Essential Valentine’s Day tracks

Your Valentine’s Day playlist will be complete thanks to these picks from our Music Editors.

Tabéa’s Picks:

“Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” by James Blake

In my books, James Blake is an artist who can convey his thoughts and feelings in a raw and affectionate manner, especially when it comes to love in any form. “Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” is no exception and an ultimate devotion of Blake revealing to himself and the world how close he feels with his partner. The repetition of him singing that he can’t believe how they flow together only strengthens how well they fit together. This song also acts as a reminder that there is an opportunity to build a stronger connection with any person you love in your life, whether it be platonic or romantic.  

“Kiss of Life” by Sade

Most Sade songs could have been included, but “Kiss of Life” is extra special to me because it’s one of the first songs of hers that I heard. The entire track just screams being head over heels in love with someone, but also with life in general. As Sade softly sings: “The sky is full of love.” However, the energy of the song resides in this line, which takes the cake for me: “I swear the whole world could feel my heartbeat when I lay eyes on you.” She pours her heart out and it’s hard to not feel that loving, contagious feeling. 

“Prototype” by Outkast

This song is one of Outkast’s best in my opinion, especially when the bass comes in and Andre 3000 sings: “I think I’m in love again.” That part is what makes this song so hypnotizing and warm. Despite the song depicting someone who may or may not be the one, it’s all about being fully vulnerable that you’re feeling some type of way towards someone else, but especially the awareness of falling in love again after a while. I especially love the line: “I wanna say stank you very much for picking me up and bringing me back to this world.” To me, it’s such a lovely way to say how meeting someone can make you feel like you’re stepping back into the world through a new connection.

Stefano’s Picks:

“World We Created” by Giveon

Giveon’s “World We Created” is a smooth ballad about basking in the bliss of simply being alongside your partner. Backed by a soft guitar and some ambient nature sounds, the track truly creates a mellow setting that feels like a romantic night under an open sky. The song is complete with a horn section, which truly makes it the serenade it is. Giveon sounds absolutely smitten by even the simplest things (like watching his lover as they lay in bed), and his unique, deep vocal register comes with its own romantic charm. It’s the song Giveon dedicated to couples on his recent tour, and one that you should dedicate to your loved one on Feb. 14.

“BESO” by ROSALÍA & Rauw Alejandro

“BESO” (the Spanish word for “kiss”) finds then-couple ROSALÍA and Rauw Alejandro absolutely infatuated with one another on a record. The song is bright and melodic and their singing voices are beautifully complementary. The track is ridden with compliments and the sentiment of romance is undeniable with lyrics like: “Lo mejor que tengo es el amor que me das” [the best thing I’ve got is the love that you give me]. It’s a lighthearted, heartwarming duet with a nice reggaeton bounce featuring two of the brightest voices in Latin music.


“PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA” never fails to amaze me with its driving groove and Beyoncé’s angelic voice. Its jazzy instrumental is laid back and soothing, which perfectly sets the intimate tone one would want on Valentine’s Day. The song is an ode to her husband JAY-Z where she expresses her adoration for all the little things he does that she loves. Beyoncé’s singing is especially soft as she flies in and out of high notes using her soprano voice. The emotion she brings to her vocal performances further emphasizes the song’s sentiment of love. “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA” is vividly heartfelt and a perfect tone-setter for Valentine’s Day.


Love in the Modern age

Concordia student-run magazine launches love-themed poetry reading at Le Frigo Vert

On Feb. 9, the Concordia student-run pixie Literary Magazine and Soliloquies Anthology united to launch a poetry reading event on the topic of love, with the goal of expressing the understanding of love and its different forms.

Julia Bifulco, the founder and editor-in-chief of pixie indicated that her motive for doing the topic on love is the search for the meaning of the word love.

Bifulco was inspired by Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s poem “Variations on the Word Love.” She realized that people use the word love more than we used to. “But really, love is supposed to be the utmost passion that you can feel for something,” she said.

Modern love tends to evolve much more rapidly than it used to. With the flood of dating apps, love seems to be everywhere.

Bifulco recalled a conversation about dating apps that she had with her friend. “She told me that she doesn’t like dating apps because of the lack of power to converse, and it really makes me think about connections.”

The idea of trending on dating apps ties to some contemporary poetry. “Like trendy and instagram poetry,” Bifulco said. “Some of them are very desired, quick and easily digestible.” 

With the great belief that contemporary poetry seeks to create a new poetic movement, Bifulco uses the word “Groundbreaking” to describe the young creative writers. “I hope people that are writing now are writing new fresh things,” she said. “The writing era we are living in is something that’s looked back on is iconic in the way the romantic period is.”

