Community University Research Exchange Launches Publication

Concordia students now have an outlet to combine course credits with community activism.

As part of QPIRG’s disORIENTATION, the coordinators of the Community University Research Exchange introduced students to its latest brainchild, the Convergence undergraduate journal.

CURE launched Convergence on Sept. 22 to current and former Concordia students interested in publishing research papers for local activist groups.

CURE aims to link student resources to the needs of local groups working for social change. The organization gets research done for them and students get class credit. Until now, students’ work could only be seen during the Study in Action conference hosted by Concordia each March.

“I realized that as an undergrad, there aren’t so many outlets for research or political writings,” said Derek Lappano, coordinator and editor of Convergence.

“Basically a TA will read it, or a professor. So at the very least I hope this is a sort of affirmation of the student’s really hard work and good work when it comes to orienting their academic labour towards community research and Montreal-based activism.”

Lappano now hopes that the project will take on a life of its own and continue annually, if not twice a year. He hopes the journal will broaden to eventually include works outside of the CURE and Study in Action projects.

“CURE does an excellent job in not only facilitating the logistics of community based research, but also in pushing all of us in asking the tough questions about academic privilege and the role of an institution like Concordia within the community,” said Julie Norman, a professor in the political science department

But Convergence now offers an added platform for asking those questions to a larger audience, as well as an outlet to archive student work.

The journal showcases pieces of this year’s Study in Action Conference, with research forms ranging from honours theses and photo-essays to political pamphlets.

The works span an array of themes, from the role of temporary migrant workers in Canada to mining practices abroad and demystifying the life sentence in our country.

Visit qpirgconcordia.org/cure to find a project that interests you.

“CURE does an excellent job in not only facilitating the logistics of community,”
-Julie Norman,
Concordia Political Science Professor

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 07, published September 28, 2010.