Letter: ConU Students Build the World They Want to Live In

Whether it be through the Concordia Farmer’s Market which, by action, puts local and small farmers—the people who work to grow our food—front-row center in our community spaces;

Whether it be through the fine-arts-created Café X (on the seventh floor of the EV, and second floor of the VA), which led the way, showing students that it is possible for students to operate their own café’s, and inspired the creation of the Hive Café Solidarity Cooperative which is now regularly seeing it’s best days thanks to community support;

Whether it be through the transition from a traditional business to a non-profit solidarity co-op such as Burritoville—a truly collective effort to preserve alternative spaces and wholesome food for the community;

Whether it be through the Concordia-led creation of the Popular University Student Housing (PUSH) Fund, which is set to pave the way forward on affordable student housing in the long term, while also helping to foster community and fight gentrification;

Whether it be any of the other countless initiatives, like Campus Potager, the Community University Research Exchange (CURE), and many, many more;

Whether it be any of these projects, Concordians are definitively working to engineer a more equitable future that places community needs and community concerns, expressed by the communities themselves, at the centre of their economy.

The future Solidarity Economy Incubator, with student permission, aims to support the development of a new economy through projects like these both on campus and beyond, by introducing students to the solidarity and community economy through internships, semester-based training programs, conferences, consulting and mentorship programs, and more.

We are a group of students who have worked countless hours on some of the projects listed above, and we are asking for your support so that we can stay rooted, continue to provide student-based support for campus projects, and build off of the institutional knowledge we’ve gained through these efforts to help students connect with transformational community and solidarity enterprises beyond the confines of Concordia.

If you like what’s been happening on campus lately, please vote yes to the CSU’s Solidarity Economy Incubator referendum question on Nov. 24 to 26, and let’s continue building a community-centered economy based in cooperation and mutual support.

— Ben Prunty, and Erika Licon

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