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"Youth should be radical. Youth should demand change in the world. Youth should not accept the old order if the world is to move on. But the old orders should not be moved easily -- certainly not at the mere whim or behest of youth. There must be clash and if youth hasn't enough force or fervor to produce the clash the world grows stale and stagnant and sour in decay."

-William Allen White

THE NEWS FLOW

Oct. 20, 2009. Documents obtained by the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Email exchanges between President Allan Rock and publisher of the Ottawa Citizen Jim Orban reveal how the University of Ottawa controls the media.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Department of Physics Abuses Its Power

On Wednesday Oct 21, the Faculty of Science deregistered physics student Marc Kelly against his will. On Friday Oct 24, a press conference was held in the physics building.


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am completely disgusted by the way the university has treated this student. Disgusted.

Anonymous said...

I found the tape recording very concerning. That is no way a university president should be communicating with ANYONE.

On a serious note, I do worry about why the situation has arrived at where it is today. You seem to be very aggressive with your approach. I am reminded of a movie (based on a true story) I watched not too long ago about an international student who shot his thesis advisor, another professor and some graduate students because he didn't like their decision about his research. The university walls are surrounded with regulations and policies. I believe it's important to respect them and the hiarkey they create. I worry about how agggressive you may take this situation should the administration not favour in your direction.

You seem to be very bright. Your research must be applicable to some subject in some faculty. Apparently, no one at ottawa u wants you there. Why don't you try at another university if it's not too late?
I wish you all the luck. Stay positive. Things will always work out in the end.

Anonymous said...

This is completely unacceptable. Rock should apologize and resign IMMEDIATELY. He is obviously not the right person to be running our school.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be pretty sensitive there, Marc Kelly. Try getting a hobby, or at least find something better to do.

Please, stop wasting everyone's time with your long pathetic e-mails.

Anonymous said...

Marc,

Kill yourself.

- Department of Physics

Anonymous said...

You are right! Rock is clearly not the right person to be running this joint. As a member of the UO community, I demand that the next time such a thing happens, Rock beat the living shit out of you, you little prick, or at least have someone on standby to do so. Of course, this is what you really want, wasn't it?

Marc Kelly said...

"As a member of the UO community, I demand that the next time such a thing happens, Rock beat the living shit out of you, you little prick, or at least have someone on standby to do so. Of course, this is what you really want, wasn't it?"


I would like to be reregistered, because I believe my deregistration was unfair.

I would like to learn, explore and create without political interference.

I would like my peers to understand the importance of freedom and democracy.

I would like my peers to be sensitive to the administrative injustices that occur daily at UofO, which affect numerous students in very serious ways, in ways often orders of magnitude more serious than my situation.

I would like my peers to understand that, regardless of my character (which many seem less than fond off), accepting the administration's power to deregister a student against their will sets a dangerous precedent that affects all students.

This is not only about me, it is about all of us.

Anonymous said...

Marc,

Your message is important. That is why it is so unfortunate that you have chosen tactics that inherently discredit your position.

Why are you using drastic tactics that involve defamation (Mr. former UN ambassador, a racist?)?

What do you think you will accomplish by accusing Mr. Rock of "abuse", "violence, "manipulation of feelings", of viewing you as "an unworthy subversive", of viewing students as "not people"? You entered Mr. Rock's office without invitation or appointment and he yelled at you - that is all. Do you think that exaggeration and inflammatory accusations will help anyone? Will it not discredit you?

Marc, the issue that you are talking about is of critical importance and I agree with your point of view. It angers me that you are undermining your own case, and the case of all students, with your extreme, inflammatory, and defamatory methods.

-dhm.

Anonymous said...

I'm with dhm's opinion 100%, I couldnt put it better myself.

Assertiveness gets you places, but agression and disrespect just gets people riled up.

I do support the awareness of the issues you are cultivating and I respect your refusal to step down, because by expelling you they have clearly crossed the line. There are countless more constructive ways in which they could have managed your complaints.

I respect your right to speak out- it takes guts. I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

Alright buddy, you failed your PHY3355 class... what else do you want them to tell you? Oh, you failed, but since you ask for it we will give a passing grade ?!?! I think you're trying to make a point about something that you created !! If you failed that class, it is probably your fault !! not theirs !! And I totally agree with them that the theme of your research as more to do with social science than physics !!
And by the way, if someone would force is way to my office, I would do the same thing that Mr. Rock did. What would you did if I would break into your house ?? Come on !!

Anonymous said...

I think they're both being pretty unreasonable. Rock's being a prick, but Kelly's just being annoying. If he spent the same amount of effort looking for another topic other than the physics of conversation instead of setting himself to be rejected (twice) there would be a lot less grief. This battle of the brainless isn't as interesting as it seems.

Anonymous said...

Before you get all upset about what the university did, please consider my experience with the person in question.

