CEGEP students took time from their mid-term break to visit Concordia last week, when the university held a two-day open house to show off many of our attractions.
But it wasn't only prospective students who came to see the performances and exhibits -- our own students, faculty and staff were obviously enjoying the event, too. "It's a great way to find out what's going on in other disciplines," said one student enthusiastically.
Teenagers, many of them with their parents, visited both campuses over the two days. A group of young dancers from another university were so impressed by the multi-media production staged by the Contemporary Dance Department that they made serious inquiries about transferring to Concordia.
"The Dance performances were really impressive," said Open House Co-ordinator Carl Kouri (Marketing Communications). "It took all of the previous day for them to set up the metal scaffolding and other equipment -- [Dance chair] Michael Montanaro put in a lot of effort. Chemistry's smoke-and-lights show was another great draw."
A winter carnival was held concurrently on the Loyola Campus, and despite the 20-below-zero weather on Friday and Saturday, a lot of good sports turned out for a rough-and-ready version of the "winter games."
Staff members David Gobby and Ann Bennett spent both days at Loyola. "For me, one of the highlights was getting to know the students in Exercise Science and the Inter-Fraternity Council," Gobby said. "They should get an award for courage -- they couldn't play Ultimate Frisbee on Saturday because of the wind, so they played soccer."
Teams made up of students and staff members had some indoor competitions, too, notably the "dress-down relay challenge" , which had competitors scrambling to dress up, dress down and run like crazy through the Loyola halls.
More than 1,000 people registered at the open house, indicating that well over that number attended, said Sandra-Lynn Spina, Director of Marketing Communications and chair of the organizing committee. She estimated that about one-third of that number were prospective students scouting out the campus.
For Pina Greco (Rector's Cabinet), it was good to see a reunion of old friends. "A tea was held for retirees on Saturday, and about 100 came. Some people even drove in from Ottawa in that cold," she said. "A lot of families came out, especially on Saturday. It's not only a great recruitment tool, but Alumni and Advancement were able to update their databases [of graduates]."
Almost 80 exhibitors -- virtually every department, academic and service -- had a presence at the event. Information tables and displays filled the lobby and the mezzanine of the Hall Building, lined the tunnel, and filled the cavernous atrium of the J.W. McConnell Building; there were 10 display tables at Loyola.
Graham Martin, Director of the Institute of Co-operative Education, said he saw at least 100 people who were curious about the concept of this elite work-study program.
The Centre for Mature Students, well located just inside the McConnell doors, also had hundreds of inquiries. The Centre provides extra support for students who have been accepted at the university without conventional qualifications. One of the organizers remarked, in some disbelief, that even the Students' Financial Accounts booth was getting a lot of attention.
Special performances included a classical concert and jazz from the Music Department, a fashion show of wearables from the Bookstore, modelled by Continuing Education students from around the world, an experimental sound project from three students in Interdisciplinary Studies, and a presentation called Shakespeare and Clowns by Theatre students.
In the J.A. DeS¸ve Cinema, there were videos and films from Concordia faculty and students, a history of film technology, and even a Buster Keaton classic on how not to build a house.
The Rector was heard to express enthusiasm for making it an annual affair.
Racing in the "dress-down" relay at the Open House
Warm thanks: Besides those mentioned in the article, the organizing committee would like to thank the following people, and others too numerous to mention, who made the 25th anniversary open house such a success: Derek Cassoff (Arts and Science), Germaine Chan (Commerce and Administration), Jackie Chegrinec (VR Services), Marjorie Davis (Commerce and Administration), Irvin Dudeck (Budget Plan/Control), Beatrice Francis (Conference Services), Cynthia Hedrich (Alumni Affairs), Robert Lortie (Physical Resources), Louyse Lussier (Dean of Students Office), Letty Matteo (Engineering and Computer Science), Shirley Maynes (Rector's Cabinet), Chris Mota (Public Relations), Perla Muyal (Fine Arts), Patricia Posius (IITS), Peter Regimbald (Office of the Registrar), Kali Sakell (Graduate Studies), Alexandra Topley (Recruitment Office), and Angela Wilson-Wright (Provost's Office).