chopping blocks.

After a question about seeing children growing up in war-torn countries and generational wars, a point the general had brought up during his presentation, Dallaire said that love had a big part to play as to why he didn’t take his own life after everything he’s lived through. “True love, not convenience—not temporary like our truces,” Dallaire joked. 

A student asked him how a journalist can recognize a crisis before it happens when reporting in a foreign country, and how to act accordingly. Dallaire said journalists should strive to remain cultured, open, curious, and want to know more about systemic frameworks. With those skills, one can then gather information on what is evolving in those countries in order to paint a picture of what is going on.

A student later asked Dallaire: “As somebody who has seen genocide with his own eyes, do you believe the war on Gaza is a genocide?” The general recalled that many major nations and the UN took six weeks to call the Rwanda conflict a genocide, subsequently sent the troops he’d been asking for. It was too late. “And what did [calling it a genocide] do? Absolutely nothing,” he said. 

Dallaire said it is far more important to consider how nations are reacting instead of being hung over the word. “You can articulate the term ‘genocide,’ but it has no power, because the national bodies that are governing us are not using it, don’t want to use it, and don’t want to read the convention that says that they’re supposed to commit to that.”

Dallaire also believes it is essential to integrate the powers of both men and women to restructure the institutions that govern and have been built by men. “[If not] we will continue to respond to these very powerful male-dominated institutions, and women—too many women—simply adapt into it versus fighting it,” Dallaire added. “Let’s put an end to this male-dominated misogynist egocentric paternalistic masculinity that has created the state of humanity and bring the women in full force.”

His new book, The Peace, is set to come out this April, and argues that people are often still unable to acknowledge crises and make decisions that could prevent or resolve them before it’s too late.

Community Student Life

The Hive Cafe’s newest Community Fridge

A step to fight food insecurity for students.

 The Hive Cafe on Concordia’s Loyola Campus recently welcomed Megan’s Community Fridge. Students were buzzing with excitement. 

Megan’s Community Fridge is a big step in fighting food insecurity for students. Megan Clarke, a Concordia alumna, was the inspiration for this amazing project. Clarke was present at the Hive Cafe on Monday and helped set up the fridge alongside Enuf, an organization fighting the waste crisis.

Courtesy photo provided by Désirée McGraw. (From left to right: Désirée McGraw, Keroles Riad, Megan Clarke, and Alanna Silver)

The Concordian sat with Keroles Riad, the CEO of Enuf and one of the minds behind the Community Fridge. Riad explained that it wasn’t exactly simple to get the project up and running at Concordia.

“Students have been trying to convince the administration to set up a community fridge for at least 10 years, and they have consistently been stalled and eventually turned down,” he said. “We looked for spaces where community groups have a level of autonomy. The Hive Cafe was just perfect, because they already do a lot of work fighting food insecurity on campus, and so they are already reaching the people that need the additional help and they autonomously operate their own spaces on both campuses.”

With the installation of this new fridge, keeping it well-stocked is one of the challenges it currently faces. Riad explained that the fridge will be stocked from the surplus of food that is left over from events happening over the year. 

Waste ambassadors from Enuf will gather all the food and bring it to Megan’s Community Fridge. 

Clarke sat down with The Concordian and explained what the motivation to start this community fridge was. 

“When I was a teenager I found myself in a really tough situation, I was couch surfing and I used to dumpster dive,” Clarke recalled. “My friends and I noticed at a certain point that the dumpsters were being locked to stop people like myself from getting food. At the time, I didn’t have a valid ID to participate in food banks.”

Clarke worked three jobs to get herself out of that situation. Her struggles with food always lingered at the back of her mind and when she began university, she realized that not everyone could get out of the same situation like her.

“I started Food Cycle while I was at Concordia and we would take leftover food and give it to homeless shelters, women’s shelters and so on,” Clarke said.

Megan Clarke in front of the new Megan’s Community Fridge at the Hive Cafe on Concordia’s Loyola Campus. DALIA NARDOLILLO/The Concordian

That’s what kickstarted the idea for the Community Fridge. However, when the pandemic first came along, people became fearful that the virus would be pushed onto food which put a standstill on the project.

Enuf, in partnership with the Hive Cafe, finally got the project going. Working at the Hive Cafe, Alanna Silver is also an integral part of this community fridge. Silver is FoodSafe certified and acts as Enuf’s Chief Operating Officer and the Hive’s administrative coordinator. Riad explained that Silver will ensure the safety of the community being served and have the final say of what goes in the Community Fridge.

“​​I feel so grateful to have the privilege of taking part in making this project a reality,” Riad said proudly. “It is truly heartbreaking to know that 40 per cent of students in Canada say that they have to choose between paying tuition and buying enough food, at a time when we, in Canada, throw away more than half the food we produce. There is surplus food, and there are hungry student tummies. It shouldn’t have been this complicated to try to connect the two.”

