Save the Arch Cafe!
Respect is the foundation of any enlightened discourse, and I find the recent behavior of McGill’s administration to be lacking in this fundamental principle. It was decided over the summer that the financial behavior of the much-loved student run cafe was somehow suboptimal, and the cafe was unceremoniously closed. The problem? No member of the student body is privy to these crucial documents that reveal how much the cafe is actually in the hole, if it even is in the hole. Representatives from the cafe allege that the cafe even made a profit, albeit a very slight one.
With these factual documents off the table, those of us who adore this space are left in the cold. The architecture cafe is among the last student-run initiatives that have escaped McGill’s far reaching monopoly on campus. This pattern is unmistakable, and the administration insult our intelligence by alleging that this is an issue that is primarily about student space. First and foremost, the Arch Cafe was used as an extremely effective student space, a comfortable space we all loved to curl up in and study, and I personally spent many hours there sipping on the cheapest coffee on campus while cramming for exams over the years. Architecture is all about creating usable space, and I consider the arch cafe a triumph of student-oriented space, so the idea that McGill could make the area ‘more’ usable strikes me as unrealistic, and frankly, false.
I’m greatly saddened that McGill has decided to ignore the students in their decision. By making the issue completely about ‘financial viability’, they ignore what we, as the PAYERS OF THEIR SALARY, wish to do with our money. Once again, McGill has decided that students amount to nothing more than an ATM they can take from whenever they choose. Most gravely, if it turns out that the Arch cafe did meet the requirements arbitrarily set by McGill and they were still shut down, McGill has definitely lied to their students, and therefore lost my trust.
I know members of the administration, they are individually decent people I have little problem with. It is their decision to ignore the (literal) protests of students and take the last of our space away from us without even respecting us enough to show us why. Please, administration, give us some respect, and release the documents. At the very least, stop treating the us only as ‘income’, and use your considerable power to make McGill a place where students are respected as students.