Jade Palmer, co-editor-in-chief of Soliloquies Anthology, referenced a poem the magazine published last year as an example of contemporary love. “The poem used a lot of chat-speak, things like ‘lol’ that you would not normally hear in a poem — that’s so based in our time. It’s such an interesting way to express love rather than saying someone looks like a flower.”

Ribs Beauchamp was one of the presenters at Thursday evening’s event. She is a third-year Concordia student majoring in film studies. “The media makes more types of love accessible, and it makes it easier to share and witness and recognize and talk about,” she said.

The theme of the poem she shared was her mother. “Female love is much different than male love, and that’s one of the biggest reasons my poem is about my mom,” Beauchamp said. “It is because she shares her love and she is not afraid to do it, women are raised as caretakers — it’s a lot easier for us to share love.”

Satire: Creative Valentine’s Day gifts guaranteed to impress — even a day late

Who wants flowers anyways?

Your beloved Nivea lip balm is on its last legs. A daily walk to the pharmacy is in the cards for you this morning. You begrudgingly make the trek through the bitter cold to the nearest Pharmaprix (or maybe you’re a Jean Coutu person — this is a choose-your-own adventure, I guess).

As you walk through the aisles, you’re met with semi-bare shelves full of pink everything — from chocolates, to teddies, to flowers. A shiver runs down your spine. Could you have forgotten? You brace yourself as you fish around the old masks in your jacket pocket to find your cell phone. To your dismay, it proudly displays the date as February 15. You’re in deep shit.

At this point, you’re panicking. How can you explain forgetting about THE holiday of love to your significant other? Will this be the end of your relationship? How can you come back from this? (In a blind frenzy, it slips your mind that they too may have forgotten).

Luckily, you won’t have to, since I’ve compiled a list of the four best next-day Valentine’s Day gifts that put chocolate and flowers to shame, and are guaranteed to leave your lover enchanted enough to forget about you forgetting.

Swag socks

I know what you’re thinking, but trust me on this one. While socks might seem like a simple stocking stuffer or a leftover Christmas present, you can repurpose them with the help of a sweet pun. By gifting your boo a pair of socks with a card reading “you knock my socks off,” you’ll not only make them a free elf but also warm their heart (and their feet).

Bonus points if they have cartoons of an animal that your special someone has mentioned finding cute once. It’s almost effortless, but foolproof.

Relationship self-help book

Is your person an avid reader? This is the perfect gift for them. Instead of finding the latest silly fiction, expand their horizons with something more personal and refined. A relationship self-help book is a genius way to satisfy their paper craving while setting yourself up for an even healthier connection. Regardless of whether or not your relationship is going smoothly, it’s always good to have tools in case it goes sour. Extra credit if it’s called “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” highlighting that you also have stuff to work on. It’s incredibly thoughtful — there’s absolutely no way your partner could get the wrong idea.

Skydiving tickets

This one is pretty self-explanatory. What says “I love you” like being strapped to a stranger and falling from the sky out of a plane? This is also a pricey gift, which certainly helps with the lateness of the delivery. Everyone knows that expensiveness has a direct correlation to how much you care.

A will to live

This is probably the hardest to acquire — you won’t find one lying on the shelves of the pharmacy. To find a will to live, you’ll have to search far and wide, or maybe even embark on a quest. However, if you do manage to get one, this is the gift to end all gifts. If you succeed, please let me know. We might be able to get a two-for-one deal.

With any of these items, you should have no trouble saving your Valentine’s Day.

You’re welcome.

And if for some reason, these ideas don’t work for you, you can always go for an apology or a heartfelt card, but that’s kind of basic.

Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


Fighting isolation on Valentine’s Day, one rose at a time

**Full disclosure: I fell in love with this story. 

On Valentine’s Day, Concordia Alumnus Timothy Thomas and his team from Home Care Assistance Montreal, partnered with Wish of a Lifetime, in an attempt to decrease isolation, if only for one day.

“Seniors’ isolation is huge,” said Thomas. “A lot of people we have come across have lost a spouse, maybe their kids don’t visit as often and they are feeling down at these times of the year. But it doesn’t take much; a rose, a smile and a hug.”

The team delivered more than 700 roses at three different home care facilities in Montreal; Le Cambridge, Sélection Vista and Chateau Westmount.

While this was the first year the franchise expanded the event to Canada, Home Care Assistance partnered with Wish of a Lifetime for the fourth year in a row. The latter Colorado-based non-profit organization is similar to Children’s Wish, but provides experiences fulfilling the dreams of underprivileged seniors.

“What we are here to do today, with Cupid Crew and Wish of a Lifetime, is to really give back to our clients and seniors communities,” said Thomas.

