CSU Plans to Upgrade Bathrooms Finally in Motion

Cut the Crap Begins Fulfilling Campaign Promises

Change is coming to Concordia’s bathrooms after months of waiting. Photo Ireland Compton

In last year’s Concordia Student Union elections, Cut the Crap promised to upgrade the university’s bathrooms.

Eight months later, some progress is being made.

“We have been meeting regularly—at least once a month—with three members of the upper-administration: President Graham Carr, Interim Provost and Vice-President Academic Anne Whitelaw, and Vice-President of Services, Roger Côté. We immediately explained to them in our first meeting in June that students voted for Cut the Crap because they are upset about our bathrooms,” said Christopher Kalafatidis, the CSU’s general coordinator.

According to Kalafatidis, the administration prioritized good quality bathrooms in the new buildings, like the Learning Square and the Science Hub.

“All the bathrooms in the Hall building, which I explained were the worst, will be completely redone in the multi-year modernization plan for the Hall building. I have seen the bathrooms in the Learning Square,” he added. “They look good in their first month, but students have yet to see if they will last the test of time”

With the CSU’s voice in the administration’s ear, they are understanding the student body’s complaints. “They have no idea how bad the situation is unless we tell them,” Kalafatidis said.

“It might seem absurd to spend so much on bathrooms to the high-level decision-makers of our university,” he said. “[They] do not use our bathrooms. Upper-administration uses the bathrooms in the GM building and the external members of the Board of Governors only travel to the university once or twice a month.”

“It might seem absurd to spend so much on bathrooms to the high-level decision-makers of our university. [They] do not use our bathrooms.” ⁠— Christopher Kalafatidis

“We always value the feedback of our students and have had an ongoing dialogue with the CSU on several topics,” said Vannina Maestracci, spokesperson for Concordia. “The university shares the CSU leaders’ interest and importance of improving bathroom facilities and have discussed this with them.”

Improving the current facilities can go in several different directions.

“Significant changes will come through renovated washrooms, like the ones being renovated right now at the Hall building,” said Maestracci. “In many of our busiest buildings, we clean many times a day and also respond when someone flags issues.”

There is the possibility of implementing a phone number students can contact when they stumble across a bathroom stall that requires immediate cleaning, according to Kalafatidis.

Because the current cleaner’s contract ends on May 31, 2020, no improvements regarding the contract can be made until then.

Moving forward, Kalafatidis and Côté will be working together on fine-tuning the next contract. “I hope to ensure that Concordia demands more from our contractors,” Kalafatidis said.

“While the administration is diligent,” he said, “they do not regularly use the bathrooms and do not understand the issue in the same way as someone with first-hand experience.”