If nightmares were real, they would be finals. I'm not even exaggerating on this one, guys. There's something inherently awful about your whole grade depending on how well you do at the end of the semester; there's something just straight-up horrifying about having to do, like, 5 papers while studying for 4 exams and balancing life and work at the same time.
Although finals at Concordia tend to go pretty smoothly, there are still a bunch of things that take it to a whole other level of terrible. You know, if that was even a possibility.
1. Having a final at Loyola... right after your exam at SGW
Hope that shuttle's not too packed! (Just joking, it totally is!)
2. Studying at the SGW campus becomes an impossibility
Also, good luck getting a seat at the Webster Library. It's open 24/7, so some people have been in their spot for literal days. #NoShowerLife.
3. And so does grabbing a coffee
Because every single Starbucks in the Concordia vicinity suddenly becomes filled to about 10% overcapacity.
Also, don't even try to go to the Tim Horton's. There are line-ups to the door, and people have been guarding their seats forever. (Trust, you're only getting my booth if you roll my cold, dead body out of it.)
4. Eating becomes a thousand times more appealing
Look, you can't study on an empty stomach. Is it really your fault if your stomach is always empty?
5. Downtown Montreal is actually a huge distraction
Sure, you could waste your time studying... Or you can get a taste of Montreal culture in real life and go strolling through Chinatown West.
6. And NDG is way too beautiful to ignore
Honestly, studying is great and all, but why pass up this golden opportunity to explore one of Montreal's most-loved suburbs?
7. That sprint between the H Building and JMSB
Got a back-to-back final? Cool, no problem, totally doable for you, you champ.
Oh, wait. Your first final's in H and your second is in JMSB?
LOL, good luck running between buildings and navigating through the hordes of fragile, lost-looking students. Might as well grab a coffee on the way and truly embrace your lateness.
8. You can kiss your money goodbye
Between buying that textbook you've been casually ignoring all semester, picking up all those coffees, and buying boxes of tissues to cry your final woes into, you'll be pulling out of finals season with a grand total of 0.57$. If you're lucky.
9. Navigating JMSB
If you're not used to the JMSB building, it can be super difficult to get around. Especially if your final is in the basement. (Or that floor just above the basement and below the first. What even is that?)
10. The bookstore's hours are always super weird
So good luck getting that calculator you need right before your 9AM Economics final!
11. Need to print something? No you don't
Not once you see the literal mosh pit of people in front of every single printer in every building.
It's chill, though. Just read your notes off your laptop, and pray that the eye damage won't be too severe.
12. Moodle is not your friend
Keep crashing right when I need to know where my final is going down, Moodle. Keep ruining lives. IT'S ALL GOOD.
13. Getting literally any auditorium in the H Building
Squeaky chairs that distract the entire class every time someone budges a half a centimetre? Oh, yeah, totally appropriate during a final.
14. The anxiety of leaving all your stuff at the front of the room
Haha, it's totally cool, not like I'm leaving my wallet, laptop, very expensive textbook, and whole life unattended in a room full of strangers.
15. When you meet your online classmates for the first time during your final
Even though you've never met IRL before this point, you all exchange a mutual, awkward, "we're totally screwed" expression.
16. Bathroom breaks? Oh, you mean a literal nightmare
Protip: Hold it in.
Or else feel the awkwardness as a random invigilator accompanies you to the bathroom.
On December 30, 2021, François Legault announced a handful of restrictions across Quebec, which included the closure of indoor dining and places of worship, and the postponement of a return to in-person learning at schools in the new year. In a January 13 Facebook post, Legault confirmed elementary and high school students would be returning to class as of Monday, January 17. But what about university students?
Montreal CEGEPs and universities also reverted to remote learning, however, things are looking a little different for students returning to in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Premier Legault stated in a January 12 post that while universities could reopen their doors as of the 17th, they are being given extra leeway to determine the exact date in which in-person classes could resume.
Concordia University students are expected to return back to in-person learning on February 3, per a recent news notice. Vannina Maestracci, the university spokesperson, revealed that the initial date was extended beyond January 20, and any possibility of a further extension will be relayed to the community as soon as possible.
The Concordia Library and Birks Student Service Centre remain open, along with a number of designated break areas for students to eat. As for mask requirements, students will be expected to wear procedure masks "when entering university buildings and using shared indoor spaces," including classrooms, the university states.
In-person learning will be returning even earlier for McGill University students. With "Tier 1" activities (labs, etc.) having been in-person since January 10, most instruction will be moving from online to in-person as of January 24. McGill's media relations rep, Katherine Gombay issued a statement that despite plans for return, the university remains flexible with contingency plans put into place in case the COVID-19 situation changes.
