Glendon Campus
York University
2275 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4N 3M6
Glendon’s Brand New Salon Francophone Opens Its Doors


Where can you meet with friends and engage in French conversation, or receive help with your French homework? Where can you borrow a good French novel to read tonight, or join a group of students for a French movie?

Left: Many attended the grand opening

The answer is clear: it’s at Glendon’s Salon Francophone, which has just opened its doors to welcome students, staff, in fact every member of the Glendon community in the newly constructed B Wing of York Hall. This new location offers an exceptional opportunity for students to improve their French conversation skills; join up with friends to do their French homework; get help from the Salon’s monitors; or just mingle, relax, listen to Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel or Yves Montand…

Right: l-r: Staff members of Glendon's Office of Student Programs Yassin Handouleh and Michael Ah-Choon came to find out what the Salon offers

Sounds “superbe”? Eh, oui ! The Salon is a genuine ‘Glendon endeavour’ under the aegis of Glendon Extended Learning, with four monitors on location most of the week to assist those wishing to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Glendon students Renée Khargie, David Seni and Gabrielle Fortin-Villeneuve, and Glendon grad Mihaela Andrei take turns staffing the Salon. They can provide help with French homework, organize the growing collection of the centre’s resources – books, magazines, CDs - and plan future events that will be fun as well as educational. Two computers are also available for reference and French language learning.

The four monitors of the Salon - from left to right: Mihaela Andrei, Renée Khargie, Gabrielle Fortin-Villeneuve and David Seni

“Our goals for establishing the Salon are to offer a warm and welcoming location for exchanging cultures, practicing second – and third – languages, discovering new friends, and supporting success in French-language courses”, said Susanne Holunga, director of Glendon’s Extended Learning program.

“We are planning to organize at least one special event per month”, commented monitor Renée Khargie, “with great choices such as a French movie night, an outing to a French café, a performance of the Théâtre français de Toronto, or inviting an interesting guest speaker.”

Left: Students Kristina Appadoo and Zaynah Muslum loved the Salon's concept

The organizers eagerly welcome donations of French-language books and magazines, posters and other decorations to create a truly French ambiance. “We are working on building a collection of printed materials and music”, said monitor David Seni, “so that all those who come can relax to wonderful sounds, enjoy some reading time, and immerse themselves in French culture.” To that end, a ‘coin de culture’ – a cultural corner is in the works, with a calendar of upcoming events, which will shortly be posted there.

Right: l-r: Monitor David Seni, director of Extended Learning Susanne Holunga and monitor Renée Khargi

The monitors made every effort to get the word out about this much-awaited facility, including making presentations in classes, as well as word-of-mouth. Judging by the number of those present at the grand opening, people got the message. “C’est magnifique !”, said 4th-year sociology student Zaynah Muslum and 4th-year French studies student Kristina Appadoo. “We are certainly going to use the Salon as a place to study and get help when we are stuck.” Glendon associate principal (academic) Françoise Mougeon praised the Salon’s concept and invited donations to help develop its materials. “What an excellent idea”, said Mougeon, “an innovative way to encourage French language and culture on campus. We hope that this will become a meeting place for students and a social centre for extracurricular activities.”

Left: l-r: Glendon French Studies professors Shodja Ziaian and Brian Elliott were among many faculty members who came out to support the Salon's mandate

“The Salon Francophone is a great privilege for Glendon students who want to improve their French”, added Seni. “We hope that people will take full advantage of what we are able to offer.”

Glendon’s Salon Francophone is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Friday from 12 noon to 3 p.m. It is located in B Wing of York Hall, next to the new Salon Garigue (the student lounge), suite B111. Questions can be addressed to the monitors by e-mail,; better still, just drop in and talk to them.

Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on October 8, 2008