Arts and Culture Community

Concordia’s second annual Pow Wow: a photo essay

Building a safe space that recognizes Indigenous culture

Hundreds of students, faculty members and staff gathered at Concordia’s Loyola campus to celebrate the second edition of the university’s Pow Wow celebrations on Friday, Sept. 15th.

Dancer Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo performing the Crow Hop. Photo By Camila Lewandowski
Visitors had the chance to see multiple dances by different North American Indigenous and Inuit communities. Photo By Camila Lewandowski
Multidisciplinary artist Jennifer Léveillé Mcfarlane reconnected to her Indigenous heritage through acrylic painting. She uses elements from nature, such as tree leaves, to adorn her pieces. Photo By Camila Lewandowski
Jolene Robichaud’s grandmother had promised to teach her how to bead. However, life had other plans, and Robichaud learned how to bead by herself in honour of her late grandmother.
Photo By Camila Lewandowski
Ken and Lenore have been selling their regalia together for the past 35 years. Although their traveling years are behind them (they once travelled from Halifax all the way down to California), the two friends now participate in the local Pow Wows. Photo by Camila Lewandowski
Friends Virginie Ribiero, Laura Cardoso and Megan Blais share their passion for handcrafting by joining weekly beading meetings. Photo By Camila Lewandowski
Kaylah Mentour works for the Kahnawake Tourism Welcome Center, which promotes Indigenous culture amongst tourists and locals. Photo by Camila Lewandowski
JC Bear disseminates Indigenous humour through her graphic design and bead work. Photo by Camila Lewandowski.
The Indigenous Futures Research Centre empowers and promotes Indigenous culture through various workshops and conferences. From right to left: Margaret Lapp, Caeleaigh Lightning, Hamss Lujam, and Joëlle Dubé. Photo by Camila Lewandowski.
A dancer performs Métis jigging, a characteristic dance from the Red River. The jig combines First Nations dancing with Scottish and French-Canadian step-dancing. Photos by Camila Lewandowski.
Diabo greets students from a Kahnawake grade school after her first performance. Photos by Camila Lewandowski.
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WATCH: The Most Important Meal is Now Free at The Hive

Breakfast is open from 8:30 to 9:00 and again from 10:00 to 10:30.

Briefs News

Concordia Unveils Master Plan for Campus Development

Loyola campus’ future expansion sparks concerns for residents, faculty, and students

On Feb. 23, a panel of Concordia representatives and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough councillors gathered at the Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre to reveal their master plan for the expansion of Concordia’s Loyola Campus to residents of the area, faculty members, and students alike. 

This long-term project is aimed at enhancing campus infrastructure, interior, and exterior environments, as well as increasing mobility and the amount of green space available. 

“We are back [in-person] and need more classrooms, labs, and spaces,” said Dominique Dumont, director of strategic planning and development at Concordia. She clarified that while the team working on this project “cannot [yet] provide answers about when and where” these additional spaces will be added, the master plan is intended to serve as a guide for future endeavours. 

The master plan project first began in August 2020. “It’s been three years that we are in consultation with the city of Montreal,” said Marie-Claude Lavoie, associate vice-president of the facilities management department.  

In the first stage, the team assessed the needs for the Loyola campus and reviewed municipal regulations. The second stage focused on outlining the project’s guidelines to preserve key heritage sites across campus. Currently, the team is halfway through the third phase. At this time, they are seeking feedback for their current campus development plans. The fourth and final stage will release a finalized development plan and outline the steps moving forward to enact the plan. 

According to Rocio Carvajo Lucena, the project’s architect, the team aims to incorporate an indoor parking space for students, outdoor classrooms and fitness equipment, as well as more entry walkways for bikes and pedestrians. Project leaders are also working with key community members and upholding the University’s Indigenous Directions Action Plan by incorporating inclusive signage and planting Indigenous plants, as well as its Sustainability Action Plan through the inclusion of more green spaces, said Carvajo Lucena . 

