Queer Concordia Reaches Beyond Gay Community
Over the years, Queer Concordia—one of the longest running clubs on campus—has been through many changes.
The club has seen new executives, new mandates to address the transitioning issues that affect the university’s queer community, and even new names: the Queer Union gave way to Queer Alliance which eventually became Queer Concordia.
This year’s Annual General Meeting centered on seating eleven new executives, budget plans and a shared outlook for the future of the club. Also, they’re going to stick with the name.
During the meeting, Queer Concordia collective member Joey Donnelly explained that being a club puts more budget limitations on the collective than if it were a service, since Concordia Student Union funding is split between 61 clubs at the university. He also expressed a desire to turn the collective into a service.
“The main difference is that a club falls under the CSU’s clubs policy, and services have their own,” said CSU Vice President Clubs and Outreach Ramy Khoriarty, adding that all club finances are administered by the CSU whereas services collect funds from students through fee levies.
All club executives and active members are volunteers and are not allowed to have salaries, but services are allowed to hire salaried members, he explained.
Queer Concordia asked for an $8,000 budget this year but was given $4,000—the same amount as last year.
Khoriarty said that a number of clubs asked for budget increases, but the CSU doesn’t typically raise budgets unless the association won an award or applied for Special Projects Funding.
“We don’t want to challenge [Khoriarty’s] decision,” said Donnelly. “We can still be effective with $4,000.”
Donnelly felt that the budget granted to Queer Concordia “doesn’t really make a big difference in the long run when it’s agreed upon by the elective that the main goal is growth.”
Last year, Queer Concordia scrambled to use the rest of their budget because the funds do not rollover into the next year.
Khoriarty said that “this money goes either to the clubs SPF or to the CSU’s roll-over” if it is not used.
Last year, Queer Concordia spent most of their budget at the end of the year purchasing $1,000 worth of condoms and $2,200 worth of books.
“[Purchasing these books] is a great way to build a legacy and build a library to help facilitate free information,” said Donnelly. “It’s an investment.”
Donnelly said that the condom purchases were also an investment, as Queer Concordia plans to hold events every month at Reggie’s campus bar and give out free condoms to who ever wants to join the party.
Volunteers handed out the condoms, gloves and lube at their first event on Oct. 22. Donnelly said that people who identified themselves as straight asked if they could take the sex kits they were giving out, and responded by saying that resources gathered aren’t just for the queer community.
“We’re trying to first encourage people to practice safe sex and make that a part of their lifestyle,” said Donnelly. “It helps people attain their connoisseurship of pleasure, and at the same time protect oneself.”
Donnelly feels that providing free condoms and other safe-sex resources are “becoming a movement. People are coming together and seeing a need.
“It’s a beautiful thing when things are free. It’s important. We have to take care of our health.”
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 11, published October 26, 2010.
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