For Thomas, Home Care Assistance Montreal is a family business. Back in 2007, after his family struggled with finding a caregiver for his grandmother, his father saw an opportunity to offer home care services. He came across Home Care Assistance, a business based out of the United States, with about 90 locations across North America, and decided to buy the rights in Quebec.

In 2014, Wish of a Lifetime created Cupid Crew, which quickly became a national movement in the United States. This year, the event spanned over 500 cities, with the goal of delivering 50,000 roses nationwide. The idea behind the movement was to empower volunteers to deliver roses to seniors, spread love and raise awareness on Feb. 14 of the array of complications that can affect the quality of life for seniors.

“The Cupid Crew initiative from Wish of a Lifetime was showcased to our company at our annual conference in Miami last year,” said Thomas. “We loved the idea, it’s a teambuilding activity for our staff as well. A lot of our employees don’t get the chance to be out there in the field, where our clients and services meet and where we make great impact in the life of seniors.”

The feeling of loneliness and isolation has been widely reported among elders. Numerous studies show a direct connection between loneliness, heart disease and dementia, which can result in shorter lifespans for seniors.  An estimated 1.4 million seniors in Canada—25 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women—reported feelings of loneliness. The Canadian government defines a person from the age of 65 onwards as a senior. If one remains healthy, this could mean a good 20 more years of feeling alone.

Yet, home care centres can also be a place for love and friendship, as the event was trying to highlight. “Even if it’s on a general holiday, it connects [seniors] to each other with the roses,” said Vanessa Cannizzaro, the human resource coordinator for Home Care Assistance Montreal. “It’s something that brings them closer to the people around, and us closer to them.”

Indeed, Sélection Vista resident Bertha Van Frank believes she was lucky to find 94-year-old Claire Eidanger. “I was really shy and she was the first one to say hi to me when I moved here, and we became friends. We are celebrating Valentine’s Day together,” said the 88-year-old senior, as they both smiled, holding onto their roses.

Valentine’s Day might be perceived as a marketing holiday, as Thomas also pointed out, but this was ultimately an opportunity to make an impact on seniors’ lives.

“It doesn’t matter why we are doing it, it needs to be done,” said Thomas. “Yes, it’s corny at this time of year, but it’s also a time of year that is difficult for a lot of people. I think it’s worth it and it’s as good of a time as any.”


Photo courtesy of Timothy Thomas



Violence against women and Valentine’s Day

Heart-shaped balloons, chocolate and teddy bears are all part of Valentine’s Day’s trademark. We usually take this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with loved ones, or with ourselves. 

In June 2017, the University of Calgary released the results of a study on the connection between sporting events, holidays and domestic violence. The study revealed there is an increase of calls to authorities regarding domestic violence on numerous holidays, including Valentine’s Day.

As the holiday frenzy dies down, I wondered: how does Valentine’s Day affect women who are survivors of domestic violence? How were they possibly feeling on Feb.14?

Following the passing of two women, Jaël Cantin, a mother of six, who was murdered by her husband; and 22-year-old Marylene Levesque, who was murdered by a client, I read horrible comments made about the victims on social media. People partly blamed Levesque for her death because she was a sex worker.

This made me realize that we must address domestic violence and femicides more than we currently do. The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability revealed that in 2015, women murdered by their partners counted for 45 per million population, which is five times more than the rate of men killed by their partners.

Femicide is defined by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability as “the most extreme form of violence and discrimination against women and girls.” Femicides are primarily perpetrated by men.

We should see a lot more prevention measures about crimes against women, such as programs in schools about healthy relationships and gender equality, a lot more commercials about the issue, etc. The media must report on such tragedies. But what comes after awareness? Are we making a difference? Are we looking to change things?

A lot of women who report domestic violence to the authorities feel as though they are not taken seriously or do not have the support they need. Because of this, they are less likely to ask for help if their partners commit another assault.

This must stop. Our society must ensure a safer environment to allow women to speak up. We have to stop blaming and shaming women for something they cannot control. Parents and schools must educate children and teenagers, but mostly young boys on how to treat women respectfully. We must teach the importance of healthy relationships

As a society, it is our responsibility to come up with firm ways to learn how to prevent violence.

Just like self-defence is taught to women, we should continue to teach the importance of consent and the consequences of violent behaviours. This education should not only apply to men, but to everyone. Giving special attention to proactive measures such as consent training will empower people in terms of understanding the effects of domestic violence and consent in a fair way, rather than implying that reactive measures like self-defence, are the only ways to handle the issue.

Women need emotional and legal support. They should be able to feel secure and loved by their partner without any fear.