This poor de-registered "student" who wants the respect of the administration and the of the rest of us, is the same student who barged in to one of my classes wearing a mask and white jump suit blarring anti-conformity messages from a sound system while one of his buddies videotaped the whole thing! What idiot in this post Columbine, post Virginia Tech world would do something like that to fellow students! I didn't ask to be videotaped and neither did the rest of the people in my class! I didn't ask this idiot to disrupt the presentations of my colleagues! We asked him to leave and he wouldn't leave until two people physically removed him and his buddy from our class! I am not even in his department!
How can this idiot demand respect when he doesn't have the decency to give it even to his fellow students! GOOD RIDDANCE!

I DO NOT WANT ANYMORE DISRUPTION FROM THIS "STUDENT" IN PERSON OR VIA EMAIL AGAIN! I"M NOT BOTHERING YOU SO LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!!!!!!

I'm sending this note "anonymous" because I don't trust that this person or his supporters wouldn't somehow retaliate.

Alex said...

Would you mind giving more details up-front in your posts?

For example, what the actual topic of your thesis paper was?

After digging a bit, I found your website with the paper on it, which is titled "A Mathematical Model of Human Dialogue," which the department correctly described as "not physics."

Furthermore, I skimmed over your paper, only to discover that it's barely even research. It seems that all you've done is created a mathematical model, then examined the behaviour of that model, without actually comparing it to any sort of experimental information to determine whether or not your model is valid.

What you have is a model that is so oversimplified with such arbitrarily designed parameters that it describes nothing but itself. Essentially, what you have amount to a first or second year computer science project, simplified into mathematical expressions.

Can I ask what you EXPECTED from the department?

Shyane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Frankly I find your behaviour to be disruptive, uncalled-for, and altogether rude. I have read your research proposal and I wonder what would be so bad about conducting such research under the Social Science department?? I am a Soc.Sci student and if you are implying that the social sciences are somehow lesser than the formal sciences (which is a widely held belief), I would beg to differ!! If this is not your intention, then why the aversion to completing your research under a different department?? I think you are being antagonistic for the sake of being so.

Allan Rock said...

Yo YOU ARE A SHIT HEAD
-ATTENTION WHORE

Anonymous said...

I find M.Rock and the rest of the UofO administration to be very rude and exclusive. Although I do not fully understand your issue, I do find the 'tone of voice' used by the President to be disturbing. If indeed you did get a failing mark because of this so called 'activism' in your physics class, then I think that university is grossely overrated because I have, as well as numerous others, always thought that activism was a proper path to learning, especially at a university level.

Anonymous said...

don't bother the students with your problems. we are all very busy with university work and our own issues, so don't put yours on us.

Anonymous said...

I agree with alex, who posted a little further down. I took a look at your project, and frankly it isn't that impressive... the footnotes, in particular, make it extremely hard to take Marc seriously. You can win word games, but that doesn't change the fact that while your idea is interesting, it is intellectually flawed from the beginning.

The Physics department told you this isn't Physics... twice. Why don't you find an equally interesting project, re-submit next year, and stop whining so much? This is a university, and the line separating real research and interesting fodder must be drawn somewhere.

Pursue your project as a side project this year, submit a better project to get your credits for the course next year, and stop walking in unannounced into people's offices with your loud posse. You are stubborn and most of your classmates are not impressed by your antics.

Anonymous said...

Most of your class mates have chosen to lick ass and to defend ass licking. They will succeed whereas you will only and always fail. You seem to believe that being a trouble maker is more important than learning physics. You will continue to be a miserable and pathetic pion.
-mj

Alex said...

The other thing I find off-putting about your paper is that it seems almost contrived specifically to give the illusion of legitimacy to people uneducated in mathematics, i.e. the majority of the student body.

Once you get past the Greek letters and graphs, it's easy to see that there's very little substance to it. Incidentally, using Greek letters in a system where there are no other variables is not exactly standard practice. In your paper, it comes across as a ploy to make it seem more academic.

If anyone is interested in working up some sort of blag which is a critical response to Kelly's case from a student's point of view, send me an email at Elpher(at)gmail[dot]com

Marc Kelly said...

.
.
"I took a look at your project, and frankly it isn't that impressive... the footnotes, in particular, make it extremely hard to take Marc seriously."
.
.
"After reading through Mr. Kelly's paper, it seems to me that it is merely an unveiled, defamatory, and puerile attack on a group of specific individuals working at the university and who are named in the main text and in the footnotes."
.
.
"The other thing I find off-putting about your paper is that it seems almost contrived specifically to give the illusion of legitimacy to people uneducated in mathematics, i.e. the majority of the student body."
.
.
"The footnotes and references are laughably ridiculous, even for a 4th year physics course, and his thesis is nothing more than a self-referential political essay with an unilateral slant, that happens to include some second-year mathematics. It is written as though its sole purpose was to 'stick it' to the Department, not to develop a mathematical model of human dialogue. "
.
.

