Student Senator Demands Apology for Vice-Dean Denis Bachand’s Aggression, University of Ottawa
From: Joseph Hickey
To: Denis Bachand
Date: October 5, 2011
Subject: Your Actions at Senate: Demand for Apology
Dear Faculty of Arts Vice-Dean and Secretary, Denis Bachand,
At the October 3, 2011 meeting of the Senate, I protested the Chair’s unilateral decision to turn off the Senate’s camera, in violation of the Senate Policy on Video Recording. Students of this University suffered a harsh struggle in order to obtain filming of the Senate, and as a representative of all graduate students in the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Medicine, it was my responsibility to stand by the Policy and argue on a Point of Order for the Chair to reverse his decision to turn off the camera.
Near the end of the meeting, you were seated at the front row of the gallery section in the Senate meeting room, at the closest proximity to my position at the Senate table. As part of my Point of Order, I stated that a Senate member was leaving the room in protest over the disrespectful atmosphere created by the Chair’s disregard for Senate policy. At this time, in response to my statement, you yelled at me in a hateful tone of voice. Your face was red and you had an angry grimace. You yelled: “Mr. Hickey, you have been expulsed, why are you still here?!” and then “what, are you sick in the head?!”
As a result of your outburst, I was intimidated and demeaned. I was made to feel like a lesser member of the assembly by your verbal aggression. I was afraid and taken aback by the violence of your tone of voice and the fact that you were surrounded by other Senate members who appeared to support your hostility. It is wrong for a Vice-Dean and Professor to make such a baseless and violent attack on a student in any public space on campus, let alone at a session of the university Senate, for other Senators, university employees, and community members to witness.
I demand an unqualified written apology from you for aggressing me and defaming me such at the October 3 meeting of the Senate, and to state that you will not act this way at future Senate meetings. I also demand that this be followed by a verbal apology at the next Senate meeting. I wish to receive the written apology by Monday or I will consider other forms of redress.
I hope to help ensure that no other student will be treated this way by you ever again.
Cc: Members of Senate