Commentary  Another alumna bemoans boarded-up Arch Café

Dear Morton Mendelson and Marc Weinstein,
I am writing to let you know how extremely disappointed I am that McGill has once again attempted to shut down the historical Architecture Café.

Although I am currently a student here, I am also an alumna twice over – I completed my BA (2004) and MA (2006) at McGill, in no small part thanks to the Architecture Café, where I spent long, 50-cent-coffee-fueled hours with my studies. The Café’s atmosphere, fairly-traded goods, and locally produced sandwiches contributed to what I felt was a culture of friendly, small-scale community that has since been largely stamped out at McGill. The increasingly corporate attitude and presence on campus alienates those who, like myself, came to university looking for independent thinking – not only in the classroom, but also in campus life. That small café gave a place for people who might not fit in with the frosh-week/Gert’s crowd but who loved McGill because it provided a space for them.

As a student, I do not purchase my food at other campus establishments, nor will I start to do so – the prices are simply too high and I have no idea where any of the food comes from. As an alumna, this move on the part of McGill makes me think twice about whether I would want to donate money to McGill in the future – if my vision and my memories of the University, which I’m sure thousands share, are so carelessly discarded without consultation, why should I contribute? Why should I contribute to what I can see is the increasing corporatization and uniformization of my alma mater? I would want to contribute to keeping student-run, conscientious businesses like the Architecture Café afloat; I hope your decision turns out to be only a momentary mistake.

Meredith Warren
BA 2004, MA 2006
PhD Candidate – Greco-Roman Judaism