Nonetheless, NDG residents, Concordia students, and faculty members alike have expressed their criticisms of the project. During the question period, several residents raised their concerns about the expansion of the campus. Some were concerned that the expansion could potentially reduce street parking spots. Others were concerned about the potential for noise pollution caused by the construction in an otherwise quiet neighbourhood. 

Others expressed their worries about the plan’s neglect for the Loyola daycare Centre de la Petite Enfance P’tits Profs. While the panel clarified that the daycare would not be expropriated, former Concordia student and communications advisor for the University Elena Raznovan expressed her disappointment for the lack of consultation with the daycare prior to the conference. The panel encourages all community members to provide their input via a survey they set up to complete the last part of phase three, which will remain open until March 31.


Concordia cafe reopens its free lunches at Loyola

The Loyola Hive Café is starting up a Meals on Wheels program

The Hive Café has started its Meals on Wheels program for the second time since the beginning of the pandemic, where their free lunch at the Loyola campus is to-go, and 25 meals are delivered to the downtown campus Hive Cafe.

The Hive Café is a student-run solidarity co-op that focuses on bringing healthy and affordable food to students. The location at the Loyola campus has a free lunch program to combat the food scarcity on campus.

“We decided to do our delivery meals because the campus was closed,” said Alanna Silver, the Free Lunch Administrative Coordinator at the Hive Café.

“We know there are some students who live close to campus or who may be on campus doing labs or research, so we wanted to provide free healthy meals to them.”

With the COVID-19 lockdown last year, the Free Lunch Program at Loyola had to adapt by doing to-go meals. This week, with school going back online, Meals on Wheels returns.

“This time around, we are delivering lunches only to our downtown cafe location for students studying at the SGW campus, and to Woodnote, the CSU’s housing community,” said Silver.

Silver said that students studying downtown can register on the Hive Free Lunch Facebook page, and that the program would deliver their meals to the SGW Hive Café everyday at 1 p.m.

“Since we just started our Meals on Wheels program, we’ve only had about 15 students register each week,” said Silver, who explained that they can serve 25 people at the downtown location.

The free lunch program has benefited many in the past, like Danny Faheem, a first-year psychology student, who’s been taking advantage of Hive Café on the Loyola campus,“I’m really happy the lunch program is back. Since there isn’t really any vegan food, or any food in general, on [the Loyola] campus, it really saved me last semester,” said Faheem, adding that he used to go almost everyday when open.

“We’ve had such a positive reaction from students, and the positive response on social media has been almost overwhelming,” said Silver. “We love what we do so we’re happy to be back.”

Silver explained that if campuses do not reopen for classes this semester, the program will be expanded to help more students.

“Not only are we doing the Meals on Wheels program, but we also did our winter food drive, we started a community art showcase for queer and BIPOC students, and we’re writing a recipe book with the most popular lunches we’ve served in the last year,” said Silver.

“We’re also in the process of making a cooking channel so people can watch how we make some of our favourite vegan recipes,” explained Silver. “We don’t just want to serve our lunches and then close the doors, we want to engage with the local and student community and fight food insecurity in every way we can.”


Graphic by James Fay


Political pariah finds a new party line

Former staffer Annalisa Harris resets her political career as Loyola’s newest candidate

Caught in a public scandal, Annalisa Harris, former chief of staff to Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough mayor, Sue Montgomery, emerges as a candidate in the Loyola riding for the upcoming Municipal elections on Nov. 7.

Harris was accused of workplace harassment in a report by Montreal’s comptroller general, Alain Bond. However, no formal complaints were ever filed, and the names were kept confidential. In his report, Bond urged for Harris’ immediate dismissal.

Despite pressure from her party, Projet Montréal, Montgomery refused to fire Harris without allowing her the chance to defend herself, claiming the accusations were unfounded. In retaliation, the city released a statement in January 2020 effectively ousting Montgomery for failing to fire Harris.

