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Academic boycott: motion on freezing exchange program between Ottawa and Haifa until the fair and equitable access of Palestinian students

Written by admin  •  Tuesday, 22.02.2011, 11:41
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Joseph Hickey, representative of the University of Ottawa/Canada Senate for graduate students in the sciences, has submitted a motion for the March 7, 2011 meeting of the University of Ottawa senate to freeze the Joint Masters in Laws exchange program with Haifa University. In the public motion Hickey calls to ensure the fair and equitable access to the program for Palestinian students which is currently not assured. The motion was made public on February 19:

Dear Diane Davidson and Members of the Senate,

I hereby submit the following motion for the March 7, 2011 meeting of the Senate. I hope to work with other Members of Senate in the upcoming weeks before the March 7 meeting in order to develop any amendments that may be necessary. Please contact me if you are you interested.

Motion submitted on February 19, 2011:

WHEREAS the operation of the University of Ottawa Senate is premised on the democratic principles of transparency and accountability and bound by the University of Ottawa Act, 1965 to follow Christian principles of fairness and equity, and;

WHEREAS the Executive Committee of the Senate approved a Joint Masters in Laws (LL.M) exchange program in partnership with the University of Haifa, Israel, on May 12, 2008, and the Faculty of Common Law is currently accepting applications to the program, and;

WHEREAS it has not been determined that the Senate has granted the power to its Executive Committee to approve new programs categorized as reciprocity agreements, and;

WHEREAS it has not been determined if Palestinian students from the University of Ottawa or the University of Haifa shall have full and equitable access to the program in question, and;

WHEREAS new academic initiatives that have targeted donor support are potentially subject to donor influence and whereas the Haifa project agreement between the University of Ottawa and the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation has not been disclosed to Senate or made public, and;

WHEREAS there is presently local and international expressed concern about Israel’s domestic and foreign policy and a broad international call for an academic boycott of Israel,

THEREFORE the Senate requires that the date and circumstances surrounding the delegation of its power to approve new exchange programs and reciprocity agreements to its Executive Committee be provided to it, and;

THEREFORE the Senate requires that the agreement between the University of Ottawa and the Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation be entirely disclosed to it and made public, and;

THEREFORE in order to ensure fair and equitable access of all persons to the program in question without discrimination, the Senate requires the affirmative action guarantee that applications be selected in such a way that the percentage of Palestinian students accepted into the program at the University of Haifa be equal to or greater than the percentage of Palestinian people living in Israel, and;

THEREFORE the Senate will hear the community concerns regarding institutional academic exchanges with Israel, from representatives of all concerned parties from the university community, in view of (re)considering its approval of the Haifa project, and;

THEREFORE the Joint Masters in Laws (LL.M) exchange program shall be frozen and the application process put on hold until the above actions have been carried out by the Senate.

Sincerely,
Joseph Hickey
Representative to the University of Ottawa Senate for graduate
students in the Sciences.

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