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Freedom of Expression Committee

Letter of Support for the Activism Class: David Mandelzys

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David Mandelzys
Research Analyst
The Bank of Canada

22 December 2006

Good Afternoon Mr. Patry, Major and Lalonde,

I am writing you regarding the Science in Society course that was offered at the University of Ottawa during the Fall term. I was a student registered in the course and I attended every class. As a graduate of the University of Waterloo, I would firstly like to commend the University of Ottawa for offering such a unique and innovative course. I wish I had the opportunity to have taken such a class while completing my undergraduate degree. It seemed obvious how much the students enrolled in Prof. Rancourt's class gained from the experience. In my opinion the spirit of the discussions, lectures and workgroups truly embodied what the University should strive to be.

As a community member, I too gained a great deal from the experience. I was surprised at how many fellow civil servants, private sector employees, small business owners, retirees, and others regularly attended lectures. The range of people involved showed how effective Prof. Rancourt was at using the course to reach out beyond the University of Ottawa to the broader community. As a student at Waterloo I often felt isolated on campus from the city around the school. Connecting with the community is an excellent goal and beneficial for the institution, the students, and the Ottawonians with whom the University shares its surroundings.

With all that said, I am concerned at the obstacles being put in the way of re-offering this course next Fall, and of the students and Prof. Rancourt's attempts to improve the course by hiring more TA's and formatting the lectures in the way that best suits the course objectives. I hope that the University of Ottawa recognizes the 'Activist' course as an opportunity to lead the way in a unique undertaking, and facilitates the process rather than serving as a roadblock. I hope in the future to even potentially see Science in Society 201 offered at your school, I will be happy to again enroll should it be scheduled.

Thank you for your time and Happy Holidays

David Mandelzys
Research Analyst
The Bank of Canada

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

Conchita Fonseca, M.D. and Jean-Pierre Thibault, M.Sc.(Eng.) candidate, 15 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