Editorial: Campus Critical

Carl Bindman

As a new academic year begins, students’ initial sense of excitement turns to utter chaos faster than we’d like it too.

Dabbling in new clubs, making new friends and struggling through classes; the days seem to pass us by. Our busy schedules, however, tend to keep us distracted from critically examining our university and its morally grey, pro-corporate actions.

No matter how many times we students shout the word “accountability” at Concordia, we seem to only get so far in fighting for concrete change on campus. “Accountability” is thrown around with ease by administrators and student politicians alike, but in its essence, it is perennially used as a pretense for excuses and non-action. 

If we start to tear away Concordia’s often pseudo-progressive facade, we are confronted with a disturbing history that might leave some feeling hopeless. Violent repression of student protests, extensive systemic racism, sexual misconduct, distressing tuition hikes, greenwashing and shady political governance all lurk beneath the surface. 

Concordia calls itself the “leader” in many categories, from climate action to experiential learning and beyond. Despite claiming the title of innovative institution, the university has fallen short in making students feel safe and taking responsibility for its actions, which affect tens of thousands of individuals per year. 

As a part of the student community, The Link tries to be a helping hand by platforming underserved and marginalized community members, both on campus and in the city, for minority groups, sexual violence survivors and international students. Whether you’re a worker,  international student, a queer or trans student, a student of colour, or a survivor of institutional violence, we encourage you to utilize The Link as a platform for shedding light on your experience. We are not here to just help you navigate Concordia life. We strive to make a change in the school itself, and maybe even in the province. 

Between Concordia’s mistreatment of sexual violence survivors, its renewal of a multi-million dollar deal with food provider Aramark, or its skyrocketing tuition prices for international students, we aim to cover as many aspects of the administration’s actions as possible.

Beyond our campus, The Link also aims to cover provincial issues affecting students. Bill 32 is a threat to our rights as students. Teachers shouldn’t be allowed to use slurs in classrooms for “educational reasons.” Bill 96, François Legault’s latest language law, endangers non-francophone immigrants by making them achieve the impossible task of learning a new language in less than a year. Bill 31 allows landlords to profit even more from Montreal’s housing crisis which especially threatens low-income households. 

Speaking on these topics is key to ensuring freedom and equity for all Concordia community members and helping them understand the power of their voices.

As we discuss accountability, we would be remiss if we didn’t also recognize our faults too. We try our best to lead by example, but we have nevertheless made mistakes and hurt people who trusted us with their stories. With each passing issue, we strive harder to be the publication you can trust and rely on to represent you and the communities you belong to. 

It takes falling down to get back up, but your trust in The Link means a lot. We hope you can see yourself represented in this upcoming volume, which you can find on newsstands on campus and in the city every two weeks.

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 1, published September 5, 2023.