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

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Final solution applied to student Marc Kelly at the University of Ottawa – Neanderthal practice

In our liberal democracies university administrations do not shoot students. They may contrive false criminal charges and encourage police to arrest students [LINK]. They may arbitrarily apply trespass law to bar registered students from their studies and from Xmas parties [LINK, LINK]. And campus police wear bullet proof vests and bash students around. But at Canada’s university the administration does not shoot students.

The worst university administrations can do to “undesired elements” of the student body is what was done at York University in the case of Dan Freeman-Maloy: Unilateral deregistration from the student’s study program combined with an enforced physical ban from campus.

In the case of Freeman-Maloy this led to a legal precedent in the Supreme Court of Canada in which a university president can be sued for malfeasance in public office, and it led to a settlement victory for the student [LINK].

Now the Rock administration at the University of Ottawa has applied this final solution to scholarship mathematics student Marc Kelly. No specific reasons were given.

The administration’s death sentence was delivered by president Rock’s new hand-picked VP-Governance Diane Davidson [see letter HERE].

The administration’s action was vigorously opposed by the student federation’s Student Appeals Centre (SAC) but this protest stirred no visible emotion in the administration’s executive officer for governance [see exchange HERE].

In the latest development, the SAC is supporting an official appeal to the university’s Senate Appeals Committee [see appeal letter HERE].

Will the Rock administration come to its senses and stop attacking students in futile efforts to curb creative political expression?

Why not celebrate and protect student activists instead?

Why not encourage criticism and an open campus atmosphere rather than be this Neanderthal about unconventional student political participation?

The Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are examples of evolution. Why not evolve Mr. Rock? Let us move away from final solutions.

[Editor's note: No, that is not a photo of Marc Kelly, Allan Rock, or Diane Davidson!]

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