Concordia University’s weekly, independent student newspaper
VOLUME 35, ISSUE 22 | TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2018
theconcordian.com /theconcordian @theconcordian
Step into dancehall
Veroushka Eugene explains how a physical activity turns into an artform
Sports p. 17
also in this issue
Landlord to take The power of over Kafein p. 2 compassion
An evening of art The next step for Redefining the and alcohol p. 11 Greta Kline p. 14 word "diet" p. 18
NEWS EDITORS /// email@example.com CANDICE PYE & ETIENNE LAJOIE ( @candicepye @renegadereports)
Kafein owner can’t stay afloat amidst construction
Bishop Street businesses have not been compensated for loss of foot traffic MEGAN HUNT ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR After 15 years as a small business owner and months of decreased foot traffic, Gaby Nassar is losing Kafein, a café-bar popular among students. “Basically, the landlord is taking over my business. This is happening in a week or two,” Nassar said. “I’m so behind on rent, and he would excuse my debt to him. So that’s where we are now.” From Nassar’s perspective, the overdue rent payments and outstanding debt are the result of one thing: a 42-month construction project that has dissuaded potential customers from walking along Bishop Street, where his business is located. As The Concordian previously reported, Bishop Street businesses have been struggling since October 2016, when the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) began construction on a new metro ventilation station that will ensure fresh air for the green line between the Peel and Guy-Concordia stations. The infrastructure project is predicted to finish in 2020, but according to Nassar, things took a turn for the worst as soon as the project began.
Kafein café-bar owner Gaby Nassar said his landlord is taking over his business. Photo by Kirubel Mehari.
“We basically lost 25 per cent [of foot traffic] within the week after the construction, right off the bat. During the school year, students would make the trek, but then in the summer months, we had a 40 per cent decrease [in sales],” Nassar explained. After the loss in customers jeopardized his rent payments, Nassar, along with a coalition of four other affected Bishop Street businesses, including Ferrari restaurant, Craft Grilled Cheese, Gourmet Burger and Mesa 14, filed a lawsuit in April
against the STM and the city of Montreal. They requested compensation of $2,500 per business for every month of construction, free advertising in nearby metro stations, as well as funding to commission an engineering firm to see if the project could be sped up. Despite the fact that his landlord is taking over Kafein, Nassar will be continuing with the lawsuit. Although a court date has yet to be confirmed, Nassar said he believes it will be at least six months until the trial begins. Nassar did not lose the business
he has operated for years without a fight. He claimed he had been speaking with “high-level [city] officials,” but after the latest update he received from them, he knew he would be unable to support his business financially. “[The city] is not coming up with a program to help businesses until June or July, and that’s way too far outside my comfort zone. Even then, they’re not 100 per cent sure if I would be included in that program,” Nassar said.
Nassar said he doesn’t know what Kafein’s future will be once his landlord takes over the business. Currently, he is focused on finding some justice through the upcoming lawsuit. Nassar added that many of the other Bishop Street business owners are struggling as well, to the point where they may soon close or lose their business to landlords. In the case of Craft Grilled Cheese, the owner has already decided to close the restaurant permanently. Ste-Catherine Street businesses may be the next to experience a decrease in customers, as a two-year construction project began in January 2018, according to Global News. Although attention from tourists and pedestrians decreased as soon as construction on Bishop Street began, Nassar said he is grateful for Kafein’s most devoted customers, including many students. “We had gotten a lot of support in the last year. People were willing to make the trip, and there were a lot of obstacles,” he said. “It’s too bad. A lot of people tried to help with this; we just couldn’t do it.” The Concordian reached out to the STM for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
ASFA updates discrimination task force mandate
Internal harassment policy under revision; policy dynamics training for execs to be implemented KENNETH GIBSON VIDEO EDITOR The Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) voted on March 8 to approve a new mandate for its discrimination task force in response to the recent sexual misconduct allegations in Concordia’s English department. The task force’s first mandate was established in September 2016, an action required by the terms of a 2015 settlement of a Quebec Human Rights Commission complaint filed against ASFA by a former executive using the pseudonym Mei Ling. The complaint alleged the executive had been a victim of race and gender-based discrimination during her mandate, and the settlement stipulated that ASFA establish a task force to deal with these types of discrimination complaints at Concordia. In Januar y, the federation approved an ad hoc mandate for the task force so it could quickly
respond to revelations of sexual misconduct by instructors in Concordia’s creative writing program and make recommendations on how ASFA should respond. During a task force meeting on Feb. 26, it was revealed that its name would have to be changed to include racial discrimination, based on advice from ASFA’s legal counsel, in order to meet criteria established by the 2015 settlement. It was also decided that the ad hoc mandate set up to respond to the English department allegations would be combined with the 2016 mandate to create one unified mandate. Motions for both changes were passed at the March 8 council meeting. “The task force has always and will continue to address the issues mandated within the settlement, but will also now cover sexual violence and misconduct,” ASFA council chairperson Rory James told The Concordian. The new mandate states the task force will address issues raised in the original Mei Ling human rights
complaint and “implement concrete steps to prevent racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination within the university.” The stated goal of these steps is to foster a culture that ensures everyone at Concordia can “seek assistance within the university that caters to the individual’s best interests.” T he mandate list s four steps to be taken immediately to achieve those goals. They include The Arts and Science Federation of Associations (ASFA) votes on new mandate for their discrimination task force. Photo by Mackenzie Lad. revising ASFA’s harassment policy and implementing power dynamics training for ASFA D minus grade for its sexual assault would establish when a Member executives as well as incoming arts policies. Association can bar someone from and science faculty students who Margot Berner, the newly estab- their space if they decide the person’s participate in Freshmen Orientation lished co-chair of the task force, behaviour is inappropriate. Week. reported to council on March 8 that “Our aim is to make ASFA a The task force will also work with the task force has, so far, devoted little more responsible for our the larger Concordia student body most of its time to revising ASFA’s community spaces, for making to advocate for the implementation internal harassment policy. them safe spaces,” Berner said, of recommendations made in Our The task force is also working on adding that the task force is Turn, a student report published in developing a new safe space policy working with their lawyers to October 2017 that gave Concordia a for ASFA’s community spaces, which develop this policy.
MARCH 13, 2018
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Joining forces to denounce exploitation 30,000 Quebec students rally to demand salary wages for unpaid internships
A protester chants through a megaphone and rallies the crowd minutes before marching from the downtown Concordia campus. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
ALEX HUTCHINS PHOTO EDITOR Nearly 30,000 students across Quebec mobilized to protest against unpaid internships and denounce the sexual violence many students, particularly women, experience in the workplace on Thursday, March 8. In tandem with International Women’s Day, the Montreal Coalition for paid internships organized their third large-scale protest to demand that student interns be given proper wage compensation, as well as access to the internal resources at their workplaces that are exclusively available to paid employees. The coalition was formed in early June 2017 by multiple student unions and associations to unite against labour exploitation. “We
think that by asking for wages for interns it will change the situation because, in Quebec [...] when you're an intern, you are below every [paid] worker, and you don’t have protection,” said Kaelle Stapels, one of the organizers of the march and a member of the Montreal Coalition for paid internships. Unpaid internships are illegal in Quebec, except when the student is completing an internship for course credit either for an approved educational institution, as part of vocational training or if the student is working for a nonprofit organization, according to the Canadian Intern Association. Jeanne Dufresne, a Université du Québec à Montréal student protester, explained how degrees that require students to do a minimum number of hours as
A crowd of 300 protesters chant while they trek uphill towards DocteurPenfield Avenue along Atwater Avenue. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
an intern before graduating are particularly problematic. According to Dufresne, an internship is a “full-time job [and students] need to do that to get their diploma, so that’s why it’s frustrating, because after the work, they need to go [find] a part-time job” to subsidize the costs of being in school and working full-time with no income. “When I'm doing my internship as a nurse and I'm with my patients, I'm legally responsible for [them] as I would be if I were a real nurse. But I'm not paid,” Stapels said. While the coalition demands that every student, regardless of gender, be fairly compensated as working interns, many of its members emphasize that women are more vulnerable when it comes to labour exploitation and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Although it's possible to experience sexual violence in every program or field, Stapels explained that women who are in programs such as nursing, social work or education have an increased chance of experiencing exploitation and sexual harassment in the workplace. Stapels also explained that because female interns in particular are not given the same protection as paid employees through their placement’s administration, if they experience sexual harassment while working, often their only option is to use the resources available through their university. “And we all know schools do nothing,” Stapels said. “The resources that are in place now, they’re not [enough]. They don’t do the job.” According to a report titled l’Enquête sexualité, sécurité et interactions en milieu universitaire (ESSIMU) conducted by over a dozen researchers, about 37 per cent of university students have reported incidents of sexual violence or harassment in Quebec training programs. One third of the reported incidents occured within a hierarchical context. Due to the power dynamics found within academic institutions, the report explains, students are often at a disadvantage when reporting sexual misconduct. The march was organized mainly to protest against unpaid internships and sexual violence in the workplace,
however, given that it occured in conjunction with International Women’s Day, many protesters gathered to denounce gendered violence altogether. Maintaining an open dialogue between people and encouraging women to speak up about the problems they experience daily, explained student protester Giverny Welsch, “[is] what is so remarkable about what's happening right now.” Welsch emphasized how this open dialogue is key in formulating both a community and a movement that are geared towards inclusivity. “We’re humans because we are able to communicate.” Building relationships by empowering women, said Lucie Arson, a protester who preferred to use a pseudonym, is the first step towards starting a movement and creating a strong community that works towards positive change as a united front. “[As] a non-binary trans person, and as a sex worker, I kind of feel alone and not represented [...] but right now, I’m feeling great,” having met people with similar experiences, Arson said. “There’s a [feeling of] solidarity.” Sexism still exists, “[it] is a problem everyday,” said Arson, and it can be life-threatening for countless women all over the world. “Patriarchy works in a way where we are always opposed to other women around us, so I think it's time to rebuild these relationships and fight together.”