Valentine’s Day is not just about flaunting our idea of a ‘perfect relationship.’ It’s also about acknowledging the women who are suffering behind closed doors.

As we all enjoy the day to celebrate love, we also have to remind ourselves of the negative impacts that Valentine’s Day may have on women in an abusive relationship. Let’s not just talk about domestic violence, let’s find a way to change the way things are. 
Photo: Sasha Axenova

Student Life

My first Valentine’s Day as a single girl

It’s that time of the year again: chocolate hearts and Hershey’s kisses galore. Overwhelming pink and red confetti in that wretched drugstore aisle when all you wanted to do was buy conditioner. The looming stuffed animals that somehow lose their balance on shelves and end up falling on your head. What? I’ve seen it happen. 

You guessed it—it’s Valentine’s Day! 

I was never a big fan of the praised “V-Day.” In fact, I always avoided it like the plague. Probably because, up until I was 18, I had no one to celebrate it with. My “relationships” or whatever you can call two-week-to-30-day-long makeout sessions, always seemed to fizzle out before that day would come. 

The first time I celebrated Valentine’s Day, I have to admit, was quite sweet. Roses on my doorstep, a box of chocolates under my boyfriend’s arm and a little black dress waiting for me with a note that said “wear this tonight”—a scene straight out of a movie, I tell ya. 

However, the following years were not as special for a number of reasons. 

The “holiday” would often sneak up on me, and I would grunt at the thought of having to clear my schedule for it. Plus, when you work in a restaurant, most of the time, your weekends/nights aren’t your own—especially on holidays.

Valentine’s Day had to be either a few days earlier or later than the initial date. It started to feel like an inconvenience more than a celebration of love. Both of us would get mad if the other didn’t put in the effort. Suffice to say, Valentine’s Day wasn’t our favourite—neither of us would admit it though. 

Our last Valentine’s together was last year, and I was working on the actual day. Long story short, the relationship was no more a month later—for many reasons. 

Now it’s 2020, and your girl is single again—and I still hate the day with a passion. Walking into a Dollarama, Pharmaprix, or Jean Coutu always irks me—what was up with all the pink and red when it was only January?! They take down Halloween decorations a day after Oct. 31, while Valentine’s day seems to drag on two weeks after Feb. 14. I get that it’s a day to celebrate love—but do y’all have to be so loud and obnoxious about it? 

Yeah, yeah, I can hear everyone screaming at me to leave people alone and let them celebrate. I didn’t say otherwise, but I’ve always been averse to this holiday because—and call me a boomer or whatever—in my opinion, Valentine’s day should be every day. 

The stress that comes with it, whether you’re single or in a relationship, is just too much. If you’re single, you’re a lonely spinster who can’t do love right no matter how hard you try. If you’re in a relationship and life gets in the way of your celebrations, you’re a terrible partner! And the ones who don’t care for it are simply heartless. 

I’ve been single for almost a year, and most of the time it’s been great. During the holidays, I will admit, a little pang of loneliness did hit; Christmas time and New Year’s Eve were the worst. For some reason, most of my friends are in relationships, dating, or stuck in the in-between phase of our wonderful hookup culture. In all cases, they’ve all got something going on, while I’m watching Sex and the City reruns.

Therefore, I propose a motion: for Valentine’s Day to be cancelled, and a second Halloween to take its place! 

Photo by Britanny Clarke


The three arrows Cupid forgot

Single or smitten, there’s a lot of love to go around

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, along with the usual suspects: bitter haters and self-obsessed lovers. What are you supposed to do if you don’t fall into either category? You could buy up boxes of discounted chocolate hearts and gorge yourself, but that’s what’s known as a bad decision. I’ve been there myself (don’t do it, even though it sounds like a great night).

I’ve got a better idea on what to do, and it starts with shifting our perspective on love. You’ve heard the calls for boycotting Valentine’s Day but I’m thinking bigger. Let’s burst the bounds of one day and spread all that love around, because there’s more of it than you may think.

Graphic by Jenny Kwan

When most people think of love they think of romance; the sexy, passionate love of HBO. Kisses, coitus, and cuddles (if you’re lucky) are what dominate the field of love today and that’s not bad in itself. What’s bad though, is the inordinate focus on one type of love: “Eros”.

In order to explore this weighty topic we’ll defer to the founders of Western Civilization, those ineffable ancient Greeks. To begin, we’ll start with the hungry ache of Eros because it’s what we know best (and think we want most).

