Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No. 1

September 11, 2003


In other news

Peace and Conflict Resolution Academic Series: Intriguing lectures approved in the first round of submissions

The Peace and Conflict Resolution Academic Series will be launched November 12 with the five-day 9th International Karl Polanyi Conference.

Organized around the theme of co-existence, it will feature well-known Canadian scientist-philosopher Ursula Franklin on the destabilizing role of technology, and political economist Mihaly Simai on the feasability of a “dialogue between civilizations.”

The Karl Polanyi Institute is based at Concordia and is closely allied with the School of Community and Public Affairs. The organizer of the conference is Professor Marguerite Mendell. You’ll hear more about this conference in coming weeks.

The Peace and Conflict Resolution project was one of the measures introduced by Rector Frederick Lowy after the aborted speech by Benjamin Netanyahu last fall, but it has grown from an examination of tensions in the Middle East to embrace conflict in general.

The first deadline for submissions was May 22, and another deadline has been added, Sept. 15. Dean of Graduate Studies Elizabeth Saccá is greatly encouraged by the submissions received so far, and anticipates a lively series.

In the winter 2004 term, the following public lectures are planned:

“Ethical Systems Interfacing with Religion, Law Development and Gender,” by Martha Nussbaum, who will also meet with graduate and undergraduate students. The organizer is Norma Joseph (Religious Studies), and the lecture is scheduled for February.

“The Rhetoric of Reconciliation,” two public lectures March 1 and 3 by Philippe-Joseph Salazar, of the University of Capetown, South Africa. The award-winning documentary Long Night’s Journey into Day, on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), will be shown before each lecture. The organizer is Maurice Charland (Communication Studies).

“When Humanitarian Organizations Go Bad,” by Michael Barnett, organized by Michael Lipson (Political Science), the date of which will be announced. Barnett, from the University of Wisconsin, is the author of Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda (Cornell UP, 2002).

“Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge,” a lecture scheduled for February, will be given by Youk Chhang, a child survivor of Khmer Rouge persecution and founding director of the Documentation Centre of Cambodia. The organizer is Frank Chalk (History).

“Human Behavioural Genetics: Bad Past and Unknown Future,” a lecture in April by Benno Müller-Hill, a geneticist known for his involvement in Holocaust-related issues. The organizer is Michael Von Grünau (Science College).

In addition, German studies professor Joanna Bottenberg is organizing a project called Imagining and Imaging Peace that will run throughout the winter term. Both artistic and academic, it will include at least five events plus an exhibition.

The next deadline after Sept. 15 will be March 30, 2004. For more information, please consult

Ideas may include lectures, panels, performance, film screenings, creative work, video-conference lectures or panels. Participants may come from inside or outside the university, and other institutions may be involved. Submissions must emerge from a course, and be open to the wider public.

The chair of an academic department must endorse the instructor’s proposal, and it is the instructor who proposes it to the organizing committee. Interdisciplinary and cross-department ideas will be given an edge to promote creative dialogue.

Competition launched to design Quartier Concordia

An urban design competition is being launched to stamp the Sir George Williams Campus and its urban perimeter with a strong institutional identity.

The winning design will reinforce Concordia’s presence in the downtown core; improve signage, lighting, pavement, pedestrian and vehicular flow; enhance and protect art, architecture and heritage sites; improve public spaces and gathering places; and foster a welcoming, accessible environment. It should be a dynamic design that can be enriched and developed in several stages.

Quartier Concordia is bounded by Ste. Catherine, Guy, Sherbrooke and Bishop Sts.It is hoped that work will begin next summer, but the plan will take a number of years to implement fully.

The first phase, now in progress, is consultation with the four faculties and the School of Graduate Studies, the Concordia Student Union (CSU), representatives from several major service areas and planners from the City of Montreal. Neighbouring residents, businesses and institutions, such as the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, are being consulted as well.