MARCH 13, 2018
Manning is running for change in Outremont
Simone de Beauvoir Institute principal looking to be the Liberal candidate in upcoming by-election
Simone de Beauvoir Institute principal Kimberley Manning is running for the Liberal nomination in Montreal’s Outremont riding. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
ÉTIENNE LAJOIE NEWS EDITOR “What does a feminist Parliament look like?” asked Kimberley Manning, the principal of Concordia’s Simone de Beauvoir Institute, in an interview. It’s a good time to think about the answer, she said. Manning’s name will be on the ballot for the Liberal Party of Canada’s nomination of a candidate to run in the Outremont riding for the upcoming by-election. In December, Thomas Mulcair, the riding’s current member of Parliament (MP), announced he would be leaving federal politics in June, creating an opening in the House. Manning is open about her goals if she is selected by Liberal Party members: she hopes to find better ways to recruit, train and mentor women from marginalized communities—not simply “white, middle-upper-class women” like herself. Manning admitted the road ahead will be challenging, largely because she is not well-known in the riding. Meanwhile, her Liberal Party opponent, Rachel Bendayan, ran against Mulcair in 2015. Back
then, Bendayan lost by approximately 5,000 votes, despite spending over $108,000 on her campaign—$4,000 more than her victorious rival, according to Elections Canada financial filings. “I’m definitely starting way to the rear of where she is at in terms of her organizing. So, ultimately, it literally comes down to numbers— the number of people that I can sign up to the party, and the number of people who will ultimately come out the night of the nomination,” Manning told The Concordian. What she lacks in political experience, the professor believes she can compensate for in her studies of legislative processes as part of her PhD in political science, as well her advocacy in the halls of Canada and Quebec’s assemblies. Last spring, Manning and her trans daughter, Florence, made their voices heard a few times in the Senate to help the passage of Bill C-16, an amendment adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination. “That was very galvanizing. I really got to feel and experience what it means to really try to advocate for something that you believe in within
those institutional structures and ultimately be successful,” she said. “As a parent, I want my child to be seen as who she fully is. I want her to have the dignity that should be afforded to all people who reside in Canada,” Manning wrote to senators on May 30, 2017, a few weeks before the bill was passed. A few days later, in a blog post also signed by Elizabeth J. Meyer, the author of Gender, Bullying, and Harassment: Strategies to End Sexism and Homophobia in Schools, Manning rebuked comments made by Manitoba senator Don Plett. “With all due respect, Senator Plett is wrong,” she wrote in response to the senator’s opinion that there isn’t any law “in the world that will prevent children from bullying.” Manning do e sn’t hide h er strong, personal attachment to the Outremont riding—the result of being a resident for seven years—nor the reason for her move there from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (N.D.G.). “There was a school that was prepared to work with us to create a safe environment for my child,” Manning said about her decision to move to Outremont. In an interview with Parents
Canada magazine, Manning said she met Shuvo Ghosh, the head of the Gender Variance Program at the Montreal Children’s Hospital—the only pediatrician in Quebec specialized in the treatment of transgender youth—and later determined with her husband that N.D.G did not have a safe school for their child. Manning, who teaches political science in addition to her position at the institute, is careful when describing her role in protecting the rights of members of the trans community. Her involvement, she pointed out, is nascent compared to other trans activists, but is very personal. She said her testimony at Senate hearings “was a very powerful moment.” At Concordia, Manning is the faculty lead on C-FAR, the Critical Feminist Activism in Research, a group exploring the idea of a feminist university that “calls for a disruptive practice in which ‘meaning-making processes that create and sustain relations of domination’ are brought fully to light,” she wrote in Concordia Magazine, citing the ideals of political theorist Rita Dhamoon. “How do you take some of those principles and processes into
Parliament?” Manning subsequently asked. “One of the reasons I want to run is because there is so much work still to do in terms of creating more open and inclusive political structures to increase participation.” Running for the Liberals, Manning told The Concordian, is an opportunity to deepen “the work that’s already underway.” “I just see it as where I can be most effective and have the most impact,” she added. In November, Manning sat on a roundtable with Randy Boissonnault, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s special advisor on LGBTQ2 issues. “It was really extraordinary to see the way in which he encouraged and was able to bring in everybody around the table,” she said. Getting picked to run under the red banner will require asking people to join the Liberals, and come out on the still-undetermined night of the nomination. The biggest challenge, Manning added, “is just having the time to meet people, to get to know people, and have those conversations which are so key to [...] ensure there are enough people who are going to say, ‘Hey, what she’s doing is really interesting and I’d really like to help.’”
MARCH 13, 2018
Concordia up in world university rankings MATTHEW LAPIERRE ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR The university marketing firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) announced on Feb. 28 that Concordia had risen in the ranks in several subjects in its 2018 World University Rankings list . N ot ably, QS place d Concordia among the top 51-100 universities in the world at which to study art and design. As of June, Concordia was ranked by QS as one of the top 431-440 universities in the world overall. “Good news,” according to university spokesperson Mary-Jo Barr. But what do those numbers really mean? University rankings are based on several criteria, but QS’s most weighted category for the overall ranking is “academic reputation.” According to the firm’s website, academic reputation is determined by surveying 70,000 scholars about which universities are the best for conducting research in their field of expertise. Barr said that moving up the list is important for Concordia, adding that in the past decade, these rankings have become
crucial to establishing a university’s reputation. “Students, university administrators, board members and donors are paying increasingly close attention to the results [of these rankings],” Barr said. “As are fundraisers, communications and marketing personnel, recruitment officers and others.” Other criteria used to measure a university’s overall score include “employer reputation,” which is also based on a survey, in this case of 30,000 employers who were asked to identify the universities from which they source the most competent graduates. Finally, the decision to rank a university higher or lower on the list is based on the amount of useful research that comes out of the institution in a given field. This is measured by analyzing the number of times research from a certain university or college is cited in other researchers’ work. These numbers are sourced from Scopus, an online database of peer-reviewed literature. However, Barr is critical of the ranking process. She said some of the “experts” who were surveyed may not have been able
to judge all universities accurately. “ It is disput able whether the surveyed academic faculty have sufficient knowledge of what is taking place at all universities around the world to objectively and/or accurately judge which ones are doing ‘the best work’ in their field,” she said. McGill University is frequently listed as one of the top universities in Canada; it is ranked second, behind the University of Toronto, on QS’s Canadian university rankings. Concordia is ranked 16th on the same list. However, a university’s rank on the QS list is not always representative of student experiences. Maisy Roach-Krajewski, a life sciences student at McGill, was disappointed to learn that despite attending one of the highest-ranked schools in the nation, several of her first-year classes were over-capacity. “The room legitimately didn’t hold the amount of students that
Graphics by Zeze Le Lin.
Rankings don’t necessarily show the whole picture, says Concordia spokesperson
were taking the class, so quite often when I showed up only five minutes early, there would be no seats. So I would just sit on the ground,” she said. “At any time, there would be like five to 10 people sitting on the ground.” Barr said some older universities might be ranked higher because of their long-standing reputations, and a university’s rank doesn’t mean it will be the right fit for every student.
“No two institutions are equal, and each has its unique history with specific particularities, strengths and weaknesses,” Barr said. “Imperfect as they are, comparative rankings are widely followed and publicized, and represent an opportunity for Concordia in the areas they measure.” Quacquarelli Symonds did not respond to The Concordian’s request for comment.
Renegotiating the ins and outs of NAFTA
Panelists discuss how recent trade negotiations may potentially affect Canada MINA MAZUMDER STAFF WRITER
of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “[Canada has] every right to be adamant in opposing that type of purely discretionary imposition of an absolutely illegal tariff,” said Mulcair in reference to President Donald Trump’s controversial announcement on March 1 that the United States would be imposing a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports. “It would affect a lot of jobs in Canada.” Although the tariffs are set to take effect before the end of the month, it has since been
announced that Canada and Mexico will be exempt, pending a new agreement on NAFTA, “What we need is for our reported The Washington Post. Canadian government to be “I don’t believe that we should standing up far more strongly be bullied into a bad agreement. than what we have seen so far,” We must make sure that an said former New Democratic agreement is a win-win situation,” Party leader Thomas Mulcair said panelist Michel Vincent, the at a panel hosted by the Quebec Forest Industry Council’s Concordia School of Community director of economics, markets and Public Affairs on March 6. and international trade. The focus of the discussion, For Vincent, the most importmoderated by Daniel Salée, ant element of NAFTA to be a political science and public renegotiated is Chapter 19, affairs professor at Concordia, which currently allows Canada was the ongoing renegotiations to bypass the court system and instead create a Former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was part of a panel discussing the effects binational panel of the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations. Photo by Mackenzie Lad. of arbitrators to review the merit of any antidumping or countervailing duties on Canadian products imported i nto t h e Un i te d States, according to Maclean’s. “It will be the most difficult point to achieve with the United States,” Vincent said, because in
the last 25 years, the United States has lost 173 of the 180 cases in which Chapter 19 was invoked. If this section of the agreement is not strengthened or at least maintained, he added, “NAFTA is not worth a lot to Canadians.” However, Vincent pointed out that, despite the current administration’s objections, most Americans still share the same values as their northern neighbours. “We should not get misled with the Trump rhetoric,” he said. “I think we have to wait him out.” In the opinion of panelist Ian Lee, an associate professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, Trump has a particular agenda when it comes to NAFTA. “It’s really clear; he wants to make it really cheap to do business in the United States to encourage businesses around the world to relocate to the U.S.,” he said. Lee added that there are many urban legends about international trade. “The common belief that trading leads to poverty,” he said, “is empirically inaccurate.”