Community Student Life

Powwow: A home away from home

Concordia University hosted its first ever powwow on Friday, September 16 at Loyola Campus. This event was held to commemorate the Otsenhákta Student Centre’s 30th anniversary.
Audio by Cedric Gallant/The Concordian

Powwows are cultural exchanges that are used as part of healing ceremonies, and to celebrate Indigenous dance, music, food and art.

Concordia was bursting with energy, Friday, September 16th, all thanks to one person.

Morning Star Fayard, a third-year student at Concordia University, put together the powwow.

“It was late April, early May that we started to plan this event. My part in organizing this event was contacting people who can participate at this event,” Fayard recalled. “I had to reach out to all the dancers, performers, and all the vendors. I had to reach out to the departments at Concordia to help us with advertising, as well as setting up all tents and chairs.”

Fayard explained that she was also very content with the reception of the event. 

“Usually at a powwow people can get shy, especially the students. When the event was going on, the MC was really welcoming and everyone just kind of joined in, especially at the inter-tribal dancing,” Fayard said.

During the opening ceremony of the powwow, two drum groups were playing Indigenous music. 

Eric Cotté, a member of the Red Tail Spirit group, was among the drummer players present. 

“It’s a big honor to be a part of Concordia’s first ever powwow,” Cotté said, visibly emotional. “It’s a big thing we’re doing here and we’re going to do it right in the best way we can.”

In Canada, the 1876 Indian Act obstructed the celebration of powwows by restricting Indigenous peoples’ right to conduct cultural and spiritual ceremonies and wear traditional outfits. 

Keeping the history of powwows in mind, all the participants at the event were extremely proud to be there. Among the performers was Nina Segalowitz, a Concordia University alumnus and throat singer.

“I’m very proud to be representing throat singing with my daughter Sierra. I love the fact that there is a gathering and that we are now a part of a community. I think this is how we make bridges between the communities,” Segalowitz said.

While the performances of various dancers and singers were ongoing, there were also many Indigenous vendors selling handmade goods. 

The Concordian spoke with Cory Hunlin, one of the vendors present at the powwow and owner of the shop This Claw. “I make traditional / contemporary earrings and I am constantly changing my earrings. Three years ago, I implemented rabbit fur and I made signature earrings out of that,” they explained. 

Fayard, being the creative mind behind the whole event, explained that if she was asked to organize the powwow again she’d do it in a heartbeat.

“I thought it was just an amazing experience for all the people that I’ve met and the people that have participated. The performers and vendors just have so much knowledge to share,” Fayard said.

The whole function of the powwow would not have flowed as smoothly without the help of its volunteers present on site. Alyssa Isaac, an Indigenous fourth-year student at Concordia, explained what being a part of this event meant for her.

“It’s great that we are finally starting this, it’s like a little part of home is here on campus,” Isaac said.

A real sense of community was felt at the powwow and that was the goal at the end of the day.

“Powwow for me is celebrating who we are as Indigenous people and opening our community up. Welcoming anybody, you don’t have to be Indigenous to dance in some of our dances,” Segalowitz said.


The hunt for food at the Loyola campus: A choose your own adventure story

By Delphine Belzile and Kendra Sharp

We need to talk about the problem with food options at the Loyola campus, or lack thereof

It’s your first day at the Loyola campus. Maybe you’re a second-year student, and you spent your entire first year of university learning from home. Maybe you’ve only ever had classes at Concordia’s downtown campus, and this is your first foray into Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG). No longer used to getting out of the house in the morning, you rushed to get her to make it to your 9 a.m. lecture — no coffee, no morning bagel, and no lunch in your bag. Your first class ends and your stomach is growling. You checked Google maps for a place nearby, but realized there isn’t enough time for you to commute to grab lunch and make it back to your next class. Where do you go?

We’re back at the Loyola campus, but the food options nearby are few and far between.

As a part of Concordia’s return-to-school plan, the student cafeteria is limiting its capacity to students in residence. The on-campus Tim Hortons closed its doors once the pandemic hit and there are almost no restaurants nearby. You think there may be a student cafe somewhere on campus, but you have no idea where it is or if it even exists.

Whereas the downtown campus offers various on-site food services including Le Frigo Vert, People’s Potato and Reggies, students at Loyola have few options to rely on. And this isn’t exactly a new problem.

“Loyola campus never did have the same type of numbers or campus activity as downtown,” said Claudette Torbey, food services sustainability and quality administrator at Concordia. “It’s a calmer campus, even in pre-COVID years.”

