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The Hive takes action following Provigo scandal

The Hive’s most recent steps to reduce the gap between affordable food and accessibility on campus.

On Jan. 13, Provigo announced they’ll no longer be offering 50 percent off for soon-to-expire foods, but rather 30 percent, causing public outrage across the country. Then, on Friday Jan. 19, the big food chain reversed their decision. 

Following these two confusing and controversial weeks at Provigo, The Hive is offering all students access to food without any financial barriers through their bi-annual grocery program, which is an expansion of the Hive’s Free Lunch and Breakfast program.

Alanna Silver, the Hive’s Free Lunch program coordinator, is frustrated that big food chains aren’t taking concrete action to better manage their food prices. 

“[Big grocers] are making this huge amount of profit while everyone else is really struggling and it shouldn’t be like that in a country that’s as developed as we are,” Silver said.

Sliver started the Hive’s bi-annual grocery program in December 2021 for students who cannot afford groceries at other food chains. The grocery program uses donations from food banks, their community fridge and ‘Enough,’ a waste sorting education company that also tries to reduce food waste. These donations provide canned goods, gluten-free options, fresh produce, halal, kosher and vegan options. This year, Silver expanded the grocery program by providing menstrual products, toothbrushes and toothpaste. 

Any student who picks up groceries from the program does not have to pay for what they buy, which is something Silver advocated for when she started the program.

“[Students] should never have to choose between paying tuition, paying for your textbooks, and paying for your meals—that should never have to be a choice,” Silver said. 

Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, heard rumors about the announcement in December. He contacted Loblaws two weeks ago to confirm the rumor and later published the news on social media. Loblaws’ reason to reduce their discount was to match their competitors. “It was really the earmark of a really major PR crisis for Loblaws. Because you dealt with food affordability, food waste,” Charlebois said. 

According to the 2023 Canada Food Price report, the food prices forecast predicted that costs would rise by five to seven per cent. Charlebois confirmed that the housing crisis plays a big role in affordability. He believes that the big grocer wanted to limit how they were using their discounts. 

“People are forced to spend more to make sure they keep a roof over their heads, so they have less money to spend at the grocery store,” Charlebois said. “My guess is that Loblaws saw a lot of their demand shift towards these discounted products and they wanted to stop that. They wanted to protect margins as much as possible.”

Sylvain hopes that other large food markets such as Metro, IGA and Sobeys will see Loblaw’s discount charge as an opportunity to revisit their own discount numbers for their consumers. 

Matteo Di Giovanni, a second-year film production student, not only noticed the change in prices, but also the quantity of food in the packaging. As someone who’s celiac, Di Giovanni deals with expensive prices already with gluten-free products—now he’s facing the reduction of the quantity he’s getting.

“I’m not surprised,” Di Giovanni said. “It just sucks that I’m paying the same price for less food and I’m already paying a lot for gluten-free, so it’s a bit disappointing.”

Even though his parents do most of the groceries, he still worries about food affordability in the future. 

“When I start being more financially independent, it’s going to have a bigger toll on my spending and it’s kind of sucky, everything on top of just regular inflation,” Di Giovanni said.

Di Giovanni recently changed his diet over the break; he started going to the grocery store with his parents to pick out which products will be accessible and better for his diet. As worried as he is about his future with groceries, he’s already asking himself the right questions while he’s at the store. 

While big grocery stores are causing anxiety amongst students and other consumers, The Hive is one of the many organizations at Concordia that are providing relief in the university community.

The Hive believes in providing nutritional, healthy, and diverse meals for everyone to perform better in their studies and not worry about their next grocery bill. “Feeding people is our love language,” Silver said. 

Silver plans to continue the bi-annual grocery program for many years to come and encourage food education towards students.

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News Videos

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.

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News

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

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Features

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

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Concordia businesses express their thoughts on the vaccine passport

Concordia’s on-campus businesses call on the university to take a more active and efficient approach to the vaccine passport

Many people have voiced their anger and frustration with the vaccine passport since the Quebec government announced it on Aug. 10. Thousands took to the streets to protest, claiming that this enforcement is discriminatory and an infringement of a person’s rights.

The vaccine passport was first introduced on Sept.1 with a two-week grace period before implementing fines to business owners who refuse to comply. Since Sept. 15, the Quebec government has officially enforced a proof of vaccination for Quebecers aged 13 and over in order to access non-essential businesses such as restaurants, bars, cafés, and gyms — even those located on school campuses.

Calvin Clarke, the general coordinator at the Hive Café Solidarity Co-op, feels like checking every customer’s vaccination passport is an unwarranted responsibility for him and his employees.

Clarke points out that dining places are one of the few areas where the vaccine passports are being checked on campus.

Vannina Maestracci, Concordia University spokesperson, has stated that the use of the vaccine passport on campus is to mirror its larger use in Quebec.

“Going to any restaurant in Quebec requires the use of the passport, and on campuses, this translates to a passport requirement for dining places; similarly, team sports in Quebec require a vaccination passport and so sports on campus also require the passport.”

However, the university indicates that classes, labs, studios, libraries and other course-related places do not require a passport because they are considered essential activities.

