Concordia University: student tips for surviving life on campus

Find out about the coolest electives, the best watering hole and more

Concordia University. Photograph by Roger Lemoyne

Unofficial school motto: ‘We’re not McGill, but . . . ’
Best place for a nap: The Webster Library on Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Best cheap lunch: Ramen from the depanneur
Best hangover breakfast: Actual ramen from Misoya on Bishop St.
Favourite campus food: Anything but food from the Hive Café
Favourite watering hole: Grumpy’s
Worst place to study: A Concordia Student Union council meeting
Coolest electives: Witches in the Media, offered through the religion department
Official school motto: ‘Real education for the real world’
Best place to live: Notre-Dame-de-Grâce; it’s close to both campuses and rent is cheap
Best campus event: Geography’s wine and cheese evening (if you can manage to sneak in)
Most notorious bus route: The shuttle bus between the Loyola and Sir George Williams campuses is hell if you can’t get a seat
Most original social event: There’s a group that organizes social-justice rap battles

PROFILE: Concordia University | Montreal, Que. | Founded 1974

University Insider: Miriam Lafontaine, 22, Journalism

If you’re not from Montreal and want to come here for university, you’re probably considering McGill, but Concordia University has a lot to offer.
The downtown campus is just off of Guy-Concordia Metro station, and the nearby John Molson School of Business offers some of Concordia’s most popular programs. Most of the downtown buildings are on the same street; just around the corner is the Henry F. Hall Building, which houses the humanities. Downtown is where all the fun stuff happens—there’s bars, art museums, even spontaneous protests.

The Loyola campus in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is more calm and picturesque. It’s home to the science programs, as well as the journalism and communications school. There’s loads of hockey and basketball games, and the local ultimate Frisbee team is pretty cool, but not much else happens around there. The west side of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce isn’t as busy as downtown. That makes the neighbourhood an ideal place to study, whether outside on the grass or in Vanier Library. But be warned, the area is a bit of a food desert, so pack a lunch.

Local Vibe
Even though I study at the journalism school, I tend to avoid the Loyola campus like the plague. There’s nothing to eat except Pringles and Tim Hortons, and downtown has a lot more events. There are panel talks every night, movie screenings, social justice events, student politics and—most importantly—my office at the Link, Concordia’s independent student press, which has run since 1980. On a good night, my friends and I like to get dumplings at one of the many dumpling spots nearby and then have some pints at Grumpy’s, a bar located on Bishop Street.

The campus has a rich history with student mobilization. In 1969, the largest student occupation in Canadian history happened at Concordia at the Henry F. Hall Building. The occupation, often referred to as Concordia’s “computer riot,” was sparked after complaints of racism were mishandled by the administration.
In 2002, students rioted over a visit by former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a show against Israeli occupation of Palestine. Riot police had to be called in to deal with student protests, and the talk was soon cancelled.
The student union and student groups from Concordia also took part in the 2012 Quebec student protests over tuitions hikes, which at its height involved half of Quebec’s student population. Then, in 2015, students from Concordia also participated in the anti-austerity movement.

The Skinny
Hands down,, a student-run online publication and monthly magazine, will keep you in the know for all Concordia happenings.

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