But now the pandemic has created a new set of challenges at the Loyola campus when it comes to food. Sanitary measures, uncertainties with suppliers and the decrease in student traffic on campus are all challenges eateries are facing when trying to respond to the needs of the Loyola campus community.

The Buzz Dining Hall  

You’re wandering around campus looking for a place to eat. You get lost for a minute and finally end up in front of the SP building where you notice the Buzz Dining Hall, the student cafeteria. You untangle your blue mask from around your wrist and put it on as someone is kindly welcoming you inside. After putting some hand sanitizer on, you’re asked if you’re a resident student living on campus. You shrug your shoulders, say no, and are turned away. Disappointed and hungry, you make your way down the stairs and stare out into the open courtyard in front of you, not sure of what to do or where to go next.

The Concordia return-to-campus plan restricts access to spaces in respect of the Quebec government’s COVID-19 health and safety measures. As of September 1st, non-essential academic services, including eateries, are required to scan vaccine passports in an effort to control the fourth wave of COVID-19. The university’s health and safety protocols also require individuals to maintain a two-metre distance indoors in places where food and beverages are consumed.

Since the pandemic increases uncertainty when it comes to the number of students on campus, adaptations are more complex.

“It is really hard to plan operations when we don’t know what the campus is going to look like,” explained Torbey. “Hours and locations are more limited because we are unsure about traffic on campus.”

Now that the Buzz only opens its doors exclusively to students in residence that are registered to a Concordia meal plan, those from beyond this category are left with few food options on campus.

As you turn away from the Buzz, you notice a café sign over the dining hall. At second glance, you realize students are holding coffee cups as they come out of the building behind you. You figure it’s worth a shot. You return inside and go upstairs.

The Hive Cafe Solidarity Co-Op 

You march past the Buzz dining hall and set your sights on a new mission: finding the elusive student cafe. Up another flight of stairs and you’ve made it: you’re standing at the doors of the Hive.

Since its launch in 2014, the Hive Café Solidarity Co-op has been a go-to lunch spot for sustainable and affordable food for Concordia students and faculty. However, this situation is still far from ideal.

“Coming back from a pandemic has been a huge challenge,” said Calvin Clarke, general coordinator for the Hive. “And because of our location at Loyola campus, it makes it really difficult for students to know we’re here.”

Returning to campus more than a year and a half into the pandemic, Clarke says the Hive is ramping up an almost entirely new staff and re-familiarizing clientele to their cooperative model.

As a cooperative, the Hive works differently than your typical restaurant. You’ll notice there are two sets of prices for everything on their menu, non-member and member prices. You have the option to become a shareholder by paying a one-time 10 dollar fee, after which you’ll be entitled to the lower member prices and gain the ability to participate in the democratic functioning of the co-op.

“We’re a model of a food structure that can be something for students,” said Clarke. “Being a pillar of living and breathing proof of what can happen on campus.”

The Hive has been taking a slow approach to reopening in order to gauge demand, adding menu items slowly to avoid unnecessary waste. After quietly resuming operations at Loyola in the second week of September, they’re planning to be open Monday through Thursday for the rest of the fall semester.

“We’re really targeting and showing that there’s a necessity, especially on a campus like Loyola that’s so isolated, that there needs to be better food options on campus for students,” said Clarke.

The Hive Free Lunch Program  

As you arrive at the Hive, you notice the counter, a display case with burritos and, yes, the coffee machine. Finally, you’re at the right place. But wait, are students getting chili from another counter on the other side of the space? A little confused, you come closer. You have found the Hive’s free lunch.

All students have access to this food option at Loyola, developed to provide free and healthy lunches in an area where food options are minimal.

“No one should go hungry or stressed about where they are getting their next meal while they are trying to educate themselves,” said Alanna Silver, the Hive’s administrative coordinator.

The program is supported by various Concordia-affiliated associations including the Concordia Student Union (CSU) and the Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA). The food bank Moisson Montréal also collaborates in providing the Hive Free Lunch with fruits and vegetables. The program provides students with free vegan meals every weekday.

During the first week of the semester, Silver confirmed they served about 40 meals a day, and that number has been growing week to week.

“We are hoping, as the semester goes along, we’ll be serving 200 servings a day,” said Silver. “We really don’t want to leave any students hungry. We are trying to increase our production as much as possible.”

Hive free lunches run from Monday to Friday and are available from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. As the program can no longer serve meals on plates with utensils due to sanitary measures, you are encouraged to bring your own tupperware to minimize “to-go” garbage.

Next time you find yourself with time to kill between classes and study sessions, don’t hesitate to stop by the Hive for a free lunch and some house-baked goodies (the cookies are something else).

Le Marché Express

You’ve hit the midday point of your school day. You’re just looking for a coffee, so you cross over to the SP building. Chatter and cash register sounds lead you down a flight of stairs where you arrive in front of Le Marché Express.

