Enhancing student life reaps rewards from Concordia Council on Student Life

karen herland

Students Lawrence Tsang, Bra Bessisso, Danny Iny and Rawan Hadid celebrate after receiving Concordia Council on Student Life Awards at a ceremony held on April 11. Tsang was honoured for his infectious involvement in student organizing. The other three for how their efforts created a dialogue between the groups they are acting officers for, the Arab Student Association and Concordia Hillel.

Photo by andrew dobrowolskyj

Students involved in involving students was the theme of this year’s Concordia Council on Student Life (CCSL) Awards.

Dean of Students and CCSL chair Keith Pruden presided over a prize-giving ceremony followed by a buffet in the seventh-floor dining room of the Hall Building on April 11.

A trio of students received the first award of the evening. Neil Caplan is a part-time history professor who was impressed by the efforts of Bra Bessisso, Rawan Hadid and Danny Iny to promote dialogue groups and other projects by the Arab Student Association (ASA) and Concordia Hillel.

Bessisso is the president of the ASA and Hadid is vice-president communications, while Iny is vice-president Israel Affairs at Concordia Hillel.

“I met the three of them separately, but I quickly realized they were networking with each other,” Caplan recalled when presenting the award. He was struck by their refusal to “dismiss each other’s arguments. Instead, they found creative ideas for new ways of dealing with the conflict.”

In addition to the dialogue groups, the trio helped establish an essay contest on Israel/Palestinian historical narratives. They were involved with Caplan in organizing a three-day symposium on Israeli and Palestinian Historical Narratives that was part of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Series.

Bringing students together was the clear focus of all these initiatives, and Iny thanked all the students who participated.

The second award was presented to Lawrence Tsang for engaging others in student organizing.

Tsang joked that the full list of groups he had been involved in during his time at Concordia would fill five pages. He had been most involved in the Biology Students Association, the Arts and Science Federation of Associations and as a student representative on Senate.

Among the wellwishers at the ceremony were members of Iny’s family.

Claire Iny was extremely proud of her grandson and impressed with the whole event. “Concordia is so huge, it’s like a city. Someone had to point me to the building.”