The competition is directed at architects, urban designers, landscape designers and heritage specialists across Canada, who will be asked to submit a notice of candidature. Three finalists will be selected to present their work to a jury and a technical commission, and the winning design will be announced sometime this winter. The Building Concordia’s Future web site is being revamped to include the latest information on this project.

Hall Building auditorium gets major refit for FanTasia

Correction: All bookings for the Hall Building auditorium should go to one central e-mail address:

Concordia University was a popular hot-spot this summer, as thousands of faithful moviegoers lined up to see films, some showing for the first time ever, at this year’s edition of the FanTasia International Film Festival.

Attendance broke records this year: more than 73,000 tickets were sold. Over 16,000 tickets were pre-sold during the first 48 hours of the festival held July 17 to Aug. 10.

The festival, which had been held at the Imperial Cinema, was cancelled last year due to ongoing renovations. After checking out the cinema facilities in Concordia’s Hall Building auditorium (H-110), festival organizers jumped on the opportunity of using this spacious location.

In preparation for its grand debut, the H-110 cinema underwent an extensive facelift involving a major upgrade to Dolby Digital surround sound, as well as a new screen (17 X 36, compared to the old 15 X 28 screen in H-110) and lenses.

“The system sounds fantastic and the screen is two feet larger than the one at the Imperial,” said Marc Lamothe, director of communications for FanTasia. “We promised our fans we would meet or exceed the location and we oversold the previous year by more than 3,000 tickets. It was our biggest year.” Festival organizers are preparing to sign a long-term contract with the university.

Cynthia Canavan, manager, academic facilities & services, Instructional and Information Technology Services (IITS), said, “Digital video can now be seen the way it was meant to, with surround sound.”

Discussions are currently in the works for additional upgrades to the cinema, including a new curtain and improved seating.

Lamothe noted the difficulty of finding a theatre with a 700-seat capacity. “We were on the verge of booking the fest in a multiplex.” Organizers found it difficult, however, to envision FanTasia fans lining up for Ichi the Killer alongside the crowd for Dumb and Dumberer.

“The energy is based on the fact that you get 700 people in the same place — it feels more like a concert at times. It’s very passionate and enthusiastic.”

Now that H-110 has been transformed into a state-of-the-art cinema, the facility is being booked by a variety of clients, including screenings for Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) and Paramount films, le Festival des Publicités, Vues d’Afrique and the National Film Board (NFB).

The Concordia Student Union (CSU) has taken advantage of the facility, showing films as part of Orientation Week. The student union plans on making this a weekly event, and other student groups are also making use of the cinema.

FanTasia, now in its seventh edition, also took place in the smaller J.A. de Sève Cinema in the McConnell library building (LB-125).

Both cinemas can be booked by students and outside clients by sending an e-mail to (J.A. de Sève), (H-110, internal clients), or (H-110, external clients).

—Anne-Marie Curatolo, Communications Co-ordinator, IITS

Students buy lockers, get tuition balance online

Before school had even begun on Sept. 2, many students had already paid their tuition, obtained their e-mail and computer lab accounts, and selected their lockers – all via their MyConcordia portals ( Ten new touch-screen information kiosks, where students can access their personal portals, are currently being installed on both campuses.

All it takes is a simple click of the mouse for students to purchase lockers. Once logged on to their portals, individuals can simply click on “Registration” followed by “Get a locker” to access a map of either campus, and select the floor, followed by the exact location, of the desired locker.

Previously, students had to wait in line at the Copy Centre if they wanted to purchase a locker. After a locker has been purchased, the $20 fee is automatically charged to the student’s account.

Over 800 lockers were sold prior to the start of the semester and almost 3,000 were purchased after the first week of classes.

Students can now view their tuition balance by clicking on the “Financial” tab of their portals, and are given the option of paying on-line.

Bill Miller, manager, administrative systems, IITS, noted that a great advantage of the system lies in the ability to pay remotely. “A student from Toronto can pay online before he/she has even arrived in Montreal for classes. It’s very easy and fast to use,” Miller said. After the first week of school, over 750 students had already taken advantage of the system.

