CANDO presidential candidate Sabine Friesinger sees two ways of running the CSU.
“You can approach it in a productive way or in a destructive way. The productive way is that you have an idea, you create something, and you stick to it. The destructive way is that if things don’t work as you want them you destroy. Our way of approaching things is the productive way,” Friesinger said.
The cornerstone of their platform is the pledge to fight any proposed raise in tuition fees in order to keep education affordable for all students. As well, they are hoping to make the educational services already available to students more accessible. A big problem, said Friesinger, is that services are in place but not properly managed.
She added she feels her slate is particularly well equipped to deal with these issues because of her involvement, along with VP internal candidate Yves Engler and VP external candidate Geneva Guerin, in the Quebec branch of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS-Q). The CFS is a national organisation representing some 400,000 students across Canada, and has been a voice for student rights and lower tuition rates across Canada.
The Quebec branch, which Friesinger chairs, recently scored a large victory when both provincial Education Minister Sylvain Simard and Premier Bernard Landry said they will not lift the current tuition freeze until at least the next election.
Another of CANDO’s promises is to provide better services for students at the Loyola campus in Notre-Dame-de-Grace. Many slates have promised this in the past and never come through. Friesinger said CANDO will make it happen.
“Enrolment at Loyola is up, and with the new construction work more students will be spending time out there.”
They pledge to improve the much maligned shuttle-bus service. Although more buses may not be an immediate possibility because of cost, said Friesinger, a revamping of the bus schedule itself could solve the long waits at peak times.
Other promises include making Concordia more eco-friendly; continuing the fight to improve food services, particularly at Loyola; initiating an on-line teacher evaluation system; and ensuring that students become more involved with how the CSU works, form their policies and how they are eventually implemented.
Friesinger said her slate would outline plans for monthly open executive meetings where students could come and voice their opinions.
“It’s about making the services more efficient, adapting the services [to the needs of the students],” she said, adding that it isn’t simply CSU services which must be reviewed, but also those provided by all university departments.
Concerning the members of the CANDO, Friesinger stressed the importance of the diversity and experience to be found on her slate.
“We have enough people with experience and who know what the mistakes of the past were, while others bring new ideas and new ways of addressing the same issues. It’s a strength, I think, that we have that balance,” she said.
Friesinger has written for the Concordian, served as CSU communications commissioner, and VP external (eventually being moved to VP internal) under President Rob Green. Currently, she is serving as a CSU councillor and chair of CFS-Q.
Both slates are making very similar promises. Why vote for Friesinger’s slate instead of Chris Schulz’s Usual Suspects?
“We can make it happen. We CANDO it,” Friesinger laughed. “It’s not enough to just say you want change. First you’ve got to know where you want to go, where you’re going. Then you’ve got to know the way to get there. We do.”


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