David Collenette, one of Glendon’s most notable alumni, recently (at June’s Spring Convocation) said that Glendon College is a “bilingual gem in a unilingual sea.” I love that line, and would argue that Glendon is a gem in general. The campus is only a (free!) shuttle ride away from York’s main Commons and home to a plethora of hiking trails and beautiful scenery. Check out my colleague Arshia’s post about why you should visit York’s midtown location.
However, Glendon is a lot more than pretty buildings. I interviewed Myron Khan, President of the GSCU (Glendon Student College Union), to highlight all the great things about the campus that you may not know. For clarification: the GSCU represents all Glendon students, while the YFS (York Federation of Students) represents the students on the Keele Campus. Both unions do similar work and serve the same purpose, but the GSCU president can sometimes have more pull because he (in this case) represents an entire campus.
On his first thoughts about Glendon’s small community . . .
Coming to Glendon, I was really nervous. There’s still one moment that stands out for me, during Frosh Week, when we were walking around with our Frosh kits. It was just really easy to talk to people, and I find that that’s the one thing (of many) I like about Glendon.
I’m taking courses at the Keele Campus this year, and I’ll run into people that I know there, but it’s not really the same as when you run into someone at Glendon, because you’ll have deep conversations with them when you’re passing them in the hallways. The small community is one of the things that pushed me to get involved. If I went to any other university, I probably wouldn’t be as involved as I am.
Things we might not know about Glendon Campus . . .
I think one common misconception about Glendon is that we all speak French. The truth is, most students at Glendon are Anglophone students learning French. Granted, a lot of the population are Francophone and international students whose mother tongue is French, but most of the conversations that happen here are in English. I came here because of the French; I wanted to become bilingual. I used to work for Recruitment here, and I know a lot of students are nervous when they hear that this is the bilingual campus of York University. You have the choice to take a course fully taught in French or a course fully taught in English. Some rare courses are taught both in English and in French.
In the past few years, the GSCU hasn’t been as active in terms of advocating for its students. This year, that is something I want to do, to help students be more aware of what’s happening. The cafeteria here isn’t the best, and a lot of resident students live here and there’s not a lot places to venture out and go get food. We’re trying to collect feedback from students.
On the benefits of getting involved . . .
University is one of the last places you’ll experience in your life where everyone is focusing on one thing [getting a degree]. You need people to help get you through those four years. If I wasn’t on council, I probably wouldn’t be on campus as much as I am; it really makes me feel a part of the community. When you have friends and make bonds with people because you’re on a club or you’ve shared an experience with them, it makes you want to do more in the community. I never would have crossed paths with so many people without my involvement.
In conclusion . . .
Glendon is just a really cool environment. Its campus is a de-stress from constantly writing papers and meeting deadlines. It’s such a unique place, steps away from the subway station. If you’re regularly here for three weeks, you’ll automatically meet new people —just because you’re a familiar face. If you see someone one time, you’ll see them again.
So there you have it, from someone who lives the Glendon experience every day. If you’d like to hear more about daily life on York’s bilingual campus, check out Glendon’s eAmbassador student blog. And hopefully you’ll make it out to the campus soon to see for yourself. In fact, if you are or know someone who is thinking about attending York in the future, why not check out both campuses on Keele’s Fall Campus Day on November 7, 2015, or Glendon’s Fall Campus Day Open House on November 8.
Got any questions for Myron or for us? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @yorkustudents!