Harris expressed her disappointment in how Projet Montréal handled the allegations.

“The problem is that Valérie Plante chose to side with the bureaucracy instead of siding with, at the time, what was her own teammate, Sue Montgomery, and in protecting me as a worker,” said Harris.

By April 2020, the city launched an injunction against Montgomery, citing her refusal to obey the directives to cut Harris from her team.

As revealed in a report from the Quebec Municipal Commission (CMQ), Montgomery promptly wrote to long-time borough director, Stéphane Plante, informing him that she would allow Harris to continue her duties as chief of staff.

“In Canada we have the rule of law, where everyone has the right to a defense. My chief of staff has not had that,” said Montgomery during a borough council meeting in February 2020, defending her position to keep Harris on.

Mayor Plante expected Montgomery to fire Harris, in line with the comptroller general’s recommendation.  Unwilling to dismiss Harris, Montgomery stood by her second-in-command.  She defended that the report had been purposely withheld from her, and she had yet to see the accusations against Harris.

In December 2020, the initial verdict was overturned in Montgomery and Harris’ favour. The presiding Judge Synnott ruled that the comptroller general not only overstepped his bounds in demanding Harris’ dismissal, but also unnecessarily interfered with borough politics. The judge ultimately ordered Alain Bond to release the report to Sue Montgomery. 

Harris has since filed a lawsuit against Mayor Plante and the City of Montreal, seeking over $180,000 in defamatory damages.

Following this, Harris and Montgomery were strong in their conviction to continue in politics. Soon, the two hatched a plan to form their own political party— Courage – Équipe Sue Montgomery.

“Ultimately it strengthened my resolve to say the governance here is so broken. We have such a need for better leadership in the city of Montreal,” said Harris.

In deciding values and instilling a positive culture within their party, the two worked together to recruit four other candidates and released a broad and comprehensive platform focused on local governance, environmental action, and community support. This includes affordable social housing projects and the creation of unarmed service teams to work alongside the police.

Harris revealed that while she initially joined the team administratively, she soon realized she could translate her years of studying political science into a successful campaign in the Loyola district.

“I didn’t really think of running until probably six months after we founded the party. For me, it really was a vehicle for the neighbourhood, and I didn’t see myself running until January 2021,” said Harris.

While recognizing the many challenges she has faced over the past year and the emotional toll it has taken on her, Harris hopes to influence change in her riding.  “That’s been the biggest challenge, the toll it’s taken on me personally,” Harris admitted.

“Campaigning has actually been positive in a lot of ways, as someone who went through such a public scandal, because for me, it’s an opportunity to tell my story,” said Harris.


* Correction: October 26, 2021

This article has been updated to correct the details of legal proceedings. When it comes to Sue Montgomery’s actions, “Mayor Plante expected Montgomery to fire Harris, in line with the comptroller general’s recommendation.  Unwilling to dismiss Harris, Montgomery stood by her second-in-command.  She defended that the report had been purposely withheld from her, and she had yet to see the accusations against Harris.” Furthermore, it has been clarified that “the judge ultimately ordered Alain Bond to release the report to Sue Montgomery.”


Photograph courtesy of Annalisa Harris


Breaking: Concordia students in residence asked to leave by end of this weekend

Earlier today, students across campus received a notice that left some reeling: all students living in any of Concordia’s three residences will need to leave their dorms in four days due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, this move was made for the safety of students living in residence, as social distancing is proving difficult to practice. This decision affects all students living at the Grey Nuns Residence downtown and the Hingston Residence and the Jesuit Residence’s at Loyola. Over 800 students are currently living in Concordia’s residences.

According to the statement, “exceptional circumstances” may prevent some students from leaving by the March 22 deadline. In this case, students are advised to send an email to Concordia has sent The Concordian a statement regarding the residents being asked to leave.

