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Motion for Transparency on Exchange with an Israeli University: Presentation to Senate

March 7, 2011

Update: Video now available here
Update: Article by La Rotonde available here

Today the Senate voted against a motion to halt applications to a new exchange Master’s in Laws program with the University of Haifa, in Israel.

The motion called for a delay to applications to the program until, among other concerns, a no-discrimination guarantee for Palestinian students was implemented for the program.

My detailed presentation to the Senate is available here.

Following the presentation, Chairman Allan Rock refused to permit invited guest speakers Diana Ralph of Independent Jewish Voices, and members of Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR-Ottawa) to address the motion, despite my having informed all Members of Senate weeks in advance that speakers would attend to provide commentary.

Mr. Rock’s only, repeated statement was “only Senators have a right to address Senate.”  Unfortunately, what this really means is: “I’m the Chairman, and I don’t want you here.”

(It doesn’t matter that invited speakers do not have an inherent “right” to address Senate, because the established practice at the university is to allow invited guests to contribute to the discussion before a courteous and collegial assembly.  Think of the student leaders from the SFUO and GSAED presenting before the Board of Governors, for example).

A scathing report on President Allan Rock’s heavy-handed managing style, as demonstrated at today’s meeting, is posted here.

Video by the University of Ottawa to be released shortly.

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