“Trump has the tendency to view things from only one side, which is his own,” Mulcair added. “In international trade, you have to look at how it works both ways.” According to the former NDP leader, the president’s rhetoric takes the focus off more serious issues, like improving the United States’ farm and food trade systems. Although the Canadian supply management system for poultry, dairy and eggs works well and “provides stability to our farming families,” Mulcair said, this kind of support for farmers “is severely lacking in the United States.” Mulcair said he strongly believes that a failure to renegotiate NAFTA will have a negative impact on both Canadians and Americans. “There are things that can be an improvement to NAFTA. [...] There’s a way to make it a better agreement. But the idea that the Americans would walk away from something that important for their own economy, I think that is really difficult to conceive of,” he said. “But you never know with Donald Trump.”
LIFE EDITOR /// firstname.lastname@example.org SANDRA HERCEGOVÁ
HUMANS OF CONCORDIA
Combining the power of youth, family and compassion
Student travels to Thailand as a youth leader of the first NVC Family Camp Asia SANDRA HERCEGOVA LIFE EDITOR While most Concordia students probably spent their reading week relaxing at home, Monica Thom spent that time working as a youth realm leader in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For two weeks, the communications and cultural studies student held compassionate communication workshops for a group of 18 Chinese children who, along with their parents, were the first-ever NVC Family Camp Asia participants. “The main goal, for me, was just to role model,” Thom said about being a youth realm leader. “It wasn’t to teach, it wasn’t to impose upon these kids the idea of compassionate communication. It was to offer a demonstration of something different.”
The purpose of NVC (Non-Violent Communication) Family Camp, Thom explained, is to get in touch with your feelings and needs, as well as those of others, and to develop strategies to respect both. These strategies can be learned through compassionate communication. “Whether you are in conflict or in harmony, there’s always a way to meet everyone's needs without compromising the other,” she said. The camps are divided into realms, Thom explained. The adult realm, for example, teaches parents the methodology for compassionate communication. While the parents receive that training, the kids are busy with crafts and games that incorporate compassionate communication as part of the youth realm. “It’s not a direct teaching,” Thom said. Since the camps take place outside, she
added, “it’s a more natural environment, which is supposed to encourage a more natural state of being, thinking and not being stimulated by outside forces.” Although NVC Family Camp has been operating in North America for the past 14 years, this was its first time in Asia. The group’s longest-running camp is held in Seattle, Wash., where Thom has been attending NVC Family Camp since she was 11 years old. “The first year I went, I met a few people who have become a fundamental, core family,” said Thom, who is an international student from Chicago. Last summer, while Thom attended the NVC Family Camp in Seattle, she formed a connection with a four-year-old named Miles. “The parents noticed the connection and playfulness between us and noticed that I love kids,” she said.
Attending the Seattle camp inspired Miles’s mother, Echo Hui, to host a similar camp in Asia. That is how she became the core organizer of the first NVC Family Camp Asia, alongside her husband, Eric Gonzalez-Payne, who supported her and did a lot of the planning. Meanwhile, summer ended and Thom started school in Montreal. Months later, she was invited by Hui to lead the youth realm for the upcoming camp in Thailand. “My initial feeling was [...] this is a great opportunity for practicing something I want to do after university,” Thom said. “It’s a great work experience, and it’s a great opportunity to see the world and then reconnect with this family I fell in love with.” Prior to her arrival in Chiang Mai, Thom had to prepare schedules and activities for the participating families.
Lili, 13, reminded Monica Thom a lot of herself when she first arrived at camp. She was super shy at first, but 24 hours in, Lili had found the courage to be open and connect with others.
Duo Duo gathering materials for table centerpieces.
“Releasing Thai lanterns was probably one of the more emotional evenings of the whole camp,” Thom said. “We were all bathing in joy, awe, appreciation, dreams, sadness, love, beauty and whatever else we had to send up to the heavens.”
MARCH 13, 2018
Community painting… first the kids, then the adults. Fabric painting quickly turned into face painting.
She reached out to Maren Metke, who has been running the NVC Family Camp youth realm for the past 14 years, and Johnny Colden, a long-time youth realm program coordinator who has been working in Seattle. “ The goal is to make sure ever yone is included and having fun,” Thom said, so she asked for suggestions of inclusive and co-operative games for the kids and parents. Once she got to the camp, Thom realized how easy it was to plan activities. “The kids bring a lot of inspiration and ideas and requests of their own,” she said. Thom learned a bit of Mandarin to compensate for the language barrier. While most of the parents spoke English, communicating with the kids was mainly done through sign language and lots of “goofy miming motions.” Many of the activities Thom organized for the kids incorporated nature, by making natural floral dyes, collecting leaves, painting coconuts and murals,
among other things. “We wanted the kids to have a big impact on the surrounding beaut y,” Thom said. “All their artwork was put up and hung around camp, just so that the parents can see how important the
she said. “One of my goals was to make sure these kids had a safe place to be free.” At the start of each day, Thom and her team would present a slideshow about the camp schedule and demon-
strong connection at the camp that, by the end of the week, they didn't want to leave each other. "The surrounding space is one for cultivating that type of relationship,” Thom said. “You feel loved, you feel accepted. [...] It was cool to see strong bonds form so quickly.” These friendships c an make it ver y difficult to part ways after just one week. “ Yo u a r e c r y i n g because this time has been so meaningful,” Thom said. “So saying goodbye is really challenging, but you are saying goodbye with this bursting heart.” And that is exactly the purpose of NVC Family Camp Asia, Thom said. It’s about creating strong bonds and inspiring confidence. “Having everyone in tears at the end was a tribute to the success of that. That’s a little victory,” she added. “It comes down to having confidence with the power of youth, the power of family and the power of compassion.”
“It comes down to having confidence with the power of youth, the power of family and the power of compassion.” -Monica Thom
kids are to the creation of a community. This is a more physical and visual way of showing it, but it’s very emotional too.” As the youth realm leader at the camp, Thom was constantly demonstrating compassion and empathetic communication, setting an example for the kids. “My goal is to [be a] role model, to be inclusive. There is no age restriction, no intellectual barriers or language barriers; everyone is included,”
strate the day’s activities. Then, Thom would lead a game at the morning circle to get ever yone moving and interacting with one another. Later in the day, there would be communication workshops for the parents and time for the kids to do art projects, explore nature and practice parkour, among other activities. Although a week might not seem like much time to make friends, Thom watched three teenagers form such a
Photos courtesy of Monica Thom. “NVC strives to support children’s freedom, even if that means some risk is involved,” Thom said. “With the camp members encouraging him rather that chanting ‘be careful’ and doubting him, he became naturally cautious and extremely competent.”
Mahman the shyest kid in the clan and Monica Thom.
“Tammy was one of the shyest kids in the group,” Thom said. “A smile from her was pretty rare, but at the end of camp she was giggling with the people she trusted.”
MARCH 13, 2018
Exploring perspectives on sustainability
The second annual Sustainability Across Disciplines Conference invited students to learn and participate
From left: John Cole, Benjamin Brunen, Jochen Jaeger, Ariel Spanovicz and Mehrdokht Pourali. Photo by Sandra Hercegova.
SANDRA HERCEGOVA LIFE EDITOR Concordia united professors, graduate and undergraduate students from various fields of study to discuss sustainability for the second annual Sustainability Across Disciplines Conference. The conference took place on March 8 and 9, and offered students the opportunity to present their sustainability research to an audience. At the “Landscape Ecology Perspectives on Sustainability” panel, four Concordia students presented their research theses.
The first presenter was Ariel Spanovicz, a science and environmental geography graduate who will be pursuing her master’s in environmental science at ETH Zurich University. She presented her research project on the impacts of road kill. “Road ecology is so exciting because it’s such a new field and we know so little about it, and so many people aren’t doing anything about it,” Spanovicz said. “We know about habitat fragmentation, but do we know how much the roads are impacting all of this?” During her presentation, Spanovicz focused on mortality rates of road kill by comparing data collected from one road in Quebec with two roads in Brazil. “We combined to see the variations and to see if we can find any differences and similarities,” she explained. According to Spanovicz, this project started when she graduated and completed her honours thesis with Jochen Jaeger, an associate professor and the graduate program director of the geography, planning
and environment program. Jaeger offered Spanovicz the opportunity to work with road kill data from roads in Quebec, and Spanovicz decided to embark on this research journey. “It started off as a very small project. We were just going to do a hot-spot analysis with this data. [The project] just grew and grew, and now it’s been over a year,” Spanovicz said. She has been working alongside Jaeger and Fernanda Zimmermann Teixeira, who lives in Brazil. Zimmermann Teixeira had road kill data from two roads in Brazil and came to Montreal to meet Spanovicz for this project. Spanovicz said she wants to find a way to work with nature—not against it. “If anyone is going to fight, it’s going to be me because I care,” she said. “I think we’ve had some really positive outlooks, just even in the past decade or so.”
Benjamin Brunen followed with his thesis on landscape ecology. He focused on analyzing the effects of a high-traffic highway on wildlife movement in proposed ecological corridors. Brunen is a master’s student in science and geography. According to him, human infrastructure is rapidly expanding, therefore it’s even more important to preserve natural habitats. “I really care about the environment and nature,” Brunen said. “I like helping [nature and animals] to not be as negatively impacted by human activity. [...] There are ways to mitigate the negative effects.” Dur ing his presentation, Br unen touched upon the effects of roads on wildlife, habitat fragmentation and the subsequent decrease in animal movement,
local extinction and genetic loss. He also presented mitigation measures, such as wildlife passages and exclusion fencing. “My journey is going to be living in my lab and doing field work constantly for the next year,” Brunen said. “I’m really looking forward to that; working in science is just exciting. The work is always worth it, and in my case, it might actually help out.”
