By Rebecca Kennedy
As I read through the historical archives I am struck by the difference between the lives of women at Concordia in the past and my life. It is hard to imagine a conference program consisting of vegetable canning, textile lectures, and reading a paper titled “The Pastor’s Wife” when my experience at Concordia consisted of consulting work for local businesses, creating posters on Indigenous language reclamation, and analyzing survey data.
I am struck by how far women have advanced beyond patriarchal rules when I read about university staff upholding the convention that “women must not engage in preaching or in publicly teaching men in the church” and I consider the multitude of women who have taught indispensable knowledge to classrooms of all genders. These articles remind me of the importance of reaching out and fighting for what you believe in, for standing up and fighting to better your environment, not only for yourself but for others. Campus life at Concordia would be incredibly dreary without the efforts not only of the women of the past, but also of the women of our present who work tirelessly to run clubs and put on exciting events for the student population.
Reading these articles, I know we have come far and I know there is so much farther we need to go. Indigenous women have concerns that must be heard. Working mothers and caretakers need to be considered in strategic planning for future students. Marginalized groups need advocates. We must not become complacent with the knowledge that we are better off than we were in the past; we need to ask ourselves “What can we do better?”. As a society we can get there together, and we begin that journey with the education of women of all creeds and colours from all walks of life. With educated women we are unstoppable; there is no limit to what we can do.
Rebecca Kennedy is a recent Concordia graduate from the Mihalcheon School of Management. During her time at CUE she was Treasurer for the Concordia Visual Culture Society (now renamed Concordia Pop Culture Society). Rebecca is currently an accountant at SVS Group working towards her CPA designation. Edmonton is her hometown and she enjoys Aaron Sorkin’s dramas.
Concordia’s CUE 100 committee is very excited to feature the written work of several students and alumni as part of its centenary celebrations. As these celebrations continue, you can look forward to reading short articles by these writers on interesting aspects of Concordia’s history over the past century. Writers were given access to archival documents on particular topics which they were asked to summarize and personally respond to. You’ll be able to discover much about Concordia’s history and how it still resonates among us today. We hope you find these articles both informative and entertaining. Happy 100, Concordians!