“We are seeking to protect the health of our community both as a whole and as individuals. We are currently working to identify those to whom exceptional circumstances apply, including students unable to return to their home. Accommodations will be provided to all those who need it. This is not a decision we took lightly and we understand the stress it is causing. Social distancing measures that everyone right now is aiming for are hard to maintain in residences and this decision was taken with the well-being of students in mind.​”

Aurélie Garrone, a first year international student from France who currently lives in residence is one of hundreds directly affected by the situation. The psychology major student arrived in Montreal in January to begin her degree.

“If Canadian borders close, and assuming that I get repatriated, I’m not sure when I can come back to Concordia,” said Garrone.

Garrone said she has nowhere else to go. According to her, the university sent the students in residence emails about new rules but never mentioned the possibility of being kicked out.

“I feel anxious because I don’t know what to do or where to go, and if I have to travel to France I’ll be at higher risk of contracting the virus and passing it on to my family when I arrive,” said Garrone.

According to Armand Kabanga Ciowela, a first year aerospace engineering student from Senegal, the university assured students living in the residence that they would be able to stay in their dorms until the end of the semester. He said while he understands that evacuating from the dorms is important, because self-isolation is difficult as all of the students eat at the same cafeteria and use the same bathrooms, giving them only four days is not enough.

“We have to pack up while looking for a place to go to,” said Kabanga Ciowela.

Patrick Quinn, Academic and Advocacy coordinator at the CSU, said the decision is “rushed, irresponsible and outright cruel.”

“I’m not even 100 per cent sure if this is even legal or not, it really depends on what the leases of the students say, but from my understanding this might not be covered in their lease and students might have the right to stay,” said Quinn.

Quinn continued that rather than protecting students and minimizing risk of infection, this decision makes students more vulnerable and more at risk.

“We’re listening, we’re here for you, we’re fighting for you,”said Quinn.

According to Concordia’s statement, students will be eligible for a refund, both for their rent and meal plan as of the date they leave.

For more info,


As this situation is developing, this article will be updated. 


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


Planting trees on the Loyola Campus

The Concordia Greening Project collaborated with non-profit organization Soverdi in planting over 185 Indigenous trees at the Loyola campus.

You may have noticed a new addition to Loyola’s scenery this week – around 129 Concordia students, professors and staff planted various types of trees that are native to Quebec’s forest system on campus.

The Loyola tree-planting event began last week, on Nov. 5, but the idea came up last February at the Concordia Greening Project’s first committee meeting.

The Concordia Greening Project is a new student-faculty collective that aims to promote greener practices on Concordia campuses.

Before the project, the campus’ landscape was mainly occupied by species of maple trees. Now you can find more than 20 varieties of Indigenous species such as the Canadian Serviceberries, White Birches, Red Oaks and Jack Pines.

“It’s a shame not to use the wonderful space that we have to its fullest benefits,” said Concordia Biology Professor Rebecca Tittler. “Trees provide cleaner air, water filtration and also improves well-being,”

Trees feed off carbon dioxide which takes up a little more than 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“Young growing trees sequester a lot of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and put it into their own growth; the growth of their leaves and trunk,” Tittler said.

According to a 2019 StatCan report on greenhouse gas sources, the combustion of fossil fuels is the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide in Canada.

Trees are also commonly used to help fight extreme hot weather by providing shade and protection against heat waves. They cool the air with the water filtered through their roots, which is later released through the trees’ leaves. Trees also filter stormwater runoff from transporting toxic substances into nearby rivers and avoid contaminating the city’s clean water system.

A little over 100 trees were planted around the Stingers Dome, 44 more native trees near Hingston Halland and 41 forest trees similar to Quebec’s woodlands in front of the Communications Studies and Journalism building.

“We’re just students trying to see action in what we’re studying and trying to make changes,” said Founding Member of the Concordia Greening Project Theo Vergnet, who also studies Human Environment at the university.