Next, John Cole presented his thesis proposal on the past, present and future land use in the Adirondacks. According to Cole, there has not yet been research or work published on the Adirondack and Laurentian areas. Therefore, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has funded Cole for two years to do analysis in the area. “It’s a really exciting time for conservation in the Montreal area because the Quebec government is supporting work on connectivity,” he said. “They all understand that it is vital to preserve large, intact and resilient ecosystems to combat climate change to create a sustainable future.” In Cole’s presentation, he divided the research behind his thesis into three chapters. The first chapter compared the past and present by looking back 40 years to see how the landscape has changed because of human development. In the second chapter, Cole discussed the present and future. “I am examining the effects of continued development of the landscape 20 to 40 years in the future,” he explained. The last chapter focused on proactive road mitigation measures for the present and future. “I will look more closely at the road network as a barrier to animal movement and a high mortality risk,” Cole said.
Another student in geography and environment al st udies , Mehrdok ht Pourali, addressed the condition of ur b an spr aw l . Her t he sis re s earc h focused on addressing the consequences and drivers of urban sprawl. According to Pourali, there is not a singular definition of urban sprawl, however, she has decided to define it in a basic and objective way. “It’s a diverse, low-density, low-diversity development which is ultimately unsustainable at the expense of h i g h- q u a l i t y a g r i c u l t u re l a n d a n d natural areas,” Pourali explained. She also explained how urban sprawl has detrimental effects on the environment bec ause of increased energ y consumption, increased water pollution and water consumption, reduced farmland or natural habitats, increased traffic congestion and increased cost of infrastructure. “The loss of wildland, the loss of agricultural land to urban sprawl is not only the loss of the fresh food sources but also the loss of habitat,” Pourali said. She also discussed the causes of urban sprawl, which are mainly demographic, socio-economic, political and technological. All presentations showcased new knowledge concerning sustainability in our world today. According to Spanovicz, there is still hope for a sustainable future. “You have to hold on to those little hopes and little things to push you through,” she said. “It’s just a matter of giving up or not. People get involved the more they hear about this.”
MARCH 13, 2018
A reckless journey to freedom They are young, and they escaped with nothing to lose and everything to gain
Graphic by Zeze Le Lin. SANDRA HERCEGOVA LIFE EDITOR We were only 14 years old, living in a group home in the deserted mining town of Gardnerville, Nevada. My mother left Nelson because he has always been a drunk. She left when I was only two years old. Whenever I asked about her, Nelson never gave me a straight answer. He was either too drunk to recall or too hurt to admit that he had no idea where she was. Nelson promised he would stop drinking after she left. But he never even tried. My mother didn’t bother to take me with her. She left me with his drunken madness. I remember the unbearable feeling of coming home after school to our one-bedroom apartment on Melrose Avenue. Opening the door and smelling a strong stench reeking of piss and cheap beer with Nelson lying on the mattress. He would often piss himself in his sleep because he was too drunk or unconscious to make his way to the bathroom. He snored to the sound of indistinct chatter coming from the television, the soundtrack of my afternoons. My room had a blue blanket on the floor with a picture of my mother hung up on the wall. She had gorgeous long brown curly hair with big hazel eyes. She left behind a necklace that hung over the picture. It was a gold chain with a dolphin pendant. I kept it in case she ever came back for it. One night, when I was only eight, I woke up to the sound of heavy knocks on the door. A social worker and the police took me away from Nelson and arrested him. I haven’t seen him since. I packed the picture, the necklace and a blanket in a plastic bag and left. They brought me to a place called a group home. It felt like constantly living at school. I was always with a bunch of different kids, and I had to share everything with them. The people taking care of us would come and go. Some were nice. Others were miserable and wanted us to be miserable too. It’s weird growing up with strangers that you’re supposed to consider family.
Joey got there a year later, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. I found out that his mother was a crack addict and his father was serving time for dealing drugs. All Joey wanted was to find his younger brother, Jesse. Social workers separated them and sent his brother to another group home. Jesse was all he would talk about. “I have to protect my baby brother. I have to be there for him. I’m all he’s got,” Joey would shout out whenever he got upset with someone. He tried running away several times, but the police would always track him down. They even took his shoes so he wouldn’t run away again. This time though, we ran away together. “Let’s get the hell out of here,” I called out to Joey. “The cops are searching for us. It’s a small fucking town, we need to jet.” After months of planning and waiting for Joey to get his old shoes back, we finally escaped the group home one afternoon. I had agreed to help Joey find his baby brother. “Fuck the cops and fuck this system. Have a beer,” Joey said as he passed me the Rolling Stone he had just stolen from a 7/11. Joey and I headed straight to the Gardnerville bus station. Our plan was to head to Portland. Word was that the social service people took his little brother Jesse there. I didn’t care where we went. I had nowhere to go, nothing to lose and everything to gain. I was free and lonely as hell. Freedom and loneliness combined make way for a fascinating yet destructive adventure. All I wanted was to get the hell out of this town and never look back. The only belongings I took were the picture of my mother and her gold necklace. I hoped to find her and prove I was nothing like Nelson and that I was worthy of her love. While waiting for the Greyhound bus, I realized how sad bus stations can be. When lost and broken souls like mine want to escape, the first place they run to is the nearest bus terminal. Before we left, I grabbed a quarter and headed towards a payphone. I took a note out of my pocket. I could hear my heart jumping out of my chest. I had a phone call to make. [To be continued...]
FEATURED CONCORDIA ARTIST
Iâ€™m Mel. I am studying photography in the continuing education program at Concordia. One thing that never gets old in this field is being able to see the tiny details in everyday things, and the beauty in objects beyond their colour. I dabble quite a bit in macro, portrait and fashion photography, among others, and am open to exploring any and every kind of photography I can. If you want to see more of my work or get in touch with me for a shoot, check out my website
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ARTS EDITOR /// firstname.lastname@example.org MAGGIE HOPE
Grab a pint and a paint brush
Concordi’ART hosts an evening of artistic exploration in collaboration with Paint Nite Montreal
Jessica Di Giacomo (right) explains to Mia Anhoury how to add more definition by using white around the eyes. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
MIA ANHOURY ASSISTANT LIFE EDITOR Rather than spend a typical night out at a bar, a group of 20 Concordia students participated in an evening of drinking and painting hosted by Concordi’ART, in collaboration with Paint Nite Montreal, at Peel Pub on March 7. According to Nathalie Sjarova, the vice-president external of Concordi’ART, the aim of the club is to create a community of people who enjoy both art and business. Concordi’ART’s motto is “building bridges between business and art.” Alizé Honen-Delmar, the club’s president who is currently on exchange in Australia, created Concordi’ART in February 2017. Sjarova, a marketing student, jumped at the opportunity to be part of the executive team when she saw a post on Facebook seeking candidates. Concordi’ART aims to encourage and help connect two typically dichotomous worlds. “Art students can learn a lot from business students, but also business students can learn a lot from art students,” Sjarova said. “It’s a very huge asset to be creative in [the business] environment, and at the end of the day, artists are entrepreneurs.” Last week’s Paint Nite was an opportunity to bring people together to make art. Jessica Di Giacomo and Daniel Torchinsky, the co-producers of Paint Nite Montreal, led the painting tutorial. A plate with large drops of paint in the primary colours—blue, yellow, red—as well as black and white, four paint brushes and a nicely rolled up apron were set up next to each white canvas sitting on a mini easel. The goal for everyone was to recreate
a painting that illustrated a close-up of an owl’s face. The first step was to outline the eyes with bright yellow and orange, and outline the beak with intimidating and unforgiving black. Slowly but surely, the canvases went from white to covered in different self-made shades of green and blue. With “drink-and-dry breaks” between each of the three layers of paint, participants were able to socialize, encourage one another and take a look at all the owls being created. The final layer of paint required short brush strokes dipped in shades of blue, green and white to create a feather-like texture. Despite all participants following the same steps and recreating the same painting, there was still room to express creativity. Some participants preferred to blend out the feathers, while others had a distinct ombré effect, going from light green to dark blue. Each eye varied in size from canvas to canvas, and one participant, Nathan Marrache, decided to paint Angry Bird-like eyes. “It’s amazing how everyone’s painting looks so different even though it’s supposed to be the same,” said Marrache after he looked at everyone’s final paintings. Paint Nite hosts events almost every day at various venues. More information can be found on their website: www.paintnite.com. Further information about Concordi’ART and any upcoming events can be found on its Facebook page.
Concordi’ART executives from left: Céline Salibi, Diana Jane Tran, Yonathan Chu, Sarah Morstad, Vincent Letarte and Nathalie Sjarova. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
Paint Nites combine art and drinks for an evening of creativity and socializing. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
MARCH 13, 2018
Illustrating new worlds with old objects Introducing two artists from the f irst annual VAVxCUCCR residency
CHLOË LALONDE ASSISTANT ARTS EDITOR I n c e l e b r at i o n of t h e C o n c o rd i a University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR)’s first year of operation, the centre will host their first annual residency in collaboration with the VAV Gallery. Together, the VAV and CUCCR have selected seven undergraduate fine art student-artists who will be featured in an exhibition on March 22. The artists have been tasked with creating zero-waste artworks using CUCCR’s materials. The Concordian will profile the artists-in-residence each week leading up to the birthday event. Last week’s issue featured Bianca Arroyo-Kreimes’ animation, Ballad for the Spirits , and Gabrielle Desrosiers’ sunset studies.
Roxane Fiore has a DEC in graphic design from Ahuntsic College, and is now in her last year of painting and drawing at Concordia. She works primarily in drawing, but relies heavily on collage for inspiration and compositional components. Collage allows her to create new perspectives by enabling her to “access things that are beyond what I can invent,” Fiore explained. While searching for images, Fiore looks for textures, colours and unrecognizeable shapes among figurative imagery. She flips through magazines, tearing out and cutting up pieces that intrigue her. Then, she scans all she has collected in order to work with the images digitally. “I have a large digital collection of random pieces that I can use and gather together, and there is a lot of chance happening in my work,” the artist revealed.