Université de Montreal is expected to return to in-person sessions as of January 31,* although their libraries have remained open. The university has also made it clear that the use of masks is "mandatory" across campus for all activities at all times.
The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) has also stated that remote learning will take place until January 31.* However, many activities in which face-to-face teaching is essential will return as early as January 24.
Big bucks for the woman McGill students call Big Suze. According to a document submitted to Quebec's Ministry of Higher Education on November 30, 2021, McGill University Principal Suzanne Fortier rakes in a base salary of $478,901.
But her income doesn't stop there. McGill says she has additional "taxable elements" reaching $382,070 in value. That's a total of $860,971.
In her time as principal, Fortier has seen her base salary increase by almost $90,000. When she ascended to the role in 2013, her contract with the university included a $390,000 base salary, which was subject to annual adjustments. She was also able to receive bonuses worth up to 20% of her salary.
Other benefits in the 2013 contract included five weeks of paid vacation and a club membership paid by the university, in addition to reimbursements for job-related expenses.
McGill's Board of Governors renewed Fortier's contract with almost all the same benefits in 2018.
The 2021 document sent to the Ministry of Higher Education shows Fortier isn't even the highest-paid executive at the university.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Dean David Eidelman has a base salary of $518,176 plus $361,799 in other taxable benefits, for a total of $879,975.
Concordia President Graham Carr, meanwhile, has a base salary of $424,423 and additional taxable elements totalling $1,706 in value, according to the university's list of its own executives' incomes.
Concordia students have called out a speaker in a First Peoples Studies class who said Cree nation members "suffered less" in the residential school system.
On social media, students and the program director have condemned the content of McGill Professor Emerita Toby Morantz's lecture.
In a statement shared with MTL Blog, Morantz defended her record and said that she "was not referring to [the] individual suffering" of residential school victims and survivors.
What are Concordia students and faculty saying?
Terrence Duff was one of the students present at the lecture.
"Yesterday had to walk out of class because we had a guest speaker who tried to convince us that James Bay Cree suffered less from the Residential school and that the Cree benefit from the Residential school and fur trade," Duff wrote in a highly-circulated Facebook post, shared here with permission.
"I spoke up and she down right tried to say I was wrong when I tried to correct her."
Terrence called Morantz's lecture and research "upsetting and discouraging."
Once day after Terrence published the Facebook post, the First People Studies program shared a letter in which program Director Catherine Richardson said Morantz had been "improperly vetted."
She called the McGill professor's statements "ill-informed, racist, hateful and inaccurate" and said Morantz "violated the dignity of the students, with prejudice, stereotyping and historical inaccuracies to advance a hateful perspective."
"I am mortified by the harm that was caused and that people in positions of institutional stature can abuse power so unethically and destructively," Richardson concluded.
Duff appreciated her response and promised further action.
"Her and the department's apology means a lot to me as a University student," Duff wrote in a subsequent Facebook post.
"We will move forward with an official complaint letter concerning Toby Morantz who was our guest lecturer and send it off [to] McGill University. We will not let this go!"
What is Morantz's response?
Morantz told MTL Blog that Richardson "was not in the class, never spoke with [her] and certainly has not read [her] books and articles."
She says that when she claimed James Bay Cree "suffered less" in the residential school system, she was "using suffer in the sense of 'endure'" and referring to changes in government policy.
"When I realized it was a trigger word, I repeated over and over again that I was not referring to individual suffering but to the differences in the school systems."
Morantz expressed a desire for the conversation to return to the history of the residential school program.
The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-855-242-3310, or visit their website to chat.
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society Emergency Crisis Line is available across Canada 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-866-925-4419.
Montreal has been ranked the ninth-best city for students in the world, according to QS Quacquarelli Symonds, an international higher education network that analyzes education throughout the world. It tied with Boston and Paris for ninth place.
The city fell three spots in the 2022 best student city ranking compared to 2019, going from number six to number nine.
London and Munich made up the top two student cities in the world while Seoul and Tokyo tied for third.
In order to be considered in the best student cities ranking, cities must have a population of over 250,000 people and be home to at least two universities featured in the QS world university rankings. Montreal currently has three: McGill University, Université de Montréal and Concordia University.
Although Montreal's affordability is competitive compared to many cities in the world — including Toronto and Vancouver — it ranked 52nd for affordability, according to QS. The affordability ranking is based on tuition fees, retail prices, an iPad pricing index, and the city's cost of living.
Montreal ranked 10th in the world for the QS student view ranking, which is based on the student experience in the city and the proportion of students who would remain living in the city post-graduation.
QS cited a friendly student environment and a world-class education as Montreal's main attractions for students across the globe.