According to A Greek-English Lexicon, Eros is the erotic love of romance, with all its smoulder and breathless sighs—the love that is most often envied. Eros is the drug that Valentine’s Day is pushing and buyers line up for their chance at a hit. But I’m not here to tear down romantic love, just to tell you that it has been cheapened and to warn you not to waste your time on the knockoff. Eros is all about enjoying a person, but far too often we simply want to enjoy ourselves, and our lover becomes the means to an end.

Next up is “Storge” and, yes, it sounds funny (like a stork in storage) but it’s also the reason you didn’t get hit by a bus when you were two years-old. Storge is the affectionate love of parents and children, brothers, and sisters. Storge possesses a durability that isn’t always present in Eros because we don’t choose our family. Ours being a time when choice is supreme, this familial love is often ignored because it is unavoidable; an obligation.

“Philia” is the love that grows out of proximity and circumstance; this is the love of study dates, man-hugs, and long talks—love, between friends. Philia begins with a common element like a prison cell, or stuffy lecture hall, and grows into friendships built around shared interests, cares, and concerns. Friendship is a wonderful thing, but what’s most interesting about Philia is its comparative uselessness.

Eros makes babies, Storge keeps them alive, but the Philia of a Starbucks heart-to-heart isn’t biologically essential. C. S. Lewis, the British writer and philosopher said: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” I’m inclined to agree.

The last of these Greek loves is “Agape”. This is love that expects nothing in return. Eros, Storge, and Philia can all reasonably expect a payoff, whether that be sex, gratitude, or simple companionship. Agape however, having never taken ECON 200, gives love away for free like a fool, with no conditions, priming itself for exploitation. Agape, with very good reason to not show love, does it anyway.

This isn’t the love of a loonie in a crumpled coffee cup, it’s the love that takes the homeless man out for coffee, listens, and still gives him a few bucks. Agape is a love that hasn’t heard of selfies.

Ok, that was a nice little word study but maybe you’re wondering what this has to do with Valentine’s Day. Well, first of all I wanted to prove a point: there’s more to love than a dozen red roses.

Also, I wanted to remind you that love is essential to humanity. We need a quiver full of heart-tipped arrows to make life happen, and to make it happen beautifully. This life demands a full-featured love.

Perhaps the oddest thing about Storge, Philia, and Agape are that they’re often unremarkable. No branding, no ensemble-cast movies, and no billion dollar industry to strip them of all decency. Eros has sold out, but we can buy it back and set it straight if we’re willing to take a risk on the real thing.

Lewis again gives eloquent guidance: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Love makes us vulnerable because of the price we must expect to pay; not in dollar bills or shots, but in sacrifice. Love is never only for you, it’s for another person or else it’s not love.

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to spread love of all varieties, because Eros doesn’t have a monopoly on love.

So here’s a challenge for you: buy those chocolate hearts, but give them to someone you don’t expect to put out. Don’t want to be commercial? No worries, it’s my understanding that moms still love cardboard hearts.

Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, remember that love is more than bodies. There is a love that protects, a love that shares, and a love that gives too much.

That—no, those—are love.


Student Life

We hate Valentine’s Day

Here’s how we think you should spend the Hallmark holiday

Treat yo’self
by Marco Saveriano

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but who says you have to be in a relationship to enjoy it? I don’t think you do… Treat yourself! People put such a huge importance on this one day each year, and it’s kind of ridiculous. If you’re not in a relationship on Feb. 14, big deal. Guess what? You weren’t in a relationship on Feb. 13, either. And if you’re in a relationship and you only express your love for one another on that one day a year, maybe you should work on that. No offence, but your relationship probably sucks.

You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to buy you expensive gifts or take you out for dinner; just splurge on yourself! Last year, I spent almost $80 on skincare products as a Valentine’s Day present to myself, and it was great. This year, I’ll take myself shopping, and I’ll spend a little too much but you know what? I deserve it. Maybe I’ll indulge in some expensive chocolates or, even better, macarons! I also have dinner plans with two of my single girl friends. Nothing is better than gossip, greasy food, and some cocktails. Plus, we can people watch and speculate about all the couples on bad dates. Who needs a significant other when you can have a drink (or 10) with friends? Just don’t be that Debbie Desperate who gets drunk and starts crying about their loneliness, it’s really not a good look for anyone.

Put down that tub of ice cream, turn off The Notebook, clean yourself up, and remember: Valentine’s Day is just another day, so have fun with your friends, and don’t worry about being single.


If you like then you shoulda put a LOTR on it
by Sara Baron-Goodman

Hey nerds, the Concordia Student Union, or CSU, has you covered this Valentine’s Day with the ultimate movie marathon. We are talking all three Lord of the Rings movies screened back-to-back, in extended edition.

