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April 2, 2007


Ottawa U admin and students face off over activism course

(OTTAWA) On April 4th supporters of the Ottawa U’s activism course will host a public press conference and “Lunch with Gilles” demonstration starting at 11:30am on the front steps of the Tabaret Hall central administration building (550 Cumberland). Vegan food will be served at the open mic event. Guest of honour President Gilles Patry will be asked to respond to student demands.

The University of Ottawa is trying to suppress the Activism Course (Science in Society, SCI 1101) after the course was given only once by Prof. Denis Rancourt, following university Senate approval of SCI 1101 in September 2006.

The course drew extensive media coverage last fall when students from the class sued the university over insufficient teacher assistant resources (, followed by the administration’s expulsion of two registered 10-year-old students from the class who then filed an Ontario human rights complaint (

Many students have formed a Freedom of Expression Committee (FEC) to insist that the course continue to be offered and to ensure that this and related demands are met, using direct democracy methods learned in SCI 1101.

Hundreds of students are “pre-registering” for the course by sending their registration forms to UofO President Gilles Patry’s office. See: .

April 4th demonstrators will march to the President’s office in Tabaret Hall to present the letter of FEC demands. These demands include pedagogical resources for the course and the creation of a second-year “Science, Activism, and Society” course (SCI 2101).

The following day, interested media, students and community members will attend the public 10am April 5th Faculty Council meeting (Faculty of Science, Room 080, Gendron Hall) where the creation of SCI 2101 is to be discussed. The dean of the faculty has arbitrarily blocked this agenda item but a student council member has appealed to university regulations and to President Patry for democratic due process to be respected.


For further information contact: FEC:
Alex Vyse, FEC student member:, 613-552-4862
Mireille Gervais, FEC student member:, 613-748-7029
Tammy Kovich, FEC student member:, 613-875-0394
Prof. Denis Rancourt:, 613-562-5800x6774
Dean of Science André Lalonde:, 613-562-5800x5817
President Gilles Patry:, 613-562-5809

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