When asked how the vaccine passport has affected their clientele, Clarke said, “It’s been about 95 per cent of the people have been fine with it, but it’s definitely slowed us down business-wise, because it is an extra step we have to do.”

Clarke acknowledges that the vaccine passport is very important for everyone’s safety, but nonetheless still believes that imposing the responsibility of checking every student’s passport is a burden.

“I think it’s a very good thing to have. I do think that the university should take a more active approach, rather than relying on businesses within the campus having to deal with that because that puts a lot of strain on us.”

He urges the university to take better action in implementing stricter rules and says that Concordia could take a more supportive and active role without relying on on-campus businesses.

Sham Rahman, a member of the board at Reggies, agrees with Clarke and says that the vaccination passport hasn’t affected their clientele as much. Like Clarke, Rahman agrees that this extra step has made things slower for their employees.

“It takes a little toll because I have to have an extra person on each door to check the passports because I can’t have my bartenders or waitresses check all the time,“ Rahman said.

Rahman believes that this extra step is necessary for everyone’s safety; however, he does not think it’s efficient.

He suggested alternative methods the university could implement. Instead of scanning phones and asking for IDs, Rahman thinks a possible solution would be having an ID provided by the school, indicating that the student has been fully vaccinated.

So far these businesses both reported that they have yet to encounter problems with students refusing to show their vaccine passports.

 

Graphic by James Fay

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Arts

Finding catharsis and connectivity

Abstraction in conversation with artist Alex Hill

Working without a concept, yet finding influence from emotions and periods of time in history, Alex Hill’s work is not only striking and beautiful, but it also encourages a further interrogation of what is represented within the paint strokes. Influences of history, intuition, and emotion are translated into visuality through Hill’s vibrant, expressive, abstract paintings.

Almost exclusively through acrylics on wooden panels, Hill follows her intuition as she creates paintings that incorporate an interesting mixture of fluid and fixed structures and movements upon the canvas.

I think my paintings are probably fairly accurate windows into my psyche at the moment that I’m painting them—aggressive, or serene, or methodical, etc. But beyond that I don’t work with much of a concept or theme in mind,” said Hill.

“These works are generally abstracts that juxtapose organic forms and ‘automatic,’ gestural marks with rigid and uniform geometry. This use of juxtaposition loosely explores how the contradictory relationship between these forms mirrors the relationship between the man-made and the natural world, but like I said, I’m not usually consciously thinking about themes or ideas like this while I’m painting.”

Originally from Victoria, B.C., Hill completed her undergraduate degree at University of Victoria (UVic) in Slavic studies and Soviet history, before moving to Montreal in September 2017. Her creative practice was a part of this move, as Hill explains, “After graduating, I moved to Montreal to focus on painting, and because it’s really a ‘right of passage’ for Victoria kids to move out here.” Currently, Hill isn’t in school, but a future enrolment as an independent student at Concordia is in the cards, especially since, as Hill explains, “I already spend four days a week on campus, working at The Hive!”

Hill was an avid painter throughout high school, even considering pursuing art in university, but ultimately found her path in studying history, which lessened her time and focus in practicing painting. However, completing her undergraduate degree changed this, and painting became prominent once again. “When I graduated from UVic in 2016, I was hit with anxiety that came along with no longer being a student for the first time in my life and being unsure of my direction and identity from thereon out. Getting back into painting at this somewhat turbulent time was extremely cathartic and exciting.”

These previous studies, along with the influence of baby-boomer parents, find presence in Hill’s artwork. She explained the influence from these two major sources has led to Hill always feeling drawn to mid-century styles and movements, whether it be art, fashion or music. “My paintings are definitely inspired by the works of many of the abstract expressionists.  From a very early age I was drawn to abstraction by its emotional and intuitive nature. I particularly love the vibrancy, colours and general sensibility of painters like Joan Mitchell, Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning.” she said.

Being in Montreal has influenced Hill and her art practice to a degree as well. “Since moving to Montreal, I’ve been able to devote considerably more time and energy to my art as well as having the opportunity to get more engaged within an artistic community—including meeting many artists at Concordia—and visiting local galleries,” Hill said.

I really feel that the connectivity throughout the artistic communities in Montreal has helped me to feel like I’m no longer working in a little bubble. I love knowing what other painters in my demographic are up to.”

Community connection through art plays a part in Hill’s practice, as her move to Montreal has displayed. Yet, ideas of academia in connection to the abstract genre are less important to Hill, and are something she challenges within her work. “Although abstract art can get intellectualized and wrapped up in layers of theory I don’t think it is an inherently elitist and intellectual art form. I don’t think you should need a university degree to appreciate and enjoy beautiful colours or emotional intensity or satisfying balance and composition. These things are pretty universal and definitely what I aim for in my paintings.”

As for future works and projects, Hill is looking forward to seeing how things turn out, while continuing on her current path and art practices. “My work is still very much just in the experimental stages and every time I sit down to paint, the outcome is very different from what I could have expected, so I really can’t predict what direction it’ll take,” she explained. “I would like to eventually return to doing some more semi-representational work but who knows.”