That is approximately one million hours (actually just 11.367 hours) of Viggo Mortensen speaking Elvish, beautiful sweeping scenic shots of New Zealand, endless hours of Orlando Bloom in tights and more gorey, full-screen battle scenes than you can take.

You’ll want to take Orlando’s lead and wear something nice and comfortable—costumes are strongly encouraged.

The event is free, so show up early to get a good seat. Doors open at 10:30 a.m.

The marathon will take place in the Hall Building Auditorium, H-110

A vaudeville Valentine
by Sara Baron-Goodman

Get your freak on (or rather, watch as other get theirs on) at Glam Gam Productions’ “Love Stinks” cabaret.

Spend Saturday night in style with hostess Sandy Bridges listening to the sweet songs of Gigi French and her compatriots, who will be putting on a vaudevillian variety show for your viewing pleasure.

An after party will ensue, featuring DJ Like the Wolf, AKA Laura Boo, and ring in the actual holiday of love: Feb. 15, AKA the day when all chocolate is half-price. If that’s not cause to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

Tickets are two for $25 online or $15 at the door.

The party starts at 9:30 p.m at Café Cléopatra, 1230 St-Laurent Blvd.


March for missing and murdered women
by Sara Baron-Goodman

Spend Valentines Day marching for missing and murdered women.

This is one very real way to show love and support for an important cause.

For the sixth consecutive year, join in solidarity to commemorate the lives of missing and murdered women of all races, ages, and backgrounds, but with special emphasis on the violence against women and girls in the Native community.

Guest speakers, to be announced, will be present at the gathering with what are sure to be empowering words and calls to action for all these girls and women who have disappeared or perished due to gender and colonization-related violence.

Cabot Square is located pn Atwater Ave. and Ste-Catherine St. W.

The march begins Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. at Cabot Square.


No love life? No problem
by Marilla Steuter-Martin

Spending this Valentine’s alone? Never fear.

Valentine’s Day is essentially a holiday celebrating love, so why not spend time with the people in your life who love you every day?

Consider organizing a get together (or giant party depending on how many single people you know) and go wild. Take this special time to watch cheesy romantic movies or eat an entire heart-shaped chocolate cheesecake.

Tis the season to reject society’s (and your grandma’s) expectations that you’ll (finally!) have a significant other this year. (Sorry Grandma, maybe next year.)

Fortunately, Valentine’s falls on a Saturday night this year, and rather than spend it alone, boozing and cruising your Facebook feed looking for old photos of your exes—invite your friends to do that with you!

Valentine’s isn’t the greatest holiday of the year, but it doesn’t have to be miserable either. Do yourself a favour, make a sloppy Facebook event, pick up a bottle of Fifty Shades of Grey wine at the SAQ and keep your chin up.

Chances are you aren’t the only person in your immediate social circle whose Valentine’s plans don’t consist of a candlelit dinner or long walk on the beach.


Weekly Mixtape: Valentine’s Day

It happens once a year. Shops and public places are draped in hues of pinks and reds. Chocolates shaped like hearts and roses adorn shelves. Happy couples hang onto each other, while florists rake in the profits. Some people’s hearts swoon at the thought of St. Valentine’s Day, while others feel sick at the very mention of Cupid’s shenanigans.

This mixtape has a little something for everyone. Are you a lover? Side A is filled with some pretty little gems sure to feed your emotional appetite.
Bad break up? Bitterly or happily single? Just hate Valentine’s Day? Side B may be the better place for you to chill, and maybe fill the void left by the flying man in the diaper who didn’t visit you this year.
So unwrap those chocolates and chalky message hearts, pour some wine, and enjoy the sweet sounds of love, anger, and emotional heartbreak.

Side A – For all the lovers

1. Maroon 5 – “She Will Be Loved” – Songs About Jane
2. U2 – “Sweetest Thing” – Where The Streets Have No Name
3. Ed Sheeran – “Wake me up”- +
4. Coldplay – “Green Eyes” – A Rush of Blood To The Head
5. The Temper Trap – “Sweet Disposition” – Conditions
6. Iron & Wine – “Such Great Heights” – Single
7. Aqualung – “Brighter than Sunshine” – Still Life
8. The Fray – “You Found Me” – The Fray
9. Jason Mraz – “I Won’t Give Up” – Love is a Four Letter Word
10. Lana Del Rey – “Video Games” – Born to Die

Side B – Anti-Valentine

1. Adele – “Someone Like You” – 21
2. Gavin Degraw – “Not Over You” – Sweeter
3. Of Monsters and Men – “Love, Love, Love” – My Head is an Animal
4. Maroon 5 – “Misery” – Hands All Over
5. John Mayer – “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” – Continuum
6. Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know” – Jagged Little Pill
7. Lily Allen – “Smile” – Alright, Still
8. Justin Timberlake – “Cry Me a River”- Justified
9. Big Brother and the Holding Company – “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart”- Cheap Thrills
10. Sara Bareilles – “King of Anything” – Kaleidoscope Heart

Student Life

Debunking the 13th cupid

This study involves the notorious little number 13. Graphic by Jennifer Kwan

All the single folks, listen up! Valentine’s Day is around the corner and it’s that time of year again for matchmaking!

