U of O Watch mission, in the words of Foucault...

"One knows … that the university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class. … It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Foucault, debating Chomsky, 1971.

U of O Watch mission, in the words of Socrates...

"An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all." -- Socrates

video of president allan rock at work

Thursday, January 28, 2010

At U of O there is no free expression – Current cost: $1,038.19 per slogan

Will the Rock administration stop its ridiculous charade?

Or, will it continue to burden the police and the legal system with campus politics? (LINK)

This is the story of a physics graduate student criminally charged by the Rock administration for allegedly messaging an empty cement display backing wall…

This is the story of aggressive corporate protectionism of the visual campus environment against student free expression and spontaneous messaging…


The outdoor walkway between the University Center and the Morisset Library is a perfect controlled environment for targeted visual messaging, with high student traffic in proximity to large poster boards.

The U of O Corporation recognized this early on and installed large cement lighted display cases for its propaganda. This is what it looked like in 2006:

Avatar eat your heart out.

The U of O administration extensively uses the services of marketing and branding “experts.” It appreciates the “practical advantages” of creating the mental environment versus actually enabling personal exploration and development.

In this spirit of social engineering, in the true spirit of control, the university administration has been very protective of the cement display case backing walls that temporarily free up between installations of corporate posters.

This has not stopped some creative (and bilingual) culture jamming:

Oh oui…

Good one…

Time to take this one down:

And this is what a liberated backing wall looks like:

Some serious damage huh? Just think where this could lead. Let this go and soon you have TOTAL CHAOS and murder in the streets… It could spark independent thinking!

It will survive only long enough for the next corporate poster to be put up over it. If allowed to live its natural life...

Recently, the Rock administration of Canada’s university has gone as far as to characterize these ephemeral student messages on the cement backing walls as "damage to property" and has had one of its own students arrested and criminally charged.

At an organized student event designed to liberate the backing walls and encourage their use by students, the campus police decided to covertly gather “evidence” rather than intervene to stop the much feared “damage to property”. In a coordinated operation, more than five campus police agents gathered “evidence” rather than simply intervene in the name of protecting property. (The U of O loooves covert surveillance: LINK.)

The Rock administration then laid criminal charges and a blanket trespass notice against scholarship graduate physics student Joseph Hickey. The trespass notice was short lived because the administration was forced to back down given firm protests from the graduate student association (GSAED) and from the union of teacher assistants (CUPE-2626). (media LINK-1, media LINK-2, media LINK-3)

But now Mr. Hickey has been told by the Crown Prosecutor (who surely has other more important matters to attend to?) that the damage for which he is alleged to be responsible is valued at $1038.19, the cost of a recent cement backing wall cleanup operation.


Will the Rock administration stop its ridiculous charade?

And stop spending tuition money on controlling the message?

Judging from a developing pattern, expect Mr. Rock to answer from the short end of more criminal charges and more cops on campus and more Liberal speakers for a better Canada... Unless February 3rd Chalking Day makes a mark?

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