CSU teaches the basics 

By Karen Herland

It would appear that once students catch the learning bug, they don’t want to stop. For the second term in a row, the Concordia Student Union is offering mini-courses to those who want to complement their academics with something practical, topical, or entertaining.

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CSU 101s were first offered in the fall semester and they proved so popular that the number of offerings has jumped from six to 12. “All but one of the courses sold out last time,” said Noah Stewart, the CSU’s VP Communications.

Students are invited to sign up for 12- to 18-hour courses covering hobbies, opportunities for creative expression, health or skills. The courses cost between $20 and $45, depending on the number of hours.

Stewart said the idea first developed after the student council elections last spring. “It was the kind of thing we thought we should be doing.” The new council wanted to provide an opportunity for peer education and skills-building.

The bartending course allows for certification. Students can use that training to apply for bar jobs around town, giving them an edge over the competition.

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Similarly, students can spend a weekend learning CPR from Environmental Health and Safety’s Senior Emergency Management Advisor. Since Darren Dumoulin is trained by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the 16-hour program provides certification for those who see it through. Dumoulin taught the course last term as well. Some students were looking for training to help them with a summer job and others had found themselves unprepared in an emergency and wanted to change that.

The courses also allow Concordia students and grads the chance to make a little extra cash by sharing their knowledge. Improv comedy is taught by a theatre alumnus, and both photography courses are taught by current students.

Some of the courses are a bit more eccentric, with knitting techniques or fashion on the agenda. Local writer Laura Roberts, who has taken on the V is for Vixen column in Hour, will explore the “history, philosophy and religion” of the Kama Sutra.

Last term, courses were only offered Monday to Thursday evenings. Now they are extended through the weekend. Stewart would like to see the program expand, allowing students to help students by sharing skills.

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The CSU is also looking for applications for other courses, like personal finance that could be offered in the future.

Students can register and pay online at 101s.csu.qc.ca/. Click on the course icon and details about dates and times, and registration deadlines will appear. Non-students are able to register if any places are left during the last 24 hours of each course’s registration period.


Concordia University