Hill’s work is currently showing in The Hive Solidarity Co-op in the Hall building until April 10, along with work by artists Maya Bergeron and Nora de Mariaffi. A selection of her works are available for purchase. You can view more of her work on Instagram: @alexhill_painting.

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News

The Return of the Hive

The Hive comes back with exciting projects for a new school year

It’s not always easy to find healthy food on both campuses of the university, but CSU’s popular cooperative café the Hive is back for a delicious year, as of Sept. 6.

Over the summer, the café has been working to get approved for the Concordia catering list. Finance and administration coordinator Leigh Hoffman said that being added to this list means the Hive will be able to cater at events and further grow its business. With this opportunity, Concordia’s co-op café will be able to provide their food and space for their upcoming Concordia and Hive events.

The co-op café is also revamping its menu. “We will have egg salad sandwich, grilled cheese with caramelized onions, green vegetables sandwiches, and of course our peanut butter cookies will come back,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman also mentioned that customers will now have the option to have a life membership, at the cost of 5$.. This includes a 10 per cent discount on all products, and members can vote during the Hive’s general assembly. According to Hoffman, all their members have an equal vote at the general assemblies, and the co-op wants its members to have a say in the operation of the cafés through their meetings.

It is a fun and engaging initiative that gets the members involved and creating committees. Right now, they have an art committee and a decoration committee—but they are always looking for more ways to encourage membership. These committees proposes how to decorate the Hive’s space, they can put up paintings on the walls, and also bring out plants for decoration.

The Hive has also managed to become sustainable. The cafés compost, recycle and encourage students to bring their own mug for hot beverages. They both operate as non-profit cooperatives, and they are financially self-sustaining, according to Hoffman.

For their upcoming events, the Hive will hold an open mic night, and a board games and trivia night during the CSU’s orientation. They will also continue their poetry nights later this semester. They will be continuing their free lunch program, which offers a free, vegan, nut-free lunch every school day at the Loyola campus between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Since the Hive is a co-op, students are in charge of cooking together to ensure that the meal is healthy and served on time.

All students are welcome to volunteer at the Hive.  Responsibilities include preparing, cooking and serving food, and cleaning at either location. The Hive can provide references for volunteers and they also encourage students to put the experience on their CVs.

Students can visit the Hive at the Loyola Campus (2nd floor of the Student Centre building) and at the downtown campus (in the mezzanine of the Hall building).

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News

Pushing the boulder up the hill

News of the Hive Café’s impending opening has been circulating on a loop around campus for years now.

Stories and announcements can be found going back almost five years, each time Concordia Student Union candidates promising that the Hive Café would be opening in the coming weeks. Despite an investment of hundreds of thousand of dollars, and untold hours of work, the Hive Café is still not completed.

Despite a history of devouring any candidates that attempt to fix it, the Hive has found itself (once again) in the spotlight for the current executive campaigns. Candidates have made multiples promises during the campaign for how they intend to fix the broken student space, and despite what history tells us, outgoing VP Loyola Stefan Faina says he thinks they have a good chance of pulling it off.

“I like that the next executive hopefuls are talking about the Hive Café as much as they are,” he told The Concordian. “The Hive Café was not one of my campaign points but I took more and more interest in it as the school year progressed. The fact that the campaign right now is focusing as much as it is on the Hive is a good sign. I think they have what it takes to push the project forward.”

Crystal Harrison, the VP Loyola candidate with CSYou said that she hoped to find out what the community wants from the Hive and said that a member of her team had met that day with the manager of the G Lounge for an informal discussion about possible collaboration in the future.

“We foresee more of these conversations taking place,” she said. “We also plan to sit down with representatives from student groups on campus and in this way we hope to increase both the reach and relevance of our plans.”

Faina said that when he first came into his position as VP Loyola, the Hive was a concept and little else.

“There had been some work done towards setting it up in the past but the main problem always came down to a hesitancy on the side of the council and general manager to embark on what they saw as too great a financial risk,” he said.

Faina said that a lot of that hesitation came down to a few major issues: the rocky financial history of Reggie’s, the fact that no concrete business plan existed for the Hive, perceived difficulties with the electrical output available and problems with having unionized (Loyola Luncheon) and potentially non-unionized (Hive Café) employees sharing the same workspace.

Once he knew the issues, Faina says he worked on a plan of action, with the most important step being a much needed business plan. After exploring the options, he realized that looking within Concordia, such as at the consulting services offered at the JMSB, might be the best answer.

“This is supposed to be a student-run, student-implemented initiative. If we have the resources available to us on our home ground, why not use them? It would greatly save costs and be true to the student-oriented Hive Cafe philosophy.”

By the end of the year, Faina hopes that all the necessary steps will have been taken in order to begin construction at the Hive, with the business plan being the last step he finishes before his mandate is over. With that done, the only obstacle remaining may be the most difficult one to overcome: the turnover rate at the CSU. Faina says that in his opinion, the Hive has taken much longer than necessary because of the constant turnover from one VP Loyola to another, forcing the new executives to start from scratch. Next year, he says, he wants his successor to begin on the same page as he finishes.

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