With over 500,000 people who joined this year’s Montreal climate march, this is a step up for Concordia students and faculty members to demonstrate their part against global climate change. The event went on for four days, but the new installation provides the Loyola campus with a sustainable and long-term solution to certain environmental issues.

These Indigenous trees will be used as a teaching tool for the biodiversity classes taught by professor Tittler at the university. Being right outside the school buildings, students in the Sustainability program can get a more hands-on experience of the subject rather than learning about it from lectures in a classroom setting.

Over $50,000 went into funding Loyola’s tree-planting project, with the City of Montreal subsidizing 54 per cent of the cost and TD Bank covering 36 per cent as part of its #TheReadyCommitment program. Concordia University contributed 10 per cent.

“I think it’s a great partnership between institutions and Soverdi. Green spaces are really important; that we preserve and take care of it.” said Mayor of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Sue Montgomery in an interview with the Concordian. She visited the sites and even planted her own tree at the campus.


Photo by Laurence B.D.

Concordia Student Union News

CSU looking to create more food opportunities at the Loyola Campus

The Concordia Student Union is looking into creating more food opportunities at the Loyola Campus, but is facing resistance with Concordia administration.  

Celeste-Melize Ferrus, CSU Loyola coordinator, wants to collaborate with student groups like the Concordia Food Coalition, an organization that focuses on sustainable food on campus, to use unused spaces on campus to give students more of a variety of food at the Loyola campus.

Ferrus explains that the decision to create more food on campus is not up to the CSU, but to Concordia administration and the Dean, who are open to ideas if they see a demand for it.

Arguably, the need is there. Ferrus argues that there is nothing to eat at the Loyola Campus. But, she said that if Concordia does not see a need for more food at Loyola, the only thing CSU would be able to do is a petition.

“I need more variety,” she said. “I wouldn’t eat Tim Hortons. Eating that every semester for your whole undergrad is really frustrating.”

Other students also feel that Loyola does not have adequate food on campus.

“I feel like it’s lacking in food in a way that doesn’t make me want to stay on campus for very long,” said Avery Jane, a Concordia student who is lactose intolerant and celiac. “It’s a real bummer, having to go all the way out there and then not being able to stay for very long unless I’ve planned in advance and brought my own food.”

The Hive Café, a student-run cooperative that provides healthy and affordable food on campus, does have a location at Loyola and offers gluten-free and vegan options.

Yet, Antonia Neatby, an employee at the Hive, admits this is not enough.

“We are the only place that has gluten-free options, and I think the only place that has vegan options,” Neatby said. “But we don’t have that many options, and we can’t guarantee [zero] cross-contamination.”

Neatby said she has heard students saying that they want more variety in food at the Loyola Campus.

“There is definitely a real desire in the student body to have student-owned and student lead food cooperatives that don’t contribute to things like Aramark,” she said.

Aramark is an American food service provider that has been in a five-year contract with Concordia to provide food services. Its contract is supposed to finish in 2020 with a chance of a two-year renewal.

In a 2015 online statement, Concordia said that Aramark would focus on creating new cafes and restaurants on campus, promising more variety for students.

The statement also mentions how Aramark has created a Tim Hortons and a European-style Market in the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex at Loyola, which offers a variety of foods for students.

“The locations will also feature ‘Get the Good Stuff,’ Aramark’s daily prepared healthy-balanced meals and snacks for students on the go,” read the statement.

Ferrus said that these promises from Aramark never panned out, that all the variety Tim Hortons has to offer is bagels and cream cheese, and the rest of the options are very expensive and slim.

Elias Huckel-Fidalgo, another member of the CSU council, confirmed that the CSU committee is not actively looking into creating more food at the Loyola campus at the moment. Huckel-Fidalgo said that Ferrus is the only CSU member advocating for more food on campus.