The university-contracted Marché Express has coffee, snacks and even some quick meals to grab on the go. As with the rest of the food service industry this year, supply has been harder to organize as restaurants adapt to re-opening.

“This year is really tough,” said Torbey. “Even now, we’ll order one product and we’re not able to get it. The supply chain still is experiencing a lot of difficulties.”

As a result of pandemic-related uncertainties, Le Marché Express is open for limited hours — but it can still get you your caffeine fix most of the time.

Off-Campus Restaurants

You’re feeling like you’ve walked the entire campus in search of a place to grab some food. The Hive is already filling up with students by the time you arrive and the Buzz is asking for residence proof, which you don’t have. Getting off-campus seems like it could be a better option for you, so you walk out the gates and march along Sherbrooke street, in a desperate search for some lunch.

Time flies and you realize that you have to be in class in a few minutes. You spot a Second Cup and a Subway in the distance, and in the opposite direction, too far for the eyes to see, lies Souvlaki George.

You realize that there are almost no options for restaurants near the Loyola campus, which brings you back to your two options; the Hive or the Marché Express. Hopefully, the line won’t be too long, giving you a chance to rest from your food hunting before attending your last lecture of the day.

Problem solved?

This may have been a fictional account of one student’s journey across the Loyola campus, but the issue with food is a real one. Lack of food services on this part of the university’s grounds is an issue that has been previously acknowledged by Concordia University, and moves have been made in an effort to address concerns.

The Loyola Campus Working Group established a plan in 2020 concerning food services development on campus. The Working Group has the general mandate to consult with the Loyola community to get a greater sense of its needs.

In recommendations provided to the university, members prioritized diverse food projects to remedy the situation; the principal ones include the creation of a new eating space, a designated place for a pub, and the promotion of free food options on campus.

“We’re working closely with the administration right now in opening up a second location on Loyola campus,” said Clarke. “Hopefully that will become more accessible for students on campus.”

Finally, your food hunting has come to an end. You’ve gone through all the [minimal] options around Loyola!

You might have been tempted by the Hive’s brownies or got lucky getting a free lunch. Maybe you decided to grab a sandwich from the Marché Express with a cup of coffee. Perhaps you have returned to Sherbrooke street to grab something from the Second Cup. You’ve filled your stomach, and made it back to class.

Next time, you will probably come to campus with  some snacks in your bag. On top of that, this experience has you strongly considering becoming a ‘meal prepping’ person. Most importantly, you will definitely wake up earlier to get coffee from home.


Photographs by Catherine Reynolds and Autumn Darey

Yum or Yikes: Comptoir Koyajo in the time of the pandemic

Comptoir Koyajo has reopened during the pandemic, with some new brand safety measures

Last year, I visited an enticing Korean restaurant called Comptoir Koyajo. Located right near Loyola campus, this restaurant is very close-by and convenient for students to get a quick bite to eat in between classes and study sessions. I decided to go there again recently, since I had a little bit of time in between my online lectures and I live nearby. This restaurant’s layout has changed completely since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and has adjusted very well to this new reality people around the world are finding themselves in.

The ambience of Comptoir Koyajo is really well done given our current situation. Unfortunately, there is not enough room to have indoor seating. They converted the front door of the restaurant into a serving window, and there are a few picnic tables on the curb outside for patrons to enjoy their meals. One issue, however, is that the picnic tables outside are a bit too close to each other. Unfortunately, when I went, there seemed to be a beehive nearby, and they kept trying to pick at my food, so I ended up bringing my meal home.

Ambience: 3.5/5

The food tasted great! I ordered a spicy chicken plate, which consisted of some pulled chicken, steamed rice, and kimchi. There were many other options offered as well, such as sandwiches and ramen soups. The chicken was spiced perfectly; it wasn’t so spicy as to impact the flavour, but it wasn’t too bland at the same time. My only complaint was that the portion sizes were a bit small for a dinner, but they were perfectly sized for a small, healthy lunch option.

Food: 4.5/5

The price was around the average price of a meal in the area, $11 for the plate, but it came with the option of getting two dumplings for one extra dollar. On a warm day, their outdoor seating is perfect for getting a little bit of studying done and grabbing a quick bite to eat. Food delivery services such as UberEats, Skip the Dishes, and DoorDash are available too, but they are a little bit more expensive. It is not the cheapest meal in the world, but it is nice to get as an occasional treat for working hard during the week.

Price: 4/5

The service was excellent. The staff were extremely polite, and they tried their best to be positive, even during the pandemic. Their policy is to have customers line up at the door and wait for their food outside at the picnic tables they had installed in front of their store. However, the food took a little while to get prepared, and it was a cold day, so I had to stand outside trying to keep warm.

