Petition to Social Justice Prof. Joanne St. Lewis to Drop Legal Fees
23 students of the University of Ottawa and other univerities have written to Professor Joanne St. Lewis, requesting her to withdraw her legal fees demand on student Joseph Hickey:
To: Joanne St. Lewis
Cc: Joseph Hickey
Date: April 7, 2012
Subject: Petition to Social Justice Prof. St. Lewis to drop legal fees
Dear Professor of Social Justice, Joanne St. Lewis,
We are undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Ottawa as well as members of society. We have become aware of your demand for your lawyers’ fees in the amount of $3,876.95 against student Joseph Hickey. You are demanding this amount to pay for your lawyers’ opposition to Mr. Hickey’s March 28 motion to obtain public observation of President Rock’s cross-examination in relation to his decision to use student tuition money to fund your private defamation lawsuit.
We are astonished that you, as a Professor of Social Justice in Common Law, would oppose transparency of the President’s cross-examination, and that you would use the court system to charge and punish a student for trying to obtain transparency. We are very troubled by your and President Rock’s refusals to allow students to observe the President’s sworn testimony about how he is using student tuition money to fund a lawsuit.
We live in a democratic society whose people have the right to gain access to knowledge of matters concerning and affecting their freedom and rights. As a member of a democratic institution and as one who has the authority to instruct the democratic process, we would think that you would not needlessly punish a young member of society whose sole interest was in the freedom and rights of his fellow students. By refusing to withdraw your demand of legal fees and pursuing in this unjust treatment, you infringe upon all that Canada’s democracy stands for.
We support Mr. Hickey as students who are also concerned with how members of society in high positions of power are using our tuition money, money that is used towards our education and future, to fund their own interests outside of the educational system. We have the right to know where and how our money is being spent and, as a graduate student, Mr. Hickey possesses this right as well.
Professor St. Lewis, your costs demands on Mr. Hickey are outrageous and unjust. How does this accomplish anything besides discouraging students from participating in the politics of our university?
Please immediately withdraw your costs demand and please agree to permit student observation of President Rock’s testimony in this matter.
Katrina Dolar, Alyssa Girard, Jessica Kokin, Vince Amatuzio, Rachel Nischal, Venus Daliri, Tommy Olopade, Shahrzad Rouzbeh, Andrea Partab, Aru Sharma, Meghan Beale, Marc Catangay, Elliott Grant, Scott Ramirez, Abigail Sackey, Taylor Wright, Eliver Del Mundo, Colleen Shair, Tiana Caponio, Andrei Borissenko, Cyrilene Guilaran, Nashmil Ghazi, and Ryan de Rushe