Feature graphic by Victoria Blair

Student Life

Finding healthy food on campus

Nourishing yourself with the right food is essential for productivity in school and overall wellness.

According to an article on Harvard Medical School’s website, Dr. Eva Selhub explains that food is fuel for your brain and, like a luxury car, it works best on high-quality fuel. She adds that fueling your brain with low-quality food damages it, thus reducing its efficiency.

So what is healthy eating?

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website, eating healthy requires eating a balanced diet filled with vegetables, protein and water. Carbohydrates are also important, but only the good kind which are found in legumes such as beans or fruits like bananas. It is encouraged to choose whole-grain foods and limit processed foods and refined sugars as much as possible.

But where can you find these healthy food options around campus?

Downtown Campus

Options are a-plenty on the Sir George William campus compared to Loyola. For quick and easy grabs, Il Panino Café Mediterraneo (1435 Guy St.) has a large variety of tasty salads and generally healthy sandwiches. Mandy’s (2067 Crescent St.) is another quick option that has mouth-watering artisanal salads.

If you have a little more time on your hands, vegans and vegetarians (or anyone willing to try these specialty foods) can get a healthy meal and snacks at Copper Branch (1245 Bishop St.) or La Panthère Verte (2153 Mackay St.). The rest-boutique Abe & Mary’s (2170 de la Montagne St.) is another great option if you’re feeling a little fancier and have the time to sit down with friends and eat well while on break. Koa Lua, the Hawaiian poké shop (1446 Ste-Catherine St. W), offers a variety of healthy poké bowls if you’re in the mood for something other than sandwiches or salads.

Loyola Campus

While it’s tough to find healthy food options on and around this campus, it’s not impossible. For those with dietary restrictions and don’t mind the walk or five-minute bus ride, the Provigo at 6485 Sherbrooke St. W has a lot of healthy food options. If you forgot to pack your lunch, this is a good alternative to buying food at a restaurant.

The Hive Café Solidarity Co-Operative (7141 Sherbrooke St. W) is located on campus in the same building as the Loyola Chapel and is a great option for healthy food. All the meals are vegetarian and their menu also includes vegan and wheat-free options, according to their website. Nearby, past Souvlaki George, is a Korean restaurant, Comptoir Koyajo (6963 Sherbrooke St. W). Their menu includes Asian-style protein bowls, soups and specialty dumplings.

There’s also Mon Ami Korean BBQ (6521 Somerled Ave.); not all the food is necessarily healthy, but the menu has a wider variety of options compared to some of the other food spots nearby. Lastly, there are the food counters in the CJ and SP buildings, which usually have vegetarian options that are sustainable and healthy.

The most budget-friendly and fool-proof option is to make your own healthy lunches at home, but that isn’t always possible and realistic. If you do forget to pack your lunch, the options are out there if you take the time to properly dissect the food you’re eating and choose better/healthier options to allow your body to feel its best.

Photo by Laurence B.D., Map by Mackenzie Lad

Student Life

Broken Pencil: Commuting to Loyola

It’s annoying as heck and there should be more efficient route options

I’ve lived in a part of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (N.D.G.) that’s relatively close to the Vendôme metro since starting at Concordia. Thankfully, most of the time, commuting to the Loyola campus isn’t so bad—for me at least. Yeah, sure, there are times when a packed 105 Sherbrooke bus drives past me at the Decarie or Girouard stops because there simply isn’t any room. It happens—and it’s frustrating—but I can’t imagine how much more annoying the regular commute is for students coming from off-island, downtown or further east where you have to transfer.

To avoid the bus driving past me, I’ll often make the longer walk down to Vendôme. Many times, the line for the 105 goes so far back that it fuses with the line for the 90 St-Jacques bus, then you end up with a grumpy elderly lady warning you not to take her place in a line you didn’t realize you were waiting in (true story). If you actually make it on the bus after that massive line, you’re sure to be packed in with the other passengers tighter than a can of sardines. Will you be able to nudge your way off the bus in time when your stop comes up? Who knows? That’s the risk you take with the 105.