Fiore hopes the blue piece juxtaposed on top of the monochrome image will lead the viewer to enjoy its formal qualities. Photo courtesy of Roxane Fiore.
Fiore enjoys the element of surprise that comes with juxtaposing random images with each other. Once satisfied with the juxtaposition, the artist will add, remove and play with different features until she creates something balanced that catches her eye. Sometimes, Fiore will take the individual collage pieces and make a manual assemblage to photograph. That process allows her to obtain shadows and create an interesting “trompe-l'oeil,” or illusion. Usually Fiore creates large works, but for the CUCCR residency, she has adapted her process. “This time around, I was scanning through the material found at CUCCR with an idea of the type of imagery I was looking for,” Fiore said. This project, titled Places I Have Never Been to; Things I Have Never Seen, is a series of small, square drawings measuring 7.5 inches, drawn in pastel and charcoal. “Their small size invites the viewer to search for details and experience the world through my eyes,” she said. This
Heravi creates pocket worlds for the many different versions of herself. Photo courtesy of Saba Heravi.
Roxane Fiore sifted through magazines to find images suited to her vision. Photo courtesy of Roxane Fiore.
series illustrates her perception of the world. She is in a constant search for form, shapes, texture and colour. The pieces also exemplify how she crops images in her mind, focusing on the beauty within the everyday and the mundane.
Saba Heravi was born in Iran and moved to Canada five years ago to continue her studies in architecture. Heravi has a bachelor's degree in architecture from the Azad University of Mashhad in Iran, and received her master’s in architecture here at Concordia. However, she always wanted to study fine arts and become a “career artist.” Heravi is currently finishing her third year in studio arts at Concordia, with a major in drawing. Her work revolves around the ideas of home, identity and memory. As an immigrant, the collision of cultures and identity is the artist’s daily reality. Heravi’s work approaches this broad subject in fragments, so she can make sense of what is going on.
“I try to tell intimate stories by utilizing objects, stories and photographs,” Heravi explained. “In my work, objects and belongings become as important as the subject to expose the narrative. They are an integral part of my narrative.” Recently, she has been working on drawings of little worlds. The population of these worlds consist of women and young girls, all representative of herself. The artist’s characters are calmly engaged in strange activities and poses in relation to their surroundings. For example, some may be doing yoga, and some may be dropping or breaking things on purpose. Initially, Heravi planned to use drawing as the main medium for the residency project. However, after exploring CUCCR’s depot, she realized drawing alone wouldn’t convey the message she was aiming for. “I decided to mainly use objects from CUCCR, and drawing as a secondary tool. This way, CUCCR’s recycled material would play the leading role in my project,” Heravi said. The artist used a lot of stationary materials, fabric and string to accompany her drawings, as well as some hardware, like screws and bolts, to assist with the installation process. “The objects vary, which I think is whats makes this projects challenging. You don’t necessarily find the objects you had in mind, and you will end up using something you had never thought of,” Heravi explained. At CUCCR, this very moment Heravi describes is referred to as “CUCCR magic.”
Mark your calendars for CUCCR’s birthday at the VAV Gallery on March 22 at 6 p.m. Stay tuned for next week’s profiles of student-artists Gabrielle Mulholland, Laura Douglas Saba Heravi's piece is comprised of small drawings, and Mikaela Kautzky. thread and fabric. Photo courtesy of Saba Heravi.
MARCH 13, 2018
Interdisciplinary exploration through collective knowledge ART MATTERS FESTIVAL “Art Matters is a non-profit festival that celebrates and supports the developing talent housed at Concordia University,” according to its website. This year’s edition of the annual event runs until March 27, and includes 10 exhibitions featuring the work of student curators and artists. More information can be found on the festival’s website:
WWW.ARTMATTERSFESTIVAL.ORG MYTH DEALING According to the exhibition’s description, the works in this collection "approach notions of craft and narration—branching off of enduring myths and generating new ones.” This collection features the work of Elizabeth Eugène, Zeke Best Rothfels, Saba Heravi, Chris Shimek, Laura Theresa MacNeil, Florence Yee and Claudia Persechino, and is curated by Maggie Mills.
EXHIBITION Espace POP, 5587 Park Ave. WHEN Now until March 18
IT’S ALL I HAVE TO BRING TODAY This exhibition got its name from the writings of Emily Dickinson. The event’s description explains that the featured works explore themes of identity, emotional vulnerability and struggle, among others. Artists Audrey Bilodeau Fontaine, Alyse Tunnell, Carmen Fox, Danielle Beaudet, the Contractor, Meredith Parent-Delgadillo and Sophie Wonfor will have their work on display in this show curated by Alisa Haugen-Strand.
VERNISSAGE March 15, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EXHIBITION March 3 to April 28 WHEN Studio XX, 4001 Berri St.
OUT OF BALANCE Alexey Lazarev and Manuel Poitras curated this collection of works which investigate the state of being out of control. As mentioned in the exhibition’s description, “it forms a liminal space that, in the best case scenario, showcases human creativity and capacity to adapt and, in the worst case scenario, demonstrates our inability to deal with change.” The show features the work of Julia Woldmo, Diana Lazzaro, Colas Eko, Laura Hirsh, Ruth Johnstone and Van Le, Maude Lauzière Dumas, Chloé St Arnaud, Joffré Roy-Beauregard, Elisabeth Perrault, N. M. Ryan and Julie-Claude Vezeau-Croteau.
VERNISSAGE March 16, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EXHIBITION Now until March 18 WHEN Galerie Espace, 4844 St-Laurent Blvd.
Participants in Volny’s workshops come from all over the world, and specialize in a variety of disciplines. Photo courtesy of Sandra Volny.
Concordia alumna Sandra Volny speaks about her latest project DAISY DUNCAN STAFF WRITER Concordia graduate Sandra Volny explores concepts of sound and space through forms of collective knowledge and shared skills in her recent project, Sound and Space Research. Volny is a multidisciplinary artist who splits her time between Paris, France and Montreal. A MFA graduate from Concordia University, she recently completed her PhD at La Sorbonne in Paris this past December. Through her work and research, Volny focuses on exploring concepts of sound and space, as well as their dualities and complexities. This can be seen in her video installation, where does sound go, where does it come from, which was exhibited at Concordia’s FOFA Gallery last fall. Sound and Space Research continues Volny’s investigation of aural and spatial awareness, with the added component of collective knowledge and concepts of shared intelligence. This is done through the collaboration of interdisciplinary forms and shared learning experiences. Throughout her career, Volny has collaborated with other artists of various disciplines, each participating and bringing their specific expertise to a project and to their collective work. Where does sound go, where does it come from, which focuses on the use of sound, specifically sonar in small fishing villages in Chile, was a collaboration through Volny’s collective, Triangular Project. Volny and two fellow artists, Florine Leoni and Macarena Ruiz-Tagle, traveled around Chile together and worked in tandem on their
specific focuses and artistic practices within the theme of aural and spatial awareness. It was with Triangular Project that Sound and Space Research first came to fruition in 2017. The project, in collaboration with the Ionion Center for the Arts and Culture in Greece, is an artistic research platform for participants of all expertise and disciplines. Sound and Space Research is a weeklong experience. Each day involves diverse activities and exercises, providing participants with a range of mediums to practice and explore. As part of the focus on shared knowledge, participants practice a wide range of primarily fine arts-based disciplines, including dance, music and visual arts, as well as architecture, wellness professions and anthropology. The project is not focused on participants’ previous accomplishments, but rather encourages and facilitates further growth on a personal and collective level. Participants come from all over the world, and do not require a particular level of education or experience to participate. Last year, however, about 60 per cent of participants were Concordia students or alumni, according to Volny. Sound and Space Research is a very intense experience, with all of the participants living together, working together and sharing the same spaces. According to Volny, this intensity encourages and creates something special. Participants have to push themselves; each day consists of different activities in different forms and disciplines. This aspect ties into Volny’s own work process, in which she immerses herself in new environments and works in collaboration with other artists, such
as her travels in Chile for where does sound go, where does it come from. This was a very intense experience for Volny, because she was meeting new people and exploring different facets of her research in a new environment, while also creating new work born from these experiences and interactions. At the end of the program, there is a collective exhibition for the participants to showcase work they have created during the week. This final showcase is open to the public, as a component of the partnership with the Ionion Center, to encourage interaction between the artists and the community. This accessibility is important to Volny and for the participants, as it allows further connection with the community. In mid-May, Sound and Space Research will once again take place in collaboration with the Ionion Center for the Arts and Culture. It will be organized by Volny, alongside sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard, who will work as a mentor in the program. Sound and Space Research works outside of academic institutions, and a university degree or a specific level of expertise is not required to participate in this project. The project does have connections with academic spaces, though, and Volny said there are plans to expand it internationally, and eventually to Montreal. More information about the Sound and Space Research project, including how to apply to this year’s session, is available on its website: www.soundandspaceresearch.com
THE ART OF SINKING The works in this exhibition inquire, “in this absurd world we live in, how do we attempt to navigate it when searching for answers only poses more questions?” Curated by Hannah Silver and Alexa Hawksworth, the art featured is “art of the anti-climax,” according to the exhibition’s description. This show includes the work of Roxa Hy, CubeAndre, Kyla Kaplan-Chinard and Matisse ApSimon-Megens, Ben Compton, Nickle Peace-Williams, Roxanne Thibault and Eva Young.
VERNISSAGE March 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EXHIBITION Now until March 24 WHEN GHAM + DAFE, 3425 Ste-Catherine St. E.
Sandra Volny’s Where does sound go, where does it come from (2016). Photo by Richard-Max Tremblay.
