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Freedom of Expression Committee

Letter of Support for the Activism Class: Conchita Fonseca and Jean-Pierre Thibault

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REGISTRATION: 2007 AC as Protest
About the Activism Course
Letter: ES Exec to Dean - March 2007
Letters of Support 2006
Letters to Patry in 2007
Replies from Patry 2007
Call to Action
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Conchita Fonseca, M.D.
Faculty of Medicine, U of O, Class of '04

Jean-Pierre Thibault, M. Sc. (Eng.) candidate
Faculty of Engineering, U of O, Class of '99

15 December 2006

Dear Messrs. Patry, Major, and Lalonde,

My husband and I are both University of Ottawa alumni. We are writing to express our concern with the approach the university has taken in handling matters relating to SCI 1101, the Activism Course (AC). We have been following developments related to the course closely over the last few months and believe that the instructor, Prof. Denis Rancourt, has been subjected to undue, and thus unfair, scrutiny by the administration, and that the AC project - from the approval process to the provision of adequate teaching assistance - has suffered due to a lack of support from the administration.

The AC is a unique experiment in pedagogy that should be embraced enthusiastically by the university, as it promotes independent thought and encourages students to become active learners and socially responsible citizens. Given its promotion of grassroots initiatives and its organic links with the campus and surrounding community, it is a course that, if allowed to grow and develop, will undoubtedly significantly enrich campus life. Indeed, it has already done so. It is the kind of course we wish we could have participated in when we studied medicine and engineering at U of O. My husband had the opportunity to be taught first-year physics by Prof. Rancourt and knows firsthand what a great educator he is.

As we settle into our respective professional careers, we would like to support U of O in its ongoing efforts to grow and improve. And we very much hope that part of that improvement will involve supporting innovative professors like Denis Rancourt.

Thank you for your time,

Conchita Fonseca, M.D.
Faculty of Medicine, U of O, Class of '04

Jean-Pierre Thibault, M. Sc. (Eng.) candidate
Faculty of Engineering, U of O, Class of '99

Letters of Support for the Activism Class:

Alroy Fonseca, Policy Analyst, 30 Nov 2006

Anna Sundin, LL. B., 18 December 2006

Atiya Hussain, Parent of U. of O. student,14 November 2006

Claude Haridge, P.Eng., 1 December 2006

David Mandelzys, Research Analyst, 22 December 2006

Douglas Budden, Kyirong Choling Farmstead, 6 November 2006

Gerald Ohlsen, Retired Senior Diplomat, 15 November 2006

Sabrina Bowman, Intern, Office of Pat Martin, M.P., 5 December 2006