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Open House 2015: Concordia rolls out the red carpet for future students

On November 7, a jam-packed day of events aims to attract the best and the brightest
October 26, 2015
By Sarah Buck

"The vibe they get while exploring the campuses helps students make their decision.”

Register now for Concordia’s Open House 2015.

With more than 100 information tables, nearly 60 presentations, 17 tours, a dance performance, jam sessions and two Stingers basketball games, there’s a lot to take in this Saturday, November 7 at Open House 2015.

That’s by design, says Matthew Stiegemeyer, director of Student Recruitment at Concordia.

“We wanted Open House to be an event where you could spend the whole day, and never stop finding new things to take in,” says Stiegemeyer. “Our goal is to recreate some of the incredible richness and diversity of the university itself — to give our visitors a taste of the experience of being a student here.”

Prospective students can get a feel for the teaching and learning environment at Concordia by attending a demonstration lecture. Darragh Languay from the Department of English is giving a talk on the seedier side of Shakespeare, called “Suburb Sinners: A Walk to Shakespeare’s Theatre.”

Many students know Shakespeare as high art, says Languay. Her aim is to reveal the ways in which the Globe Theatre was more of a sinful diversion, located as it was among the brothels, gambling dens and bear-baiting pits on the “wrong” side of the Thames River.

“I’m hoping I can really give people a taste of the world at that time,” says Languay. “I want students to be surprised by what they learn — because they’re seeing the theatre in a new light.”

Participatory learning is a hallmark of the Concordia experience, says English chair Andre Furlani, who’s leading a tour of the Mordecai Richler Reading Room and the poetics lab.

Furlani points out that the English department houses both literature and creative writing programs. “The presence of practitioners, of students and teachers who are actually writers, and thus interested in how things get made, benefits discussion in the classroom.”

The blending of disciplines and approaches to create a more stimulating and enlightening experience is another Concordia keystone, says Furlani.

Languay and Furlani are just two of the many Concordia faculty, students and administrators who will be out in full force to showcase the university’s programs and welcome visitors.

Student groups play a key role, says Stiegemeyer. “Space Concordia, for example, whose members have gotten so much acclaim for their accomplishments in satellite design, really have the power to capture the imagination of future students.”

Another important element of Open House is the chance to see the university’s two campuses.

Mariel Ouellette, who coordinates tours at the Welcome Centre, says it can make a big difference for students trying to make up their mind about where they want to go to university. “The vibe they get while exploring the campuses helps students make their decision. And they’re always really impressed by our facilities.”

A hot spot on the tour route is Phase1 of the R. Howard Webster Library Transformation Project.

Also new this year: future graduate students will now have more presentations than ever to choose from, with information tables on both campuses.

For prospective Fine Arts attendees, November 7 is also Portfolio Day, an opportunity to get feedback from a faculty member on their artwork, along with tips on putting together a strong application.

To help them navigate all the activities on offer at Open House, people who register ahead of time will receive a personalized email with a suggested itinerary of events, based on where they live and their program of interest.

Open House runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 7.

Events on the Sir George Williams Campus (downtown) take place in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV) and the John Molson Building (MB), and on the Loyola Campus in the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex (SP).

Register now for Concordia’s Open House 2015.


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