Our student union president has been thrust into the spotlight since the events of Sept. 9 and has gotten mixed comments by her fellow students.
Sabine Friesinger is your average Concordia student. She goes to her classes, occasionally eats in the cafeteria and writes her exams. Recently, her interaction with the University has been one in which no one else can understand.
Friesinger lives with her younger sister Stephanie, a first year geography student. “Sabine’s best characteristic is her determination, the focus she applies when attempting to achieve a goal,” says Stephanie. She says her sister is too hard on herself and worries that she sometimes hasn’t done her best.
Like any article involving the CSU this year, the moratorium usually slips in somewhere. As one would guess, Friesinger feels that the lifting of the moratorium on the Mezzanine is a step in the right direction with the fight being far from over. Students can rely on her to fight the resolutions passed by the Board of Governors (BoG), a comforting thought to many.
“I have to fight for those who are studying here from the Middle East because I can’t imagine the difficulty they are experiencing not being able to speak about issues so close to home,” says Friesinger. Friesinger plans to remain very active in social and political issues. “However,” she says, “a career in politics is unlikely.” Her job as president has not been unbearably difficult, but she looks forward to getting away from it all for awhile once her term is over. Her career path is currently heading towards journalism & communication studies, the program in which she is currently studying.
Therefore, does she feel students have the right to talk about Middle Eastern issues on campus? Was the CSU contradicting itself by giving up their room for the Netanyahu speech, then protesting it? Is anyone else tired of the circular discussions taking place?
Friesinger’s intentions are to represent and protect the rights of students. The BoG, who sometimes represent a great obstacle for her.
One of Friesinger’s critics is Noah Joseph, a CSU councillor and a co-president of Hillel Concordia, who believes that she is doing a good job representing only certain students.
“She is further politicizing Concordia,” says Joseph. “Moreover, she had a hand in getting council to support students who took part in the Sept. 9 riot.
“Sabine did not condemn the riot or the violence that had taken place against Jews and other students who were trying to get into H-110,” says Joseph.
Joseph adds that it is not the place of the student union to take a position on the Middle East.
Two years ago, while Friesinger was VP internal under former CSU President Rob Green, the CSU took a pro-Palestinian position on the Middle East. Joseph says she could have not taken a position, which he says is inciting more campus tension between pro-Israelis and pro-Palestinians.
One can argue that everyone’s a critic these days, but everyone can agree that she’s just like the rest of us.
*Additional reporting by Diana Thibeault