MUSIC EDITOR /// email@example.com CALVIN CASHEN
BEAUTY >> FORWARD
The experiences that shape music
AtomTM (Audio Archiv)
Frankie Cosmos talks about her new album, touring and dogs
Having released music under 72 different aliases (no joke), it really is tricky to keep up with Uwe Schmidt’s output. The Berlin-born producer, label manager, designer and Berghain resident is busier than most, yet manages to release music at an alarming rate. Regardless, the newest album from his AtomTM project, Beauty >> Forward, should not slip under the radar. The nine tracks range from the glitchy and abrasive “Phonopollution” to the smooth and dreamy “Petrified Rimshot,” each with nods to the many styles Schmidt has experimented with before– with a particular emphasis on electro and dub techno. While Beauty >> Forward doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table, it definitely features a few club-ready stormers that are hard not to move to. Having said that, listen for highlight track “Recycled Term” on a dancefloor near you.
The music of Frankie Cosmos (right) is delicate and meditative, but mired in anxiety. Photo by Loroto Productions. HUSSAIN ALMAHR ASSISTANT MUSIC EDITOR Greta Kline is on her way to having a long career in music, but she keeps her songs short. She has been releasing music for almost 10 years now, and her upcoming third album, Vessel, released under the stage name Frankie Cosmos, will come out at the end of March. Kline combines illustrative lyrics with a crispy sound, and the drums and guitar sound fantastic and distinct. Frankie Cosmos’s songs are usually concise and dynamic at the same time. They may seem minimalistic, but Kline does not intentionally truncate songs. “It depends on the song—some start short and others get cut down to become shorter,” Kline said. “I don’t try to make songs short, but I like them to be concise [...] For me, the song is just done when I know it’s done, and that means it doesn’t always need a repeated chorus or extra
Vessel album art.
parts that feel unnecessary.” However, she does give collaborators creative freedom. “In general, I just like to keep [the visual aspect] really ‘me’ without too much stylization of anything. The album art always stems from images I have in my mind and then collaborate on with visual artists,” Kline said. The visuals for Frankie Cosmos are evocative, like the new music video for the song “Jesse,” where a poodle stands on the rim of a bathtub—similar to the album cover of Vessel. “With videos, I generally just try to let people I trust make whatever they want,” Kline said. Dogs are a recurring fixture in her work; her music, videos and even the cover to her latest album feature dogs. “I love every kind of dog, and I think they’re all special in their own way,” Kline said. “One of my favourite breeds is a bedlington terrier because they just look so weird, like they are part-sheep partdog. I have yet to meet a full bedlington in person, though, so they really just exist in pictures to me.” The dog seen on the album cover, Kline mentioned, is actually named Goose, and is part bedlington terrier. “The main experiences that shaped this album [ Vessel] were a lot of touring and playing in bands,” Kline said. Touring creates a space where Kline can write freely. “I think just being in a new place every day and meeting
strangers and having a lot of external stimuli inspires me to write a lot,” she added, “I probably write more lyrics on tour than when I’m home, but I’m also just on tour more than I’m at home.” Ironically, being on tour and in the mindset of making music means musicians often do not have the time or energy to listen to a lot music. “I go through phases of [listening to music], but I’m more often inclined to want silence,” Kline said. However, there are some influences that can be heard in her music. “I remember listening to Anna McClellan and Big Thief during [my down time while touring], and I think some of those influences can be heard in my melodies, maybe.” Having released three albums, Kline has learned a few things about touring. “This time, the touring will feel really fresh because the new album will still feel new to us live,” she said. “I also am learning to hold onto my relationship to each song and not let the fact that they are out in the world affect that too much.” Kline said she hopes these new lessons come across in Vessel . “I think every Frankie Cosmos song is just like a chapter for me. So in these chapters, I think I grow a lot and face some truths I hadn’t faced as much in the past, and maybe that will come across.” She feels that, sometimes, it is important to ask ourselves questions we do not know the answers to and see how our opinions change. “Sometimes, the in-between feeling is the answer […] The song is the only place that feeling exists for me sometimes, so for that moment, there is the answer,” Kline said.
Vessel will be released on March 30. Frankie Cosmos will be performing in Montreal on May 4 at the Fairmount Theatre.
11 Trial Track: “Recycled Term”
8.5/10 — LUCAS THOW, STAFF WRITER
FOR EDITOR’S PICKS S THE BEST SONG WEEK RELEASED THIS
Recently Added 11 HAN JAN Peggy Gou (Ninja Tune) 11 JUICE WRLD (ALL GIRLS ARE THE SAME) S. Willz (Self-released) 11 LOVE ME RIGHT Amber Mark (Interscope) 11 PARKING LOT Grouper (Kranky) 11 BLESS UR HEART serpentwithfeet (Tri Angle)
MARCH 13, 2018
Tune-Yards wowed at Corona
The band played in support of their latest album, I can feel you creep into my private life PHOTOS BY
ALEX HUTCHINS PHOTO EDITOR
CALVIN CASHEN MUSIC EDITOR
Experimental Tune-Yards graced the Corona Theatre stage last Saturday and delivered a set of off-kilter electronica mixed with organic instrumentation. The band’s sound on record is exceptionally produced. It was interesting to speculate just how well it would translate live. The band excelled with flying colours, delivering their trademark sound while flexing a more experimental edge. Often making slight changes to the structure of their songs, TuneYards proved that musicianship and sharp performances aren’t enough to keep an audience’s attention. You have to give them a reason, and Tune-Yards did just that.
SPORTS EDITOR /// firstname.lastname@example.org NICHOLAS DI GIOVANNI ( @n_digiovanni)
Stingers head into nationals full of experience Coach says team learned “everything” after last season’s fourth-place finish MATTHEW COYTE ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR After defeating the Université de Montréal Carabins in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) final on March 4, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team is returning to the U Sports national championship. This will be the second-straight trip to nationals for the Stingers. They hope to improve on their fourth-place finish from last season. This time, the Stingers are in an unfamiliar position—they’re among the favourites to win. “The team’s looking strong right now,” said head coach Julie Chu. “This is a good week off where we get to reset and refocus, get our energy and emotions back and get geared up for nationals.” One of the more difficult aspects of the national championship for the Stingers will be preparing to face teams they haven’t seen at all this season. “We’re breaking down videos of them,” Chu said. “We’re doing that for the seven other teams so that whoever we end up playing, we have at least a sense of what their power play is, what their penalty kill is, what their structure and tendencies might be. We know how
to make our adjustments. After winning the RSEQ championship, the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team Our girls are going to be are heading to nationals as favourites. Photo by Mackenzie Lad. prepared.” The Stingers will be up against the top teams in the country, and could eventually face the top-ranked University of Manitoba Bisons in the semi-final. The Bisons finished the regular season 22-2-0, and won the Canada West title. The Bisons knocked off the University of Alberta Pandas, the defending national champions, in the playoffs this season. The Bisons are led by the scoring duo of nationals last Jordyn Zacharias and Alanna Sharman, season. After going into the who both recorded 21 points in 33 games. championship tournament as the seventh Zacharias had six game-winning goals seed, the Stingers made their way to the said Chu about the this season. bronze-medal game. They lost that game 2017 nationals. “It’s never fun Watching scout videos will be less 2-0 to the University of British Columbia to lose, but sometimes you need to go important if the Stingers face off against Thunderbirds. through certain things so you know the Carabins. The memory of those eight Chu said the team learned “every- that you can handle it.” games against Montréal this year, includ- thing” after that championship run After claiming their first RSEQ title in ing the RSEQ final earlier this month, is last season. 13 years, the Stingers now face higher probably still fresh in the minds of the “We hadn’t been to nationals in 12 expectations at nationals. Concordia will players and coaching staff. With the years, but we believed that we could win. face off against the fifth-ranked St-Francis Stingers beating the Carabins to claim But we still needed to develop a lot of the Xavier X-Women on March 16, having the title, the Carabins would be eager to experience of going through [nationals]. been placed as the fourth seed in the repay the favour at nationals. Everyone, coaches included, are in such tournament. This year, nationals will be T h e St i n ge rs s u r p r i s e d m a ny at a better place in knowing what to expect,” hosted in London, Ont., from March 15 to 18.
Hudon ready for an adventure with his brothers Head coach says trip to nationals has been a long time coming for the Stingers Head coach Marc-André Élement said he wants the Stingers to cause a surprise at nationals. Photo by Alex Hutchins.
NICHOLAS DI GIOVANNI SPORTS EDITOR For the first time since 1984, the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team is going to the U Sports national championship. “I haven’t been this far in playoffs in a very long time, so this is quite special for me,” said captain Philippe Hudon. “What are we now? One of the top eight teams in the nation right now [...] It’s huge for the program, and it’s huge for all of us.”
The Stingers qualified for nationals after beating the York Lions 3-2 in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) bronze-medal game on March 9 at the Ed Meagher Arena. The University of New Brunswick (UNB) hosts the tournament in Fredericton from March 15 to 18, which features three teams from the OUA, three from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and two from the Canada West conference. Head coach Marc-André Élement said he has been waiting to qualify for nationals ever since he played for the Stingers from 2007 to 2011.
“I’m really happy and really excited,” Élement said. “We have a good culture and a good base, and you can say we’re one of the top teams in the country.” Throughout the season, and more recently during the playoffs, both Hudon and Élement have talked about how well the whole team gets along on and off the ice. “At the beginning of 2018, I stood up in the [locker] room, which is something I normally don’t do, and said, ‘We have a special group of guys,’” Hudon told reporters after game one of the OUA East final against the McGill Redmen. “I’m very fortunate to be a part of this group. With all of the people we have, we just have to put everything in the same basket and just keep pushing. ” Even though the Stingers eventually lost that OUA East final against the Redmen in three games and settled for bronze, Hudon hasn’t changed his thoughts about his team. After the bronze-medal win, he said he and his teammates will give their full effort at nationals because they are proud to be Stingers. “I’m going on an adventure with 20-odd of my brothers, so it’s going to be a hell of a ride,” Hudon said.