Service: 4/5

Comptoir Koyajo followed COVID-19 safety guidelines well. The employees inside were all wearing masks, and washed their hands after serving each customer. Even though no customers were allowed inside the building, the store still prominently displayed a bottle of hand sanitizer and recommended people to use it before eating. In these trying times, following COVID-19 directions is extremely important, and I’m glad that this restaurant is looking out for people.

COVID-19 Safety: 5/5

Comptoir Koyajo is a great option for students and people who work in the area around the Loyola Campus. Their food is delicious, healthy, and very much worth the short walk from campus. All in all, going to this restaurant was a great experience, even though it was a bit tough to eat outdoors due to the bees and to the cold weather. UberEats, Doordash, and Skip The Dishes deliver their food too, which is the safest option in the pandemic!


Photo by Kit Mergaert


Reimagining the Guadagni Lounge: a taste of things to come

Faculty, alumni and students brainstorm to decide what the future has in store for the G-Lounge.

Motivated to make better use of the G-Lounge, which, as a huge empty space, is bursting with potential, faculty, alumni and students met on Jan. 30 for the second phase of its consultation: Reimagining the Guadagni Lounge. The goal of the consultation was simple: revisit ideas shared during the first consultation, give an opportunity for people to make new suggestions, and finally start putting these ideas into motion – fortunately, this is in the process of changing. Starting in September with the opening of the Loyola Art Hive, a space within the lounge dedicated to cultivating a sense of community through art making.

The Guadagni Lounge, better known as the G-Lounge, is a large, light-filled space located in the Central Building (CC) of Concordia’s Loyola campus. The formerly student-run space known for its “chill” atmosphere and cheap eatery has since become a humdrum place where students sit around makeshift tables made of wooden barrels to pass time between classes.

The event kicked off with an opening word from the Dean of Students, Andrew Woodall, about the importance of including students in all aspects of the revitalization of the G-Lounge. Led by Concordia Masters student Tejaswinee Jhunjhunwala, the consultation was split into activities where participants were pushed to mingle and exchange ideas about what they envision for the lounge.

Going back to the drawing board, everyone began brainstorming; some recurring suggestions included bringing back an affordable food facility, setting up a space for students to jam and create art, and overall just putting the space to good use for students at Loyola.

The abrupt closure of the bustling student-run café inside the G-Lounge in the summer of 2018 and the subsequent lockdown of the space left generations of Concordians feeling nostalgic.

“The space here has meant so much to so many people,” said a former student at the consultation. “We’ve even had members get married between these walls, it’s important that this space remains for students and the community.”

Several people said they think that the spacious hall was not only a great spot for students to buy a diverse range of affordable food, but was also an important space for them to socialize and it was even dubbed a rocking student hangout.

After being split into smaller groups, people were asked to write down their “craziest” and “most ambitious” ideas. Suggestions that were repeated by several people included having a student-run coffee bar with affordable food options, using the space for movie screenings, and opening a student bar. Everyone was also asked to write down what hindrances each idea is likely to face; lack of funds is one of the more significant restraints that people almost unanimously agreed on.

“Ideas are cheap,” said Woodall, recognizing that money may be an obstacle. “We still have to consider what can realistically be done.” Be that as it may, no one hesitated to pick up a sharpie and jot down all of their ideas.

The future of the G-Lounge is still to be settled, but the level of engagement and motivation present during this second consultation is at the very least something to be hopeful about.

More costly ideas for the lounge include:

  • Student bar
  • A pool table
  • Farmers market
  • Satellite Hive
  • A fully equipped kitchen (dishware, mugs, utensils)
  • Additional sinks
  • Cooking classes
  • Table tennis
  • Video games
  • Rock climbing wall
  • More couches
  • Induction plates

On the more affordable side:

  • Leave a book, take a book station
  • Informative posters
  • Movie nights (i.e. putting the projector and screen to use)
  • Board games
  • Kettles
  • Weekly free snacks, coffee and/or breakfast
  • Educational food program
  • Compost bins

The ones that just need to be shared:

  • Bring your pet corner
  • Nap areas
  • Silent disco or instruments
  • Pre-game tailgate
  • Weekly activities with Concordia’s “lab rats”


Photo by Laurence Brisson Dubreuil

Student Life

50 years later: Re-examining the past

A closer look at the role of student journalism in the SGW Affair

With the Sir George Williams Affair, one tends to think about the riots, the violence and the destruction of property, amongst other things. The Affair took place between Jan. 29 and Feb. 11, 1969, when students overtook the seventh and ninth floor computer centres in the Hall building. The students occupied the centres to protest anti-black racism in classrooms. It started as a peaceful protest, but turned violent after the riot police got involved, and was later classified as the largest student occupation in Canadian history. According to CBC, about 200 students occupied the computer centre for roughly two weeks, and on the day of the police riot, 97 arrests were made.

