HOJO Moving Across the Mezzanine

Resource Centre for Housing Changing Office Space

The space previously occupied by the Art Consignment shop will become HOJO’s new home. Photos Nikolas Litzenberger

Concordia’s Housing and Job Office’s will be moving across the Hall building’s mezzanine, to the space where the Art Consignment shop used to be, beginning next semester.

The move will be a shared project between the Concordia Student Union and the university.

“We’ve been in this office for years, it’s a great location, but it’s not a permanent office,” said Leanne Ashworth, HOJO General Coordinator. The new space will also have roughly 30 per cent more space and amenities, according to the CSU Academic and Advocacy Coordinator Sophia Sahrane.

The current offices walls are thin, she said, explaining that there are not enough power outlets, or spots to connect to the Internet, with less than ideal air circulation. In the winter HOJO’s staff are forced to use space heaters. The current office doesn’t have a sink to wash their dishes, making the staff to go to the Hive Café, or use the CSU office.

The office also lacks privacy, according to Sahrane.

“The coordinator doesn’t have their own office. All other service coordinators have their own office,” Sahrane said. “They mostly deal with housing problems, so either trying to find housing for students or dealing with conflict between tenants and landlords, and so they’re delicate.”

“They also deal with a lot of sexual assault cases and discrimination cases,” she added.

The university wants to open the east side of the mezzanine, where the HOJO offices are now, to provide natural light and a view of Bishop St., according to university spokesperson Chris Mota. This will happen once the Zone Éducation-Culture is completed, she said. The zone is a collaboration between the city, Concordia and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts that will see Bishop St. renovated into a “vibrant hub.”

Concordia University will be paying for the move and some renovations, although the exact cost of the move was not made public by press time.

“The university committed to ensuring they would have the same amenities as they do now and the university would pay for the necessary renovation to provide this,” said Mota.

The university was originally going to pay for the additional features, according to Sahrane, but when the school’s architect proposed the design to Ashworth, the additional features were dropped.

“HOJO has asked for additional renovations and amenities that go beyond what they have now,” Mota said.

Therefore the CSU will be paying $12,075 from the Student Space, Accessible Education and Legal Contingency fund for the extra features that will be added to the space.

These features include walls with insulation, the ability to control the heating within the office, a separate space for the general coordinator, more outlets, and a sink, Sahrane said, but added the final plans are still awaiting final approval.

The start date of the move is unknown, but Ashworth said the move and renovations should tentatively be done by April.