Now, now, don’t be pressured, this is not a sappy relationship advice article. Couples, exes and lovers should read along too. You might laugh, get a little infuriated or scream blasphemy. This study involves the notorious little number 13.

In Wired Magazine’s December issue, informatics and cognitive science professor at the University of Indiana Peter Todd answered the mind-boggling question of how you know if you’ve found the perfect partner.

Todd figured out a theory based on a study he did on dating and relationships where “an active dater will go on numerous dates a year, and will probably have a few relationships under his or her belt by the time they hit 30.” His conclusion was that lucky number 13 is what you should be paying attention to; 13 as in 13 relationships, whether they were successful or not.

He explains that “if you’ve dated fewer than 12 people, feel free to keep looking (and dating). If you’ve dated, say, 30 people, you’re probably being too picky.”

A little outrageous, isn’t it? I decided to put this theory to the test and see if this actually makes sense, so I did a little investigating and asked Concordia students what they thought about the theory.

“It sounds like it’s possible. I don’t think your first relationship is the one that works or that you find love,,” said Concordia student Lucy Shilton. “Sometimes, you go back to someone [you’ve went out with] before, and that happens a lot. ”

“I don’t think that love can be defined by a mathematical equation,” said student Cassandra Santilli-Giza. “What is his definition of a relationship because some people have different definitions of what that may be. It may be in their head, it may be on paper and some people don’t even believe in marriage; so therefore what is a relationship? You have to define that.”

“It’s funny because I’m taking a sociology class and anytime when you apply a scientific theory to human things, I think you’re setting yourself up for failure,” said another student, Conor Jones.

“There are people that reach eight and they start getting scared that they’re not going to be in another relationship. I think 12 is a little extreme. I don’t know, the science of human beings is full of potholes.”

We asked psychologist Dale Robinson, the manager for Counseling and Psychological Services at Concordia’s Counseling and Development office. She agrees with what the students have said.

“Is there such a thing as a magic number? No. What’s interesting about that article is that it’s trying to take something very complex like love and relationships and boil it down to something quantifiable.”

Robinson adds that there are many more factors taken into account such as personality, values and a deeper understanding of one’s self. “I don’t think there’s a ‘one-size-fits-all’ [approach], and therefore I don’t think there’s a number that you have to aim for in terms of finding your true love. I would say more it would stem from finding your true self, and knowing what you truly want, and then really being honest with yourself when you find that or when don’t find that.”

What’s fascinating is that everyone unanimously agreed that when it comes to relationships, figures don’t really matter and that one’s own feelings and principles matter more.

Robinson concludes that we’re simply human, and that love is more than just ‘trial and error’. “It’s not simply just dating enough people. I think self-awareness is a key, your maturity is a key. I don’t think the only way to learn is through trial and error, it works in a lab with rats, but we’re human beings. We’re able to think and reason and know what our priorities are and act accordingly. Humans are a lot more complicated like that.”

The message is clear among those who responded, that everyone is different and it reflects the complexity of human beings whenever relationships come into play.


Mixtape: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.

The holiday named for Saint Valentine, the patron saint of overpriced lingerie.
It is a day couples revel in. A chance to atone for 364 days of sexless bickering. Fellas, time to purchase a $17.99 box of mass-produced chocolates at the pharmacy, and whichever three-pack of condoms offers the best comfort-to-price ratio. Ladies, appreciate the B-effort your lad is giving and wear that sexy nurse outfit your friend bought you as a joke four years ago and enjoy Side A.
Single people, I know this day hasn’t been too kind to you ever since that boy/girl you liked in third grade didn’t put a card in that wondrously decorated paper bag on your desk, but don’t let that get you down! Think of all the discount chocolate you can eat tomorrow! Until then, enjoy listening to Side B while eating a microwavable burrito alone in the bathtub.

