8 Times Montreal's Concordia University Made You Go "WTF"
The more you know.
Concordia University was created in 1974 when Montreal's Loyola College and Sir George Williams University merged to form one university that we all know and love today. Loyola College was became an institution in 1896 and Sir George Williams University in 1926.
Since this time Concordia has grown into a large, well-known university home to over 45,00o students! It has many important achievements, one being that is now included in the 2016 Times Higher Education World University Rankings "150 under 50" which ranks the top 150 universities worldwide under 50 years old. It is also ranked 10th in Maclean's Guide To Canadian Universities.
These are some major accomplishments of our very own Concordia University. Here is a list of some crazy things that you might not know about this university!
1. When a Concordia University Professor Got Attacked By Riot Police
In December 2015, Concordia Professor David Waddington posted a story on his personal Facebook about his experience getting attacked by the riot police in downtown Montreal. He explained that he was leaving his office in the FG building when he came across a protest happening on De Maissoneuve Boulevard. He was only on his way home from work when he ran into this protest and ended up running smack dab into some riot police officers wielding giant batons and plastic shields.
They mistook him for one of the protesters and become violent with him, they hit him to the ground with a baton and proceed to kick and whack him a few times in the stomach and legs while he was on the ground. He told his story to The Link and you can read the full article here. Waddington believes this is an example of the excessive force the Montreal police use towards peaceful protesters.
2. When A Concordia Professor Went On A Shooting Spree
In 1992 a Concordia University professor went on a crazy shooting spring right here at the university. His name was Valery Fabrikant and he was a mechanical engineering professor. In August of 1992 this professor went on a shooting spree, killing 4 fellow Concordia professors and wounding one other staff member.
This is one crazy event that definitely went down in history at Concordia University!
3. When Reggie's Bar Closed For Almost 3 Years
Concordia's student bar, Reggie's closed down in the first few weeks of my very first semester in 2013. It closed only for renovations, which were expected to be finished within that year but went on for over 2 years! Apparently they came across a bunch of infrastructure problems and us Concordia students were stuck without our campus bar for almost 3 years!
This past year though, Reggie's reopened and it looks better than ever! It has cheap food and booze and is still the place to go on Thursday nights. I guess it was worth the wait!
4. When The Whole ASFA Sexual Assault Fiasco Happened
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Ah yes, if you've been a Concordia student in the past couple years I'm sure you've heard about the fiasco that is ASFA. In 2014, student Mei Ling, a member of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations, was sexually harrassed online by two other members of ASFA, the vice president of social affairs and the president of the association.
She sat down at a communal computer in the ASFA office and found the vice president's Facebook open with conversations between him and the president where they wrote sexually explicit comments about her. The comments were pretty horrible so I won't repeat them here, but she was upset to say the least, and rightfully so. She ended up filing complaints to the Quebec Human Rights Commission, due to some of the racist comments included in the conversations as well as the sexual ones.
This pretty much ruined ASFA's reputation and especially the two men involved. This event launched reviews of Concordia's sexual assault policies and scrutiny of ASFA itself. View more of the story here.
5. When Peaceful Student Protest Against Racism Turned Into A Riot
In 1968 Concordia University was actually Sir George Williams University. 45 years ago a violent protest occurred to fight against racism occurring in at the university. On January 12th 1968 over 200 students held a peaceful sit in on the 9th floor of the Hall Building that lasted 14 days.
This riot began as a peaceful event but escalated when the riot police showed up. It became violent and destructive, students through computers out of windows, and way more. This exaggerated event occurred due to a biology professor at the university that was being accused of purposely failing his black students. Since the event a documentary 'Ninth Floor' has been created and the trailer is featured above.
6. When The Webster Library Transformed Into A Nice Study Space
Last summer Concordia began renovations on it's downtown Webster Library. They released their new and improved 3rd floor to start, then the 5th and next will be the 2nd and 4th floors hopefully coming this year. Before the library was dreary and filled with students who were struggling through finals and pulling all nighters.
Well now students are still pulling all nighters and struggling through finals but at least we're doing it at in a nice, new study space! The new floors are all white desks, glass walls and large private study spaces making it the spot to go during finals and midterms. Now all they have to do is work on the Vanier Library at Loyola.
7. When Concordia Took Over The Nun's Side Of Grey Nuns And Transformed Their Chapel Into The Best Study Spot On Campus
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Just two years ago, half of Concordia's Grey Nuns Residence was still inhabited by nuns. Concordia decided to take over the rest of the building and the nuns moved to another location. After they left Concordia made an amazing decision and transformed their chapel into a cute and cozy study space for students.
This is now my favourite study spot along with many of my fellow Concordians because it's just such a beautiful study space! A bonus is that it's only open to Concordia students, you need your ID card to swipe through at the gates, and it's a no talking zone so it's perfect for when you really need to focus into your studies.
8. When A Giant Flash Mob Was Held For Earth Day
In 2010 Concordia University held a giant flash mob for Earth Day. Participants were told to show up to Place Norman Bethune, at the corner of Guy and De Maisonneuve and find a lady wearing a bright green wig. They were given part of a song to sing when prompted about the Earth and then everyone was to break into dance!
How fun does that sound?