Editorial: No Hive? No Surprise

  • Graphic Graeme Shorten Adams

In a move not so surprising given the project’s history, the Concordia Student Union has announced that—once again—The Hive Café will not be opening on schedule. It’s an announcement that students have been hearing for nearly half a decade.

Multiple years of CSU executive teams have promised to have the fabled Loyola café up and running, and for multiple years that promise has failed to materialize into the student-run and operated hub that students were told they’d receive.

While having the Hive as their legacy would be impressive, given everything else the CSU has on its plate, it simply doesn’t seem realistic nor wise to strive for yet another massive undertaking. The project has proved to be a more formidable foe than anticipated, and it’s time the executive shifts their focus instead on what can be delivered to students before their mandate is over.

A smaller scale project that would see the Hive as a place for students to grab a cup of coffee and a muffin before class is admittedly less impressive than a café that boasts the food of multiple countries, but it’s also a whole lot more realistic.

This was the plan when the current CSU executive took office, but it wasn’t an end-game—it was their hopeful starting point for the Hive to grow from last September, which also didn’t happen.

The CSU ought to focus on what they can accomplish before their time is up. Already their plate seems full, dealing with the disaster that is Reggie’s and the divide among council on what to do with the Java U space. Starting small is not the end of the world, and right now it’s the best thing the union can do.

A Hive café that was primarily a place to buy pre-wrapped sandwiches and coffee would be a considerably smaller project to get off the ground, and would double as a way to gauge interest in such a thing at Loyola.

The Loyola Luncheon and the free vegetarian meals it serves up has yet to see the same popularity that the downtown equivalent, the People’s Potato, does, and it’s hard to believe that people will be interested in paying for full meals in the Hive space if it’s hard to attract a crowd for free food.

If students express interest in a smaller endeavour, then future CSU executives can tackle the issue of expansion. Building a dream café in the span of a year has proved impossible time and time again, and there’s nothing to show that this executive will be able to beat the odds before we’re busy electing a new one.

Every year, we start over from nothing. Look at the electrical issues plaguing the Hive space—issues that current VP Loyola Crystal Harrison was told had been resolved years ago while in fact they weren’t.

If history has taught us anything about student union executives at Concordia, it’s that often there are great lapses in time between strong executives, and it would be a shame to see something that requires intensive maintenance and construction from the get-go flail after a year because the infrastructure needed to maintain it is weak.

If and when The Hive Café opens, it could very well be a successful source of food for students looking to break with what mega-corporation Chartwells has to offer at the cafeteria, but so far the CSU has done little to show they are capable to be in charge of such an undertaking. If this executive can succeed in one or two services in the space, then next year we can build on that.

If not, then the cycle of big plans and disappointment continues.

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