Side A – Tied down

1. “Sunshine” – Lupe Fiasco – Food and Liquor
2. “Girlfriend” – Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
3. “S&M” – Rihanna – Loud
4. “Lovelier Than You” – B.o.B – B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
5. “Right Thru Me” – Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday
6. “Feel Good Inc.” – Gorillaz – Demon Days
7. “Stadium Love” – Metric – Fantasies
8. “Angel” – Shaggy – Hot Shot
9. “Downtime” – The Gandharvas – Sold for a Smile
10. “Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye – Midnight Love

Side B – Ridin’ solo

11. “Us Remains Impossible” – Matthew Good – Vancouver
12. “Black” – Pearl Jam – Ten
13. “Amsterdam” – Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
14. “Heartless” – Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
15. “Like Spinning Plates” – Radiohead – Amnesiac
16. “The Passenger” – Iggy Pop – Lust for Life
17. “Wonderwall” – Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
18. “Mr. Brightside” – The Killers – Hot Fuss
19. “Friend of the Night” – Mogwai – Mr. Beast
20. “Under the Bridge” – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Listen to this week’s mixtape here on

Student Life

What’s love got to do with it?

We’ve all heard it before, Valentine’s Day is a ploy on the part of Hallmark and the candy companies to get us to spend vast amounts of money on their products under the guise that we’re doing it because we’re in love.
Yet we shake our heads and say that we know better, or say that Valentine’s Day is a transparent consumerist holiday and we won’t be suckered in. However, for some reason, the majority of us find ourselves bent over smelling roses, trying to pick the ones we think our partner will like, or desperately wracking our brains for something romantic to do. What is this power Feb. 14 holds over us? Why do we as a society continue to observe a holiday named for a saint of dubious origins and significance?
Doctoral candidate and Montreal therapist Stine Linden-Andersen, believes that Valentine’s Day can play an important role in the relationship of a couple. “It can be important for courting, to show a partner how romantically inclined they are, to solidify the relationship. As a relationship matures, it gets used a bit differently, some couples will choose to do small things and some will choose not to do anything at all because it has become too commercialized and doesn’t set them apart as a couple.”
But does that make it an obligation? One Concordia student, who wished to remain anonymous, says that he only participates in Valentine’s Day because it’s what his girlfriend wants and expects of him. However, Dylan Stansfield, a creative writing and psychology student at Concordia, said that he relishes the opportunity to do something special for the person he cares about. “It’s something that’s fun if you’re in a relationship. It’s fun to celebrate that you’re with someone,” he said.
It would seem that the onus is on the men to plan something or come up with a present that’s significant. Creative writing student Lexie Comeau celebrates Valentine’s Day for the love of celebrating in general. “I think any reason to celebrate is a good one,” she explained, and feels that the onus is on the person who wants the celebration to occur to plan an event or buy a gift. “I think it should be whoever wants to take the initiative.”
According to a survey of 2,003 adults by American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, men are willing to spend more than women on Valentine’s Day. Men are willing to spend up to $151, whereas women are only willing to spend up to $114. Close to 48 per cent of women said they were not going to buy anything for their significant other at all.
Why is this? Aren’t we supposed to be in an age of equality between men and women? Are men spending as a result of societal obligation or does it stem from a personal desire?
Linden-Andersen said that often times in young relationships, men feel obligated to demonstrate just how much they care for their partner and Valentine’s Day is a crucial opportunity for doing so. In the LGBT community, Michael Filion, a political science student in Concordia, feels that things are mostly equal, unless previously discussed. “Especially in the gay world, it’s very common to feel almost like this equality has to be maintained. If not, there’s a male-female balance to it. If these gender roles have been established within the relationship, the one who has taken the male dominated role must be the one who pays. Otherwise, the majority of what I’ve noticed is there’s always an equality that’s trying to be matched,” he said.
In any relationship, whether it is brand new or several years old, Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity to open the lines of communication and establish the expectations each person has about this day. Linden-Andersen suggests talking about it lightly and with humour in order to get a better idea of how to celebrate in a way that is convenient for both partners.
She suggests asking leading questions such as “Have you ever been surprised?” and “What have you done before that you liked?” Most importantly though, she says to remember “the way couples celebrate Valentine’s Day is not an indicator of their relationship.” Which means that just because you don’t make a big deal about Feb. 14 does not mean that your relationship is without romance. “You don’t really tell someone you love them only once a year, but it’s an occasion to publicly acknowledge it in a way,” said Donald Boisvert, a professor of religion at Concordia. “It’s like Christmas, there’s always a bit of an obligation. There’s a commercial element that we don’t really want to acknowledge we’re buying into. It doesn’t mean that because it’s commercially focused, people’s feelings aren’t genuine.”
Whether you choose to celebrate Feb. 14  as a special day, or whether you choose to dismiss it as capitalist hogwash, if there’s someone special in your life, we can all agree that you shouldn’t be expressing how you feel about them only once a year.

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