Students Look to Relaunch L’Organe

Concordia’s French-Language Magazine Is Being Given a New Life

A group of current and former Concordia students is working to resurrect French-language magazine L’Organe before the former student publication’s fee levy is permanently removed.

Last December, Concordia’s Board of Governors suspended the six-cent-per-credit fee charged to Concordia undergraduates to pay for the magazine’s publication. L’Organe had been inactive for over two years after a mass exodus of its editorial staff in April 2011.

The latest effort to revive the magazine is being led by Concordia students Charlotte Parent and Flora Hammond, aided by former student Pierre Chauvin. Hammond and Chauvin were formerly editors at The Link.

The aim, Parent said, is to give francophone students a place to express themselves in their native tongue.

“Some people are not as much at ease in English as they are in French,” she said. “If they want to contribute to magazines and journals, maybe they need this kind of opportunity that they don’t have at the moment.”

“We’re also in Quebec,” added Chauvin, “so there’s a lot of francophones from all around the world, and it’s kind of the only place [at Concordia] where all those francophones can meet, work and exchange ideas.”

But the magazine will also be a learning space for anglophones looking to improve their French, according to Parent.

“We don’t want to make it an isolated magazine in the midst of a big university,” she said. “It’s more a place where people can read and write in French, whoever they are. I’ve gotten some emails from people who are anglophones and who want to contribute, saying it would help them with French.”

It’s the third time since 2011 that students have tried to start publishing the magazine again.

As president of the fee-levy group in 2012-2013, Julien Poirier-Malo recruited contributors and nearly finished an issue before learning that the organization’s file with the provincial company registry was out of date. He subsequently struggled to gain access to L’Organe’s bank account.

Chauvin said there wouldn’t be a repeat performance because the paperwork issues have been resolved. But student volunteers still need to provide the university’s Board of Governors with a plan of action for relaunching the magazine and meeting its administrative and legal responsibilities before the fee levy can be reinstated.

“The main goal [now] is to have a team work on the [group’s] bylaws and have an annual general meeting, and then we’ll have a better idea of when the first issue will hit the stands,” he said.

“Until Concordia gives us access to [the magazine’s] bank accounts, we really can’t do much. Flora, Charlotte and I paid expenses on our own for [a new] website, posters and the email. They’re students, I’m a freelancer, so we can’t really spend a lot on it [ourselves].”

Still, if all goes to plan, a new issue could be published as early as January, Chauvin said.

The magazine’s primary focus will be arts and culture, but Parent said her team doesn’t want to “exclude any subject or discipline from the magazine because it’s the only fully francophone magazine [on campus].”

“We want people to be able to write about whatever they want to write about,” she said.

Parent said the magazine, once relaunched, would be published twice a semester. She’s currently looking for people who would like to be part of the magazine’s executive team.

“I want to [reach out to new contributors] and then meet these people, talk about the journal, about what they want from it, how they want to get involved in it,” she said.

Given the fact that the magazine’s last issue was published three years ago, volunteers will have a blank slate to work with.

“It’s nice because it’s kind of a new magazine, so we can really make what we want of it,” she said. “I hope people will see an opportunity here.”

Correction: The original version of this article didn’t mention that Pierre Chauvin and Flora Hammond were formerly editors at The Link. That information has been added for the sake of transparency and clarity.