N.D.G. has the reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange to thank for the ridiculous amount of traffic congestion. Repairs to the major highway intersection started in 2011, according to the Transport, Mobilité durable et Électrification des Transports du Quebec’s website, and is ongoing. This construction can also affect Concordia’s shuttle bus route, which is sometimes a more efficient alternative to the 105. According to Dominick Lucyk, a former Concordia student, “when it wasn’t busy, [he] found the time on the shuttle quite peaceful,” but that it was stressful during peak hours.

Increased traffic congestion from the Turcot construction, overcrowding on the 105 and the shuttle, combined with people that simply aren’t aware of the space they occupy, make for a consistently pleasant commute to Loyola (sarcasm heavily implied).

Arguably, one of the most obvious ways overcrowding on the 105 could be reduced is through the introduction of articulated buses. These accordian-style buses are quite long and require a larger area to safely turn around. The Elmhurst loop at the end of the 105’s route would need to be extended, which is an issue that has yet to be addressed by the Société de Transport de Montréal. What’s more frustrating is that a vacant lot ideal for this extension sits right next to the loop.

Also, what about students coming from Laval, the West Island, South Shore and anywhere else off-island? For many, a large part of why they bought a car was because of where the university campuses, especially Loyola, are located in relation to where they live. Students without cars who typically rely on the Réseau de transport métropolitain (RMT) or other train services, know that getting anywhere between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. is impossible, and since most alternate bus routes range from one and a half to two hours each way, there really aren’t many other options.

In the meantime, though, all we can do is plan in advance as much as possible. Transit is a great app that uses GPS to track where buses are en route. It automatically accounts for overlapping transit networks and gives relatively accurate estimated times of arrivals. Another useful tool is the Concordia University app, which has a section with the shuttle bus schedule. Or you could always race the 105 on foot during peak traffic hours. I bet you’d win.

Graphic by @spooky_soda


Snowyola: A winter wonderland

ASFA held its first winter orientation with outdoor fun at the Loyola quad

Over 100 students gathered at the quad on Loyola campus to celebrate Snowyola—the first-ever winter orientation.

The event was held by the Arts and Sciences Federation of Associations (ASFA) on Jan. 19, and ran from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. An after-party was also held at Reggies from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. During the main event, DJ Czich, who was in charge of music for the night, gave Snowyola attendees a wide variety of music to groove to. Everything from hip-hop to EDM to pop filled the air, complemented by an impressive display of colourful LED lights fixed to the DJ setup.

Partygoers had access to Molson Canadian beer, which was the official sponsor of the event. Not only was there an abundance of beer, but bags of chicken and falafel pitas were also made available from the newly-opened Boustan in NDG, along with a large tray of  a variety of Subway cookies.

While Snowyola offered new and returning students a unique way to socialize and connect after the winter break, ASFA used the event as a means to fundraise and raise awareness for Dans la Rue, an organization which helps homeless and at-risk youth in Montreal.

“Dans La Rue is a local Montreal charity, so we were confident that our input would impact the community directly,” said Rachel Rammal, one of the event’s head organizers and ASFA’s vice president of academic and Loyola affairs. “We were also drawn to this charity because their help mainly targets the youth, kids our age even, so it’s definitely a cause that we feel strongly about.”

At the event, students could buy Snowyola-themed pom-pom hats, which were striped white and burgundy with a snowflake embroidered on them. One hundred per cent of the pom-pom hat sales went to Dans la Rue, as well as at least 25 per cent of the total ticket sales, according to the event’s Facebook page. Fifty per cent of the after-party ticket sales were also donated.

When asked about the possibility of hosting a Snowyola event in years to come, Rammal said: “I am confident that we have laid down a strong foundation to build upon should the future executives want to take on the challenge.”

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