Most accounts of the events that took place focus on the occupation, the involvement of the police, and the destruction of the computer centre that resulted in $2 million worth of damage. While we can expect there to be more to the story than what’s available, what most often don’t consider the integral role that student journalism played in the SGW Affair. The Georgian, the student newspaper at the time, was there from the beginning, covering the events leading up to the Affair, giving readers a more complete version of what happened.

A pop-up exhibition in the CJ building’s media gallery is a continuation of the Protest and Pedagogy event series. Photo by Victoria Blair

As a continuation of the Protest and Pedagogy event series that was held from Jan. 30 to Feb 16, a pop-up exhibition in the media gallery of the CJ building on the Loyola campus offers a glimpse into these events from a different and more personal perspective.

“It was a very important part of the whole process,” said Christiana Abraham, curator of the pop-up exhibition and a Communications Studies professor at Concordia. “It played an important role in mediating and reporting on what was going on during the occupation, and before the occupation started.” The Georgian acted as a platform to send a clear message to large numbers of students, similar to today’s social media. Its writers were authorized to go in and out of the occupied spaces, allowing them to report on the events as they were happening.

This archival material included a lot more information than the mainstream press; it often offered more details and context about what was really happening. Our perception and remembrance of the events might have been different if the mainstream press had included these details.

The SGW Affair took place between Jan. 29 and Feb. 11, 1969. Photo by Victoria Blair.

“It offered a different narrative of the events,” said Abraham. “It’s given us other kinds of truths and representations as compared to the historical narrative that we have.” The representation of the events portrayed by the mainstream press did not include many truths like this. They did not accurately portray the students and their frustration, the solidarity between them and the strong female roles that came out during the event.

“The mainstream press made it out to appear as if it was a very racialized event, between black and white,” added Abraham. “But when you start looking through these archives, you come to see that there was a lot more solidarity than we have come to know.” The Georgian published the names of all 97 students who were arrested and went on to add how a majority of the students arrested were white. These 97 names included the names of some of the women involved in the Affair. One of the women arrested was Anne Cools, one of the protesters who later became the first Black person to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.

“I was really impressed with the professionalism of the student press at the time,” said Abraham. “Even fifty years later, they are a very important source for us. They gave us an inside view of what was going on that the mainstream press didn’t offer.” The pop-up gallery presents visitors with a new and more intimate perspective on the events that took place 50 years ago. The CJ building media gallery is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until March 29.


Happening in and around the White Cube this week…

Happening in and around the White Cube this week…

Theatrical release: Dérive

What does it take to make a film? After 13 years of planning, writing and filming, Concordia film production graduate, David Uloth’s feature film was finally released in theatres on March 8, International Women’s Day. A drama, Dérive showcases the strength of a mother and her two daughters navigating a recent loss in the family.  

For showtimes, consult


FARR Art Book Symposium

The Fine Arts Reading Room (FARR) is a library resource at Concordia University which offers residencies, computer access and printing services. The symposium will consist of a series of events and workshops. On March 26, Tommi Parrish will lead an artist talk at 3 p.m., followed by a zine-making event. At 3 p.m. on March 27, Taylor of Bookbinder’s Daughter will lead a binding workshop, and on March 28, the symposium will end with a zine fair from 12 to 5 p.m. and a publication grant finissage from 5 to 7 p.m.

  • When: March 26-28
  • Where: EV Junction (EV2.785)
  • All events are free and required materials will be provided



apəTHē/, or “apathy” is a play created and written by the students of PERC490, Performance Creation Mainstage, a year-long theatre production class. Sara Jarvie-Clark, FASA general coordinator, theatre student and musician (who performed at Somewhere Shared’s event, Somewhere Inside), and Scarlet Fountain, intern at Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) and artist behind the Rope Project, are among several students involved in the production.  

  • When: March 27-30
  • Where: F.C Smith Building, The Cazalet Theatre (Loyola Campus)
  • For show times and tickets visit
  • Tickets are $12 for general admission and $7 students and seniors.
Conversations in Contemporary Art presents Andréanne Abbondanza-Bergeron

Andréanne Abbondanza-Bergeron is a Montreal-based artist, teacher, Concordia alumna and current artist-in-residence at Concordia University as the 2017 recipient of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art. Abbondanza-Bergeron is inspired by architecture, working with sculpture and installation to “point out the disparities between inside and outside, as they point out to various forms of built and social structures of control; dictating access or rejection into a specific structure or relationship,” as described on the event page. For more information about the Conversations in Contemporary Art talk series, visit

  • When: March 29 at 6 p.m.
  • Where: de Sève Cinema, McConnell Library Building (LB-125).
  • The event is free and open to the general public

Infrastructure renewal project to cost $8.37 million

Infrastructure project to include new generator and boiler at Loyola campus

An infrastructure renewal project for a generator and a boiler needed to power and heat certain buildings connected to the centralized systems of the Loyola campus is projected to cost a maximum of $8.37 million, according to documents obtained by The Concordian through an access to information request.

