The Centre for Equity and Human Rights (CEHR) of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) has announced that it will hold a press conference about the racism in the U of O School of Nursing:
Friday April 29, 2011
Entrance rotunda, Tabaret Hall
Former School of Nursing students Anne Mpinda and Victor Ndayishimiye have each filed detailed human rights complaints with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) against six teaching and administrative staff members at the school. They are represented by human rights lawyer Yavar Hameed.
The HRTO complaints are about racial discrimination and allege systemic discrimination, reprisals and intimidation; not unlike the recent high-profile cases in the U of O Faculty of Medicine, HERE.
The CEHR also confirms that it has received no less than twenty such similar reports from students in the School of Nursing since the fall of 2009.
The director of the CEHR, Francine Page, had sounded the alarm in 2007 and followed this with an expert report to the University in February 2010. Page was disturbed to find her concerns and report effectively ignored by the University of Ottawa, under its president Allan Rock administration.
The University propaganda touts Rock as a "defender of human rights" "putting the University at the service of the world". It would be better to put itself at the service of its students, especially those being discriminated against.
The CEHR press release comes only weeks after Allan Rock's university senate brazenly repudiated a motion to reaffirm its commitment to a discrimination-free academic environment, in an effort to prevent exactly these types of problems, HERE.
Needless to say, the Student Appeal Centre's (SAC) 2008 public report about systemic racism at the University of Ottawa, that the Rock administration took great pains to deny and defame (HERE), now echos loudly in the hollow halls of this racist institution.
On his next mission abroad, Rock could save a lot of folks a lot of pain by plainly stating: "If you're black or brown avoid applying." Or, he could start actually standing for human rights by ordering immediate reparations where reparations are due rather than fight lengthy and costly denials of the obvious -- as the University shamefully continues to do.
Update: Senate member Joseph Hickey is following up with university senate, HERE. The University of Ottawa ("Canada's university" in its propaganda) is rather unique in Canada for not having a policy against harassment and discrimination. This absence of protection has repeatedly been denounced by the SEHR and SAC of the SFUO.