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Letter to Allan Rock: Oct. 3 Senate Meeting

October 5, 2011

From: Joseph Hickey
To: Allan Rock
Cc: Members of Senate
Date: October 5, 2011
Subject: Oct. 3 Senate Meeting

Dear President Allan Rock,

Before the Agenda of the October 3, 2011 meeting of the Senate was adopted, interim Chair, François Houle ordered the Senate’s official camera turned off.

This was the first time since students won filming of the Senate in the Winter 2009 semester that the Senate’s camera was turned off.

The Senate’s Policy on Video Recording, Broadcasting, and Picture Taking during the Senate Meetings, available here, states:

“Be it resolved :

1.    In the present policy, the expression « recording device » includes any equipment that can be used to record either through photography, videotaping or audio recording, an image, a sound or a conversation and includes cellular phones and cameras.

2.    Meetings of the Senate are fully recorded by equipment installed and operated by University personnel. The complete recording can be accessed on the University website.”

Mr. Houle’s unilateral decision to end filming of the Oct. 3 meeting was in violation of the Senate’s Policy, and I protested this breach of Policy on a Point of Order that was not resolved.

I felt compelled to stand up for this Policy, which was won by students who wanted complete public transparency of this public institution’s Senate meetings, and I was disappointed by the unruly behaviour of Senate that the Chair’s disregard generated and that he was not able to solve.

Not only was Mr. Houle’s action unwarranted, it was also unnecessary, since I had already made my point about your continued refusal to attend Senate.

The invalid business of the Senate following the Chair’s disregard of my Point of Order included Mr. Houle overseeing an unfounded exclusion order against me that a majority of students opposed.

At this stage, I ask that you grant the Members of the Senate the collegial courtesy of informing them of your reasons for being absent from Senate, particularly from the last two meetings.

Let’s go back to Senate business, and let’s do it in the transparent way that was initiated at the University of Ottawa and that Canada’s University can be proud of.

Sincerely,

Joseph Hickey
Student Senator
Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Sciences section

Cc: Members of Senate, concerned community members

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