The authorization for the renewal project was given following the recommendation of the university’s Finance and Real Estate Planning Committees. It was one of three resolutions concerning the renewal project that were passed during a closed session of the April 19 board of governors meeting.

In an email, university spokesperson Mary-Jo Barr wrote that the amount “is based on an estimate, and the final cost will be confirmed as part of the tendering process.”

Part of the projected cost—$3.1 million—will be funded by the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). The SIF and Quebec’s Plan québécois des infrastructures 2016-2026 (PQI) will also fund the research centre due to be built on Concordia’s Loyola campus.

According to Barr, the remaining cost of the $8.37-million renewal project will be “funded by a separate fund paid for by the PQI.”

“Concordia is contributing [approximately] $930,000 to the Loyola Campus Infrastructure Renewal Project,” Barr said.

Funding for the $52.75-million research centre, to be built behind the existing Richard J. Renaud Science Complex will also be split three ways. “Approximately 40 per cent is covered by the federal government, 30 per cent by Quebec [provincial government] and 30 per cent by Concordia,” according to Barr.

The research centre, named Applied Science Incubator in the documents obtained, is a 8,700 square metre extension of the campus’ current science facilities.

An internal memo reviewed by The Concordian confirmed a fund was created for the project on May 27, 2016 by Nancy Sardella, a senior financial officer in the university’s Restricted Funds department.

The principal investigator of the project—who is “responsible for the management of the research project, both financially and operationally,” according to Concordia’s Researcher’s Guide to Financial Management—is Roger Côté, the university’s vice-president of services.

The fund was created approximately a year before the announcement of the Applied Science Incubator. According to Barr, it was created “to allow the university to prepare its submission to the governments for project funding.” As well, the fund included “expenses related to feasibility studies, such as conceptual architecture drawings, estimates and technical studies.”

In response to The Concordian’s request for the science building’s architectural plans, secretary-general and general counsel Frederica Jacobs wrote that, because “the project is in its preliminary phase, final architectural plans are not available at this time.”

According to the board of governors’ resolution during the April 19 meeting, the cost of the research building project “will be paid from a combination of funds received from the federal government through its Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), contributions from the government of Quebec and the university’s own capital budget.”

A decision-making summary signed by Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough director Stéphane Plante on June 30 indicated that 54 more parking spaces will be needed for the new project, according to a study done by the engineering firm CIMA+.

The summary reads that “it is very probable that [the borough] will need to add parking spaces on street parking reserved for residents when the project is done and to answer to the demands of residents.”

In early September, the C.D.N.—N.D.G. borough determined the project could proceed despite opposition by N.D.G. residents, including Irwin Rapoport, who created a petition requesting a referendum to determine whether or not it should be built.

Rapoport and other N.D.G. residents said they hoped to preserve the green space on which the building would be constructed. “The residents are seeking a moratorium on any development of green space on the campus,” Rapoport told The Concordian at the time.

On Sept. 11, borough officials discovered a clause in Bill 122, a new provincial law adopted in June, which states “public property intended for collective use in the education sector is no longer subject to approval by a referendum.” Consequently, the project was able to move forward without the threat of a referendum.

Photo by Alex Hutchins


Scientific advancement is worth a bit of grass

As many people know, Concordia means “harmony” in Latin—but this sense of harmony was recently threatened as the university, its students and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce residents clashed over the construction of a new building on Loyola campus green space.

Concordia plans to begin constructing a $52-million science research centre on its Loyola campus this spring. The centre will take up 15 per cent of the nearly 8,800 square metre field. Some N.D.G. residents are unhappy about the green space being taken over by a building and urged the university build the centre on one of the nearby parking lots instead.

N.D.G. resident Irwin Rapoport had even garnered 95 signatures for a petition against the project. It was previously believed he only needed 12 signatures to require the city to open up a registry. This registry would have given the borough’s residents the power to call a referendum on the issue, presumably derailing the project. Just like that, the future of Concordia’s science student body would have been taken out of their hands.

Yet a discovery on Monday swept any chance of a referendum off the table. Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough officials discovered a clause in Bill 122, a new provincial law adopted in June, which states “public property intended for collective use in the education sector is no longer subject to approval by a referendum.”

It was a development in this confrontation that shocked many of those on both sides of the argument, not to mention borough officials themselves. It is a development we at The Concordian were very pleased to hear.

