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Motion Against Systemic Discrimination at the University of Ottawa

March 23, 2011

Dear Members of the University of Ottawa Senate,

At the March 7 meeting of the Senate, I informed you of a troubling case of discrimination and reprisal taking place at the University of Ottawa involving three medical resident students of the Faculty of Medicine.  I also read a disturbing leaked e-mail from the Division of Neurosurgery Chair, Richard Moulton, to Professor Eve Tsai, and announced that a press conference would be held by the victims on March 9.

The video of my announcement from the March 7 meeting is available here: (Link)

Video of the March 9 press conference is available here: (Part-1, Part-2, Part-3, Part-4, Part-5)

The story has been covered in the national media, for example, by the Globe and Mail: (Link)

In light of the information revealed in the leaked e-mails and by the complainant medical residents at their press conference, I hereby submit the following motion on non-discrimination for the April 4, 2011 meeting of the University of Ottawa Senate.

This motion is modelled on the May 2010 motion on Freedom of Expression (attached), which was passed after the Ann Coulter affair of March 2010.  I hope that the presentations and debate surrounding the motion below will allow us to re-evaluate our collective understanding of what it means to be an academic institution that is open to people of all cultures and backgrounds.

* * *

Motion submitted to the University of Ottawa Senate on March 22, 2011 by student representative Joseph Hickey:

Whereas the University of Ottawa is an academic institution that values cultural diversity; and,

Whereas students and staff at the University should be free of discrimination based on race, religion, or nationality of origin; and,

Whereas it is in the interest of all students for the University to protect minority rights and prevent all forms of discrimination.

Be it resolved that the Senate of the University of Ottawa reaffirms its commitment to non-discrimination in all its academic programs and academic endeavours; and,

Be it further resolved that the University promotes its place as Canada’s University; a place of tolerance and diversity.

* * *

I have invited the complainants, Dr. Waleed AlGhaithy, Dr. Khalid Aba-Alkhail, and Dr. Manal Al-Saigh to make a short presentation to the Senate on the motion following my concise presentation of the motion.


Joseph Hickey
B.Sc. (Summa Cum Laude), University of Ottawa
M.Sc. candidate, University of Ottawa
Graduate student representative to the University of Ottawa Senate, Sciences section

Cc: Concerned members of the community

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