“It’s the last few games of the season, so if we’re not giving our all, that trip won’t mean anything.” The Stingers have been building towards this since Élement took over as head coach prior to the 2015-16 season. He has recruited top players, including second-year forward Anthony Beauregard, who scored 60 points this season. The Stingers are a young team, with 14 players in their first or second year, and four players in the fourth year. Élement credits the team’s veteran leadership for their success, and said Hudon has been an amazing leader. “I have to give him the credit,” Élement said. “He’s doing a great job as a leader of the team, and he’s well-respected. This is why we’re having success.” Rookie forward Jean-Philippe Beaulieu said the team learns from leaders like Hudon, who has scored 12 points in nine playoff games. “We’ve been together since August, and we’ve built something as a group and as a team,” Beaulieu said. The Stingers are ranked as the eighth seed, and will play the UNB Varsity Reds on March 15 in the quarter-final of the national championship. “We’re going there to cause a surprise,” Élement added. “I just want my guys to battle every night.”
MARCH 13, 2018
A sport that is also an art
Veroushka Eugene says dancers prepare the same as tennis players
Dancers at Amotion Dance Studio learn about dancehall. Photo by Mackenzie Lad.
MIA ANHOURY ASSISTANT LIFE EDITOR As dancers held both arms above their heads with hands balled up into fists, Veroushka Eugene yelled: “Now give me that attitude and drop it into a body wave!” to the dancehall class of 30 students. Eugene is one of the seven women who make up the dance crew Womanity currently competing on the show Danser pour Gagner. “And one, two, three, four,” counted Jenna Abessolo, another member of Womanity, as the music started playing and all of the dancers repeated the choreography until it seemed they had memorized the steps. Eugene is a dancer and a dance teacher in Montreal, with an expertise in dancehall and Afro-Haitian dances. Just like any other sport, dance takes its toll on the body. In Eugene’s case, joint weakness runs in the family, and dancing made it worse. Her left knee weakened to the point where doctors told her, in 2013, that she had to stop dancing altogether. Although she didn’t quit outright, she adjusted her approach by listening to the way her body feels during different movements and steps. Eugene’s warm-up turned into the most important part of her routine. Born and raised in Haiti, Eugene started going to a dance school in her home country on Fridays and Saturdays at the age of three. “I haven’t stopped dancing since. I started learning classical dances like ballet and jazz with mandatory Haitian folklore classes,” she said. While in school, kids loved to run around and play tag, but Eugene always kept to herself, her books and her dancing. Later on, she took salsa and tango lessons, and even explored the world of hip hop. Those who knew her in both school and the dance studio saw her switch from an introvert to an extrovert on the dance floor. “I would go from being this introverted
girl to a confident dancer,” she said. Although she associated school with stress and bullying, Eugene felt comfortable on the dance floor. “When I was told I was a good dancer, which I’m not sure I was at the time, it kept me going. It felt like I was valued.” When she moved to Montreal at the age of 18, Eugene wanted to start competing in Latin dance competitions, but the classes were too expensive. So, she turned to a cheaper alternative: urban dance, more specifically dancehall. After a couple classes, and her own self-teaching, Eugene stepped into the movements and music of dancehall. “It’s a feeling. It’s not really something you have to think through,” she explained. “Of course you have to know the movements, but the way in which you feel the movement and relay it makes it special.” By incorporating body waves and steps called “so fresh so clean” into the routine, dancers add attitude and sassiness to their performance, which is why Eugene’s classes are always very loud. You can hear all the dancers add a “Ha” or an “Aye” to poignant moves at the workshop Eugene leads every Sunday at the Amotion Dance Studio in the Plateau-Mont-Royal. Eugene described dancehall as “a freeing dance, without many rigid and strict movements like classical dances. It allows you to express yourself physically and emotionally.” She interprets the style as if it were a release mechanism—after all, it did help her through tough times in her younger years in Haiti. While the movements in dancehall makes it more of an art than a sport, Eugene explained that dance demands the same strategic thinking and training athletes go through. She compared dancers to tennis players who train their bodies to run in a certain direction. By the time the big game comes, they already know how to hit the ball, so they’re just focused on winning.
“Dancers do the same. We train our muscle memory so that when we perform we can focus on how to excel in the steps we do,” she added. Eugene began teaching dancehall and Afro-Haitian dance as a freelancer until Studio Danse Montreal and Amotion Dance Studio hired her in 2012. Her choreography process happens in one place: her head. Unlike other choreographers, Eugene doesn’t rehearse every step, pop and drop in front of a mirror. Instead, she listens to a song, and plays it over and over as she visualizes the steps, the flow and the speed of the movements to the beat. “I honestly thought every dancer created their choreography in their heads until students and other dancers around me pointed it out as special. It’s like a super power,” Eugene said. Then again, she added that it’s still all about the feeling. She chooses songs by considering the feeling she wants to relay in the dance, whether it’s partying or a more emotional performance. “I think, with time, I became more aware and conscious of my body and my movements that now I can visualize it all in my head,” she added. Eugene learns more when she is teaching than when she is performing. “A performance is only a moment in time. It’s beautiful and I enjoy it, but teaching is a more continuous process where both the students and I grow,” she said. It took her awhile to become comfortable demonstrating the moves to her students, but Eugene has learned that there is a difference between “showing people and just showing off.” A little over a year ago, she would have said that she’s more of a teacher than a performer. Now, as she’s competing on a dance show, she has become more comfortable on stage. “It helps to be alongside powerful women who encourage me in my solo parts of the performance,” Eugene said. As she went back to practice with Womanity for next week’s show, the dancefloor went back to jumping up and down, and the “Ha” and “Aye” sounds echoed in the studio again.
COLOUR COMMENTARY BY NICHOLAS DI GIOVANNI Mainstream media needs to cover more women’s sports. They deserve recognition too. From Feb. 28 to March 4, both Concordia Stingers hockey teams competed in their respective playoffs. The women’s team faced of f against the Université de Montréal Carabins in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) final. The men’s team played the McGill Redmen in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East final. All of the city’s big-name media outlets came out to cover the men’s series: the Montreal Gazette, CBC, Global News and CTV. How many of these mainstream English media outlets went to cover the women’s series? None. The Concordian and The Link were the only two publications to cover both series. Why didn’t the women’s series get as much coverage? Both series featured two Montreal universities, and both series were scheduled at different, non-conflicting times. The women were fighting for a trophy, while the men were fighting for a chance to compete for a trophy, the Queen’s Cup. Yet, the bigger media companies turned a blind eye to the women’s final. The news media that didn’t cover the women’s series missed some fantastic hockey, not to mention some fantastic athletes. After the Carabins took game one in overtime, 3-2, the Stingers dominated, winning game two 3-2, and game three 3-1. Players on both teams also showed their elite talent throughout the series. U Sports women’s hockey is a step towards playing professional, and some players could eventually play in the Olympics. Mélodie Daoust, who won silver at the 2018 Olympics with the Canadian national team, played for the McGill Martlets until the end of last season. She played against the Stingers in last year’s RSEQ final, and of course, there was no big media coverage then either. Don’t be surprised if some current Stingers, like forwards Claudia Dubois, Audrey Belzile, Stéphanie Lalancette or goalie Katherine Purchase, play in the Olympics one day, or at least for Les Canadiennes. They’re that good. They deserve more coverage. I covered games two and three, and both games had a great fan atmosphere. The Ed Meagher Arena, which seats about 800 people, looked three-quarters full for game two, while Montréal’s CEPSUM, which seats 2,500, was more than half-filled for game three. Fans showed up, so we know there’s interest. So I’m calling on Montreal’s mainstream media to start covering more women’s sports. If you’re going to cover the male equivalent, why not cover the women’s games too?
opinions OPINIONS EDITOR /// email@example.com SANIA MALIK
Feminism is not one-size-fits-all
For more than a century, International Women’s Day has celebrated the achievements of women and supported women’s movements around the world. According to the United Nations, March 8 is a day to recognize the achievements of women “without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.” Yet too often, too many women are left behind by feminism; the focus is on achieving equality between men and women, without much consideration for the diversity of female
experiences. As a movement fighting for equality, it is vital that feminism give a voice to all women, and tackle all women’s issues. Only by recognizing and valuing the unique experiences of women of colour, disabled women, trans women, LGBTQ+ women—and any other woman who doesn’t fit the standard “white” identity—will feminism have a hope of achieving true equality. First coined in 1989 by American scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, intersectional feminism highlights the multi-facetted identities of women and the importance of considering these identities when striving for equality. All women face inequality amongst their male peers, but it’s important to recognize that women of varying social identities are at even more of a disadvantage compared to both white men and white women. Those with less power face more abuse, and women of differing social identities are more vulnerable than white women. Yet, when we hear about unequal pay,
sexual violence and abuse of power, it is typically through the voices of white women. Take the #MeToo movement, for example. Although it was popularized when actress Alyssa Milano used it as a hashtag, the phrase was first used by Tarana Burke, a black woman, more than a decade earlier. Closer to home, we can see instances in our own history when women of colour have been held a few steps behind white women. In 1940, women in Quebec were given the right to vote—white women that is. Chinese and Indo-Canadians only got the vote in 1947, Japanese-Canadians could only vote in 1948, and First Nations people were only allowed to vote in federal elections as of 1960. In all of these cases, the right to vote was withheld from both women and men in these groups. So while being a woman comes with its challenges, there are a lot of obstacles that comes from holding a particular ethnic identity as well. This same trend can be seen in the fight for equal pay. A Statistics Canada report showed that Canadian women earn 73.5 cents for every dollar a man makes. While these figures are horrific and unfair, we need to remember that women from minorities make even less than that, according to The
Globe and Mail. The earnings of all working women is about 31 per cent less than the combined earnings of all working men; but for women of colour, that gap is 37.5 per cent, and for Indigenous women it’s 54 per cent, according to Maclean's. Trans women also face terrible pay equity, with male-to-female transgender workers seeing their earnings drop by nearly a third, according to Maclean's. Violence against certain groups of women is also amplified depending on their identities. Indigenous women, trans women and black women face dangerous and violent situations that are unimagined by white and privileged women. There is not enough space on this page to list all the ways that women of different identities face obstacles and problems not experienced by white, able-bodied, cisgender women. But we at The Concordian believe even these few examples demonstrate the importance and necessity of including all women’s struggles in the fight for equality. We live in a diverse world and that shouldn’t be ignored. By understanding how different women live, we can do more to support everyone in this age-old movement for equality. Graphic by Zeze Le Lin.
