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May 18, 2007


Students risk arrest to maintain access to public meeting at Ottawa U

(OTTAWA) On Tuesday, May 22, 2007, at 8:30am, Ottawa U security guards are expected to attempt to bar students and community members from attending a Faculty of Science Faculty Council meeting to be held in Gendron Hall, Room 080, 40 Marie Curie Street.

The May 22nd session is intended to be the continuation of the meeting that was halted on April 5, 2007, when the dean of the faculty called in security guards to clear the room after only 20 minutes of deliberations.

This arose because student council member Severin Stojanovic would not stand down in his objection of the dean's illegal veto of an agenda item to discuss the creation of a second-year-level activism course: SCI 2101 Science, Activism, and Society.

Stojanovic is filing a judicial review of the dean's decision which has been upheld by the VP-Academic and the President who have stated that they "have complete confidence in the dean and support his decisions". The administration refuses to postpone continuation of the meeting until after the judicial review is heard.

The April 5th incident also gave rise to an official complaint of harassment against ten Ottawa U professors and executives; that is expected to go to an outside arbitrator soon. A petition of 300 names supports the creation of SCI 2101 and many letters have been sent to the President to protest the dean's veto.

Faculty Council meetings are open to the public by default and can only be made in-camera by a majority vote of the council, yet the faculty has announced that the May 22nd meeting "will be closed to all non-council members".

The first-year-level course (SCI 1101) drew extensive media coverage last fall when students from the class sued the university over insufficient teacher assistant resources (, a case undergoing forced mediation hearings this week; followed by the administration's expulsion of two registered 10-year-old students from the class who then filed an Ontario human rights complaint ( that was recently served to the University.


For further information contact:
Sean Kelly, student,, 819-775-9021 (h), 613-562-5800x6744 (w)
Prof. Denis Rancourt:, 613-562-5800x6774
Dean of Science André Lalonde:, 613-562-5800x5817
President Gilles Patry:, 613-562-5809

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