Christopher Sabec’s Passion for Music

Christopher Sabec RightscorpBy senior year at Georgetown, Christopher Sabec had risen through the Student Judiciary to become Director. The Director served as the final arbiter of disciplinary decisions for the University Administration. The Director’s power to veto administrative decisions was a holdover from the student protests during the Vietnam War. It was one of the demands granted to the students during the May Day demonstrations of 1972. The position was for the most part low-key and off the radar throughout his four years at Georgetown, but in his last semester he became embroiled in a controversy between the student body and the administration. A series of protests over Georgetown’s investments in South Africa had led to the construction of a shantytown on the front lawn of the school, occupied by approximately 120 student squatters. After a week of requests for the students to vacate the area went unheeded, the University ordered the students arrested for trespassing and suspended each of them for a semester. As Director of the Student Judiciary, all the suspensions came before Christopher for review and possible reversal. The pressure from the opposing sides was intense, with the administration being particularly irritated when they realized that Christopher was weighing his opinions rather than rubber-stamping their decision. In the end, Christopher reversed all but two of the suspensions to the cheers of the students and the chagrin of the administration. The victory was bittersweet, however, as the incident was painted as revealing a flaw in the structure of the Student Judiciary and it was reorganized to eliminate the veto power over disciplinary decisions the following year.

Throughout Christopher’s experience at Georgetown, music continued to be an integral part of his personal life. He discovered folk-influenced music of the late 60s and early 70s, listening to Bob Dylan, CSN, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and other singer/songwriters. As for concerts, Christopher kept expanding his life experiences. Between 1984 and 1987 he saw Talking Heads, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Stephen Stills, and CSN among others.

One of the ways Christopher’s interest in music began to manifest itself into his academic and professional life was a growing fascination with the political and student activism during the late 60s. Due in part to the people he met while working for Senator Hart, as well as the growing opposition at Georgetown to the US involvement in Central America at the time, Christopher was drawn to that period in his political studies. He enjoyed trying to place the music he was listening to into its historical context.