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Concordia's Thursday Report is interested in your letters, opinions and comments. Letters to the Editor must be signed, include a phone number, and be delivered to the CTR office (BC-121/1463Bishop St.) in person, by fax (514-848-2814), by e-mail ( or mail by 9a.m. on the Friday prior to publication. If at all possible, please submit the text on computer diskette. Limit your letter to 500words. The Editor reserves the right to edit for space considerations, although the utmost care will be taken to preserve the core of the writer's argument. Letters disparaging the behaviour or decisions taken by an individual which are not of a public nature, letters quoting exchanges between two or more parties in private conversation or personal correspondence, and letters venting an opinion about the integrity of colleagues will not be published.

First impressions

Evening, September 8. It is drizzling. Outside the main doors of the library building on de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., paper litter spills from trash bins, forming a deluge of unspecified soggy material. Cigarette butts pockmark the gum-polluted sidewalk. Smokers are standing there, dodging the rain. Some would like to butt out in the ashtrays, but these are glutted with trash.

I enter the Hall Building. Did some kind of freak windstorm blow through the lobby? Was there a riot? "Just the first day of classes," the guard assures me. Flyers, pieces of newspaper and miscellaneous jumble cover the floors. Trash bins scream to be emptied.

I note with consternation that one of the escalators is standing immobile, like some kind of metallic wish for better days. I cast my eyes over to the student computer terminals, but they are all dead. "Out of order. Sorry for the inconvenience."

At least I can look forward to my lecture. I pass the mezzanine and alight on the fourth floor. The classroom is clean, and the lecture begins on time. The professor is congenial and humourous -- a good start!

After a few well-spent minutes of introduction, he is ready to begin the meat of the lecture. He sets up the overhead projector, and confidently flicks the switch. Nothing happens.

He tries anothere electrical outlet, with the same result. One student quips, "Welcome to Concordia." The lecturer recovers, and the class continues without the aid of technology. Good humour and old-fashioned chalk come to the rescue.

Imagine that this was your first day here. Although I am proud to be a Concordia graduate, I was ashamed. An orderly, shipshape building encourages students, visitors and passersby to take pride in their institution and keep it up. Clearly, the face that Concordia presented on September 8 did not convey a positive message.

Mary Davis
An outraged alumni

Copyright 1998 Concordia's Thursday Report.