By Nick Clark
It’s September, and that means you’re either just starting your experience at Concordia or you’re returning to it. Whichever of those is the case, there’s a chance nobody has officially welcomed you yet; so welcome to Concordia!
This school is truly unique, as you may know. You may have seen it advertised as Edmonton’s preeminent small university but it’s growing every year, so it isn’t as small as it once was. This year alone, CUE has grown by over 800 students. That means there are changes happening all the time and, frankly, there have been some growing pains that come with those changes. You won’t always find a place to park, you might not have a locker, the classes you need might be full or might not even be available this year, but we all have that in common.
Some of you are here only to transfer out to another school that suits you better, some of you are here out of convenience, some of you came because Concordia was your first choice, and some of you are here for any number of other reasons, but we’re all here.
In light of the fact that we’re all here and we’re all tackling this together, we should all do that, well, together. Since Concordia has really started to grow in earnest, its sense of community has struggled to keep up with its numbers. You have a students’ association that will work hard to give you chances to change that, you just have to take them.
Did you ever watch the show, “Community”? There’s a great speech in the first episode.
“You know what makes humans different to other animals? We are the only species on Earth that observe “Shark Week”. Sharks don’t even observe “Shark Week”, but we do. For the same reason I can pick up this pencil, tell you its name is Steve and [break it] and part of you dies just a little bit on the inside, because people can connect with anything. We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark, and we can give Ben Affleck an academy award for Screenwriting… I want you to look at the person sitting next to you. I want you to extend to that person the same compassion that you extend for sharks, pencils, and Ben Affleck… You’ve just stopped being a study group. You’ve now become something unstoppable. I hereby pronounce you a community.”
Consider this a call to action to decide that it’s not enough to just be students at the same school. Pronounce yourselves a community. Engage with each other and with events. There is plenty to be done. Follow the CSA and The Bolt on social media (@OurCSA and @TheBoltNews) to keep up with what’s happening both on and off campus. Come to the club fair on September 12 and 13 to see what other students are up to this year—you’ll surely find something of interest. Want to write for The Bolt? Email us or swing by our office, right across from the CSA in Alumni Hall.
Until then, I hope your first days at Concordia are great.