No Space for the Press

Concordia’s Only Francophone Magazine, L’Organe, Still Struggles to Exist

L’Organe magazine does not have any office space—other than a locker. Photo Helene Bauer

In the basement of the Hall building is L’Organe’s office space—locker number 47.

Concordia’s bi-semester francophone magazine has been lacking an office space since they relaunched the publication in winter 2015. They officially requested an office space in February 2015 when they were told in an email from Andrew Woodall, Dean of Students, that they had been put on the waiting list.

Woodall assured L’Organe that they are a priority, he maintained that “nothing moves fast here.”

L’Organe is asking for a space that will be open 24/7, ten desks, a couch and some storage. The Dean of Students office is responsible for administering student spaces for student groups, said Concordia facilities director Martine Lehoux in an email correspondence with Pierre Chauvin, president of L’Organe’s board of the directors. Chauvin is the former office manager at The Link.

“I’m not sure if we are actually going to get an office space,” said Charlotte Parent, editor-in-chief of the magazine.

In a back-and-forth email exchange between Chauvin and Woodall, the Dean of Students said he was hopeful that they would find a space for L’Organe in January or February 2016, but this enthusiasm did not translate to concrete results. Woodall is currently working on finding a space with facilities management, said Cléa Desjardins from University Communications Services.

“The magazine is at a turning point right now,” Chauvin said in an email. “Our staff—students who volunteer their time—are working hard, but the absence of space to meet and work on the magazine is starting to discourage people.” That discouragement puts Concordia’s only French language publication at risk, according to Chauvin.

In the past, L’Organe had stopped publishing for two years when editors graduated and could not find replacements. The magazine now has a full team, but the lack of an office is one thing keeping them from expanding.

After relaunching the project in 2014, L’Organe was not able to recuperate its old office space on top of the co-op bookstore on Bishop St., as well as the computers and other office material that were at their disposal years prior.

“We really have to start thinking about next year’s team, but it’s hard without an office space, we don’t have much to offer,” Parent said.

Working at the library, at friends’ houses and in the lobby of the Liberal Arts building, L’Organe’s team of nine editors have published four magazines so far, and a fifth one is coming out in late March. They publish 3,000 copies of their magazines twice a semester.

Parent has expressed the magazine’s intention to start a petition for an office space.

“I understand that things need help to get moving,” Parent said. The petition, which they hope will come out in the next week, is intended to gather students from different faculties to show the support behind the magazine. It will also emphasize the importance of showcasing talents from various programs, Chauvin said.

Parent is hoping for an office space so that they can start developing new projects and have more events. They have already started expanding the team with a new comité de lecture set in place to edit the submissions.

If they don’t receive an office space soon, Parent says she will probably have to rent another locker to put away their materials.