The word “diet” needs a new, positive meaning We need to change the way we approach body image and healthy lifestyles YOUMNA EL HALABI CONTRIBUTOR I believe the word “diet” should only refer to the way someone eats, not what they eat in order to lose weight. In fact, the definition of the term is “food and drink regularly provided or consumed,” according to Merriam Webster. Yet, diets are no longer solely considered culinary choices in our society. Instead, they are a means to shed extra pounds. And so, whenever the word “diet” is used in a sentence, people grow pale and struggle to change the subject. Why? I believe the word diet and its contemporary meaning are the root cause of body shaming and eating disorders. Coming from Lebanon, I tend to avoid the topic of diets, as they are the basis for existence among most Lebanese women. Unfortunately, their morning coffees would never be complete without an update on how their “regime” is going. From my experience, frequent dieters don’t tend to adopt “healthy diets” for the right reasons. They do it to look good aesthetically and conform to dominant beauty standards, rather than avoid cardiovascular diseases. Almost every adult who struggles with their body image will tell you it began with a traumatic comment heard in childhood about their excess body fat. It’s sad, it’s disgusting, but it is also the
cold-hearted truth. In my opinion, our unhealthy interpretation of diets can trigger eating disorders and self-destructive behaviours. According to the United States’ National Eating Disorders Association, 35 per cent of dieters progress to pathological dieting, and 20 to 25 per cent of those individuals develop eating disorders. Re cent l y, a Weig ht Watc her s ad shamelessly called out child obesity. The company is offering free six-week gym memberships for teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 this summer. In other words, the minute you star t dealing with your teenage crisis, you can get a free gym membership to release your endorphins through exercise! There was significant backlash on social media following the release of this ad, and many people claim 13 is too young to worry about weight. But it ’s impor tant to make a distinction bet ween a child being cur v y and a child being obese. Child obesity is a big problem that shouldn’t be glorified. It needs to be addressed in teenagers, not shunned as body shaming. Some argue that encouraging teenagers to lose weight can be misconstructed as body shaming—the seed from which an eating disorder can grow. I resent that statement. I don’t believe Weight Watchers’ aim was to encourage body shaming, nor do I believe diets are meant to be evil. The connotations of the
word "diet" certainly is though. The ad and people’s reactions to it just remind me of how people approach diets—wanting to make themselves look good instead of feel good. Throughout their lives, people are encouraged to adopt a healthy, balanced lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. In my opinion, as long as adults support such habits, without resorting to hurtful comments or approaches, we can avoid the issue of people developing eating disorders after b eing shame d into “dieting.” For instance, a mother can teach her children healthier habits rather than reproach them for their sedentary lifestyles. As parenting expert and author Alyson Schafer told Global News: “Modelling good habits and attitudes while discussing health from an educational perspective is key.” The only thing I am against is the distorted meaning of the word “diet” or “regime,” because they were originally used to describe the way a person eats, not dictate how they should
lose weight. Just as the French phrase “regime alimentaire” empha sizes what you eat, “diet” should mean the same—not be synonymous with “zero calories!” I believe in a balanced way of life, and encouraging someone to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle isn’t a bad thing. We must change the way we view diets. So, in this new era of political correctness, let’s correct the “diet” policy, shall we? Graphic by Alexa Hawksworth.
MARCH 13, 2018
We race for success, but what’s at the finish line? University culture encourages competition and stress among students in their 20s GABRIELA SIMONE CONTRIBUTOR Trying to be successful in a short amount of time def initely comes with a lot of stress. As university students, many of us feel the need to accomplish as much as we can as fast as we can. The pressure we put on ourselves to succeed creates a stressful environment for us to live in, knowing very well there are more important things to worry about. I don’t believe there’s an approaching deadline for success, seeing as so many well-known people became successful later in life. However, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and pressured to accomplish "success" in school when you hear your classmates talk about their achievements. We of ten hear stor ies of young adults who have already accomplished so much. For example, Chloe Kim is a 17-year-old Amer ic an who won gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics for the women’s snowboard halfpipe. It can be tough to watch a bunch of fit 20-somethings achieve the highest level in their field. It reminds us of how unaccomplished we are in our own lives. Although there is no time limit for success, especially not in yours 20s, it can certainly feel that way sometimes.
U niversity culture plays a big part in the pressure to amount to something. We should be focused on our schoolwork and nothing more, but many of us can’t help but feel the need to get a headstart on our careers. Whether that means starting a blog or getting an internship, any step we can take to get closer to “success,” we take it. The majority of university students I talk to usually say they’re stressed almost all the time during the school year. Although some stress is normal, our overthinking about success causes a large amount of unnecessary stress. Our 20s is when we start to figure out what we really want from a career and build our way up from there. We can’t expect to accomplish all our goals in such a short amount of time. I n 2013, a study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that almost 50 per cent of students listed anxiety as the main reason for seeking help from a school counsellor. Even though there can be many reasons for having anxiety, I believe a major factor is school-related stress. In the same year, another study revealed that 55 per cent of Canadian post-secondar y students feel stressed because of health, relationships and academics, according to The Globe and Mail.
Countless articles discuss the pressure students face to feel accomplished; it affects our health and self-esteem, and it sabotages our academic experience. However, I believe ver y few of these articles discuss why we feel this pressure in the first place. Maybe we don't quite know all the reasons behind it. What I believe is that putting students in such competitive environments creates a pressure to be better. The other students in your program are generally striving for the same career as you and can, therefore, be seen as competitors. This level of competitiven e s s is to o of ten seen a s p o s i t i ve because educational
systems have emphasized that competitiveness is one of the ways someone can be successful. But there is no race to success. We have our whole lives to be able to accomplish everything we want to, so we shouldn't rush through our younger years, always feeling stressed out. Graphic by Alexa Hawksworth.
Affordable tuition should be nationwide Education in Quebec feels like a right; in the rest of Canada it seems like a privilege CATHERINE HANSEN CONTRIBUTOR The average Canadian undergraduate student pays up to twice as much in tuition as Quebec students do, and I believe that needs to change. A post-secondary
e d u c atio n in this p rovince cost s full-time students less than $4,000 over the course of two semesters to complete 30 credits. Ontario, on the other hand, is the most expensive province, with students paying over $8,000 in tuition per year, according to The Globe and Mail . To students who live outside of this province, it is hard to comprehend why Quebec students have protested against their tuition rates so often in the last decade. Quebecers complain about many things, but tuition fees are not worth it in my opinion. In fact, it can feel like a bit of an insult to other students across the country w h o a re f o rc e d t o balance a substantial work week and their studies in order to afford university. I am an Ontario resident, and during my last year of high school, I worked three j o b s to b e a b l e to afford my $8,698 annual tuition in Quebec. Even when out-of-province students choose to study at a Quebec
university, they still can’t get as good of a deal as Quebec students. Montreal Gazette columnist and editor of Policy magazine L. Ian MacDonald described the attitude of Quebec university students best when he wrote: “They don’t know how good they have it.” MacDonald’s sentiment certainly rings true when you look at the fact that Quebec undergraduate students are less likely to complete their degree than Ontario students. According to The Globe and Mail, the probability of Quebec students obtaining an undergraduate degree in 2005 was 30.2 per cent compared to 38 per cent for students in Ontario. I am surprised that, despite lower tuition rates, Quebec students are so much less likely to complete their undergrad. I would have assumed lower tuition fees would result in higher participation and graduation rates. W h e t h e r Q u e b e c e r s a re t a k i n g advantage of their tuition rates or not, it’s clear why low tuition fees are advantageous in the first place: accessibility. Lower university tuition rates make higher education more affordable and, therefore, more accessible to people of varying socio-economic status. This is why I believe low tuition rates should be adopted nationwide, not just in Quebec. Quebec has “one of the most successful systems of post-secondary
education we have in the country,” according to Roxanne Dubois, a chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students organization. “We are lucky enough to have a model that we can point to as something that recognizes that education should be something that should be available to everyone, regardless your social status,” she told CBC News Montreal. Despite Nova Scotia having the lowest minimum wage out of all Canadian provinces, at $10.85 an hour, according to the non-profit organization Retail Council of Canada, their university fees are still nearly twice as expensive as in Quebec. When a student must pay so much to attend university, failure is not an option. I believe shouldering a constant financial fear about your educational success is unfair. And yet, because our society places such value on obtaining a university degree, students across the country are making whatever sacrifices they can to pay these steep costs. The many years of protesting tuition fees in Quebec should be an eye-opener for other provinces that a change needs to be made. Affordable tuition rates should be implemented across the country so that everyone can learn without the fear of going broke. Graphic by Alexa Hawksworth.
MARCH 13, 2018
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VOL. 34, ISSUE 14 NOV. 29, 2016
Concordia University’s weekly, independent student newspaper
OUR COVER THIS WEEK
FOLLOW US ON
“Palestinian Day” Photo by Alex Hutchins.
• Access to a car is an asset
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The Concordian’s team
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March 13th, 2018