“The Shuffle at its very core is a community-based event to rally support for students,” says Tordjman about the annual campus-to-campus walkathon fundraiser. “If we can do that for students who have given to our country, that’s even more commendable.”
Tordjman’s Shuffle team will travel the 6.5 kilometres between Concordia’s Sir George Williams Campus and Loyola Campus carrying backpacks loaded with 40 pounds (18 kilograms) apiece.
The walk is reminiscent of military ruck marches, where soldiers transport all the goods they need to survive on their backs — up to 90 pounds (41 kilograms) — from one destination to another.
It’s far from Tordjman’s first ruck march, as he served two years in Canada’s Army Reserves, in the 51st Medical Corps, and rose to the rank of corporal. Before throwing on their rucksacks this time, he and his team are collecting donations for Veterans Student Aid.
This is the first year that the Shuffle will help promote a separate designated area of support. Shuffle organizers are accepting suggestions for future fundraising projects to support.
Supporting mental health
“There’s a lot of significance not only with the physical weight that soldiers carry but the emotional weight of their responsibilities,” says Eric Washburn, co-founder of the Concordia Veterans Association (CVA). Pursuing his undergraduate degree in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Washburn is an active member of the Canadian Armed forces with eight years of military service under his belt.