Line-ups can also be avoided when it comes to getting e-mail and computer lab accounts. Clicking “Registration” followed by “Computer Account Self-Service” brings up a list of eligible accounts each student can apply for. The $3.50 fee to access these labs is automatically billed to the student’s account.

Faculty and staff will be glad to know that Voice-over (VoIP) installations are near completion. Training has been going on all summer and workshops are being offered to use the new phones to their full capacity.

You can register for training sessions by visiting

Anyone with questions regarding these services can contact a Helpline representative (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.) at 848-2424, ext. 7613, or send an e-mail to Telephone requests can be sent to

—Anne-Marie Curatolo, Communications Co-ordinator, IITS

Stingers roundup

The start of the school year is an exciting time for intercollegiate sports. Confidence and expectations are high as teams begin play against their rivals from all over Quebec and across Canada.

There’s an added buzz this year, of course, as a major renovation project has taken place to improve facilities for both competitive and recreational activities at Loyola campus.

The football, soccer and rugby and soccer teams will all have new state-of-the-art AstroPlay surfaces with lighting to play on.

Poirier in Stinger fold

Melanie Poirier, a highly sought-after defender from Laval, has joined Stingers women’s soccer for the 2003 season. Poirier, 19, grew up playing soccer her native Laval, including four years with the AAA Laval Conquérants, before transferring to the under-18 Lac St. Louis Lakers in 2002. She was an integral part of the Lakers team that won a silver medal at the national club championships in Calgary last October. She is currently playing for Lakeshore United's senior women's team.

“Melanie brings a component of competitive experience and skill level that should make an immediate impact on the squad,” said Stinger coach Jorge Sanchez. “Her versatility and tactical understanding of the game will add an interesting dimension to the veterans players.”

Concordia finished with a solid 7-4-3 record last season and advanced to the Quebec university finals with a 2-1 semifinal victory over the McGill Martlets. The Stingers open the season Saturday at 1 p.m., when they play host to the Sherbrooke Vert et Or.

Belair back in fold

The women’s soccer team also announced the hiring of Jo-Anne Belair as an assistant coach.

Belair, a Beaconsfield native, played three seasons as a mid-fielder with Concordia, finishing her career as team captain and a QSSF all-star in 2000. She graduated from the John Molson School of Business with a major in management in 2001.

Since she left two years ago, she has remained a loyal supporter of the program. Her enthusiasm and commitment impressed Sanchez who approached her about joining the coaching staff.

“I was thrilled,” said Belair. “I'd been going to every game and I look forward to the opportunity to be part of the program again. I also feel it's important for the players to appreciate the tradition of women's soccer at Concordia. Maroon and gold are important colors to wear and it's a privilege to wear them. I think my biggest responsibility will be to make sure the players understand this.”

With a 7-4-3 Quebec conference record, the team was above .500 for the first time since 1993. Concordia defeated the McGill Martlets 1-0 in the semifinals before losing 2-0 to the Laval Rouge et Or in the QSSF championship. The semifinal victory over McGill gave the Stingers their first playoff victory since 1991.

Figsby’s got a Hab-it

Concordia Stingers men’s hockey coach Kevin Figsby joined the staff of the Montreal Canadiens as a guest coach at their NHL development camp, which took place earlier this summer at the Martin Lapointe Arena in Ville St. Pierre.

Figsby joined Habs coaches Guy Charron, Roland MelanÁon and Clement Jodoin on the ice and worked with the young NHL prospects.

“It was a great experience,” said Figsby. “I learned a lot working with these people and it will help me develop as a coach. I like being on the ice in the summer, and it's that much more enjoyable when you're working with your favorite NHL team.”

Figsby's Stingers have already begun preparations for the 2003-04 season, which gets under way early next month. The coach expects a strong campaign with the likes of Guy Lafleur Award winner Patrice Theriault and an impressive recruiting class leading the way.

—John Austen