While the green space in question is used by students for friendly soccer games and locals enjoy walking in the grass, it is essentially useless. While we do not wish to undermine the importance of preserving green spaces, we at The Concordian believe a small section of grass is worth sacrificing for the sake of future scientific discoveries and the education of Concordia students. In fact, the two go hand in hand.

As a series of devastating hurricanes continue to ravage islands in the Caribbean and inundate the United States’ southern coastal states, it becomes harder and harder for even the stubbornest of climate change deniers to turn a blind eye to the evidence. As Montreal Gazette columnist Allison Hanes recently wrote, these meteorological disasters “should be a wake-up call that the long-predicted hazards of climate change are now on our doorstep.”

Now more than ever, the global community needs to be taking steps to limit the effects of climate change. Our way of life needs to adapt, and we need science to do this.

This is why the construction of the university’s new science centre is, in the words of Concordia chemistry graduate student Gabi Mandl, “kind of a major deal.”

While the centre won’t deal specifically with solving climate change, its purpose is to foster collaboration among researchers studying everything from biology and chemistry to engineering, health and sustainability. This is the kind of scientific collaboration our university, our community and the world needs. It is how we will move forward as a species and preserve the planet we call home. It is why we at The Concordian fully support the construction of the science centre, even if it means sacrificing a portion of our green space.

Sometimes you have to pick your battles. We at The Concordian are out to save more than just a patch of grass. There is so much more at stake.

Graphic by Alexa Hawksworth


Mural club adds splash of colour on residence walls

Students leave a mark that will outlast their student careers

Students from the Loyola Residence Mural Club transformed the Hingston Hall HA 3 common room walls with a bright and punchy mural on April 1 and 2.

Last fall, Alisha Hussey, a community facilitator for Loyola residence at Concordia, pitched the idea of starting a mural club to the residence’s events committee. She suggested painting the walls of the Hingston Hall residence to bring people together and help them feel a greater sense of comfort in their new homes.

“I think there’s a lot of truth to the saying that art brings people together,” she said. “I grew up dancing competitively, and although that’s a completely different art form, I’ve always felt that art is such a great way to incite positive vibes and make people feel part of a group or, in this case, the community within res.”

Hussey spent the last academic year as a resident assistant at the Grey Nuns residence, where the walls were decorated with artwork by previous students. She said the murals made the residents feel less isolated from one another.

“There are murals there that were done [back] when I was a first-year student that are still [at Concordia] today,” Hussey said. “I think the murals themselves help to make the residence building feel more like home to the people living inside.”

Hussey said not only did the murals give residents a sense of home and community, but they also gave students the opportunity to leave their mark.

“It’s a legacy that the residents can leave of themselves and of their time here, but also as a sort of ‘welcome home’ message to those who will move in next year, or for past residents who decide to come back and visit.”

Cody Swim-Moser, a first-year student studying biology, took on the role of head of the club and asked resident artists to pitch ideas.

“It was brought up in one of the events committee meetings,” Swim-Moser said. “And because I thoroughly enjoy painting, I decided that I would volunteer to take charge.”

Swim-Moser, who was his high school’s arts representative and was enrolled in International Baccalaureate visual arts, began organizing the mural club in October. The design for the mural was later chosen by the Events committee at the end of February.

“I see it as a fun project, and it’s a nice way to leave your mark on your residence,” said Swim-Moser.

The club was only able to lay the first brush-stroke a semester after requesting permission from Residence Life, the Concordia department which oversees the Loyola and Sir George Williams residence buildings.

The mural was designed by resident artist Barbara Bouquet, who presented two drawings to events committee. The first was a collage of waves, musical instruments and flowers and the second, a branch with yellow coloured flowers.  She decided to merge them together to create the final product.

“I was looking for something pretty personal. Something I would really like to share with everyone,” Bouquet said. “[There was] just a huge mess of everything going on in my mind.”

Bouquet, a Loyola resident studying communications, said she knew what she wanted to paint from the beginning. She wanted to create “something crazy, but also very pretty,” taking inspiration from some of her previous drawings of flowers and stingrays.

She said whales and stingrays are two animals she loves to draw, and from there she added waves, flowers, clouds and other elements to the drawing to create the mural. She spent more than four hours first sketching her design on the wall, and another two hours outlining it with black paint. On March 26, residents began adding colour to the mural by mixing shades of blues and reds with bright pinks and yellows.

“I wanted to do something for my common room because I thought it was very bare,” she said. “I visualized something, and I thought I could do something good.”

“Next year, a new cohort of people will move in here and they’ll see the amazing artwork on the walls. I think from just looking at it, they’ll know what an incredible place this can be and, hopefully, see the potential for the year to come for them,”  Hussey said. “And if that’s not the case, if anything, at least we’ve made one wall a little nicer to look at.”

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