B said...

Marc,

Accommodation only goes so far.
It does not make sense to argue that the definition of a field of study should be warped at your convenience. You are FREE to study whatever you are interested in; you are NOT FREE to force physicists to abandon the guiding principles of their field.

I have read your rejected research proposal. The topic is interesting and I wish you luck in your studies; but if you cannot understand why this research is "not physics" then you have so far learned very little about the nature of your subject.

Rights are important, and no useful debate can take place in the presence of such manipulative, defamatory tactics as you have employed against Allan Rock and others.

Based on my experience as a physics student at U of O, I would say that our University is run by honest, hard working, brilliant, caring and RESPECTFUL people. It upsets me to see such people spat on by those they serve.

I sincerely hope that your behaviour does not reflect too heavily on the character of fellow students. It may take a while for us to repair the damage you continue to do.

Don't e-mail me ever again.

Mark said...

I'm wondering exactly why were you de-registered? According to your colleagues, your project is laughable and crappy, and not even in the realm of your department. But last time I checked, students aren't EXPELLED because they hand in shitty assignments - they recieve a failing grade and are encouraged to try again next semester. So this makes me think that there's something else going on here that the rest of us don't
know about. However, I choose not to judge or speculate. What I do ask is that if you wish for your cause or whatever the hell this is to be taken seriously, please explain the situation, from your point of view, as it truly exists. And I don't mean one of these bullshit, grandiose, abstact fuckin John Stuart Mill On Liberty pieces you e-mailed us before. In plain english (or french) please describe what your research project was, what the physics department said was wrong with it, and how that escalated into you being expelled. Or else stop wasting everybody's fucking time

Marc Kelly said...

The Department of Physics rejected my project without knowing what my project was.

Their decision was based on a five sentence description of the theme of the project, which explicitly said the project would require physics tools and physics knowledge.

They did not ask how or why.
They did not contact me.
They did not contact either of my two supervisors.

They did not require details.

They rejected my multiple requests to speak to them. They refused my multiple requests to attend the decision meetings.

They slammed their office doors in my face when I approached them.

Their decision was not based on the nature of the research.

Their decision was politically motivated.

It is called suppression of dissent

The project posted online is a political satire.

Flatland is a classic mathematical political satire.

I was not permitted to do my research. I wrote the satire in secrecy.

The Project Coordinator instructed me to cease thinking about or working on anything that was not approved by the department.

The Department of Physics is run by the Thought Police.

The university is a mind prison. If prisoners want to get out, they don't fight each other, they fight the guards.

The full story with supporting documents will be made public eventually.

Anonymous said...

"The Department of Physics rejected my project without knowing what my project was.

Their decision was based on a five sentence description of the theme of the project, which explicitly said the project would require physics tools and physics knowledge.

The project posted online is a political satire.

I was not permitted to do my research. I wrote the satire in secrecy. " - Marc Kelly

So what EXACTLY did you submit to the department that got rejected?

Anonymous said...

Nearly 13 000 visitors on this blog in a little more than 2 months! holly crap, you should have put some adds on this site to make some money!
I don't know how you managed to send an e-mail to every student of the university, but from what I've read, you clearly deserve to be ejected from the university...

boycer said...

HAHA this guy needs to get his life together. Get away from our school, we don't want you here. I find it funny that your knowledge of the field of physics is sooooo limited, you couldn't change your topic. Well it wasn't really like you had one any way. What this kid needs is a good punch in the face. ill throw you a penny when i walk by the salvation army next time.

mike said...

Link to the paper you submitted.

Why are you so hush hush about it?

Why dont you have it available for everyone to read if there's nothing wrong with it?

Why dont you put it up on the internet if it does not deserve to be shut down by the department?


hmmmm>?

Alex said...

Yeah Mark, what's the deal? Why are you refusing to provide enough information to allow your peers to develop an informed opinion?

Anonymous said...

I think Marc should take another look at how he's choosing to address the issue. Bargin into someone's office unannounced won't exactly score points with students who understand the use of tact and proper procedure. It seems as though Marc was hoping for exactly the reaction he got, let's not forget he concealed the tape recorder and we don't know how aggressive his body language may have been ( how convenient for Marc).

Has anyone else noticed his Allan Rock's assistant knew him by first name? Obviously it isn't the first time he's been to Allan's office, i'm sure he forgot to bring the tape recorder the time he was verbally abusive. Of course, I have no idea of knowing if this ever happened, nor am I accusing him of such things. It just all seems to be one sided, I've heard rumours of Marc being mentally unstable, if that's the case I hope he finds himself some help, we all know how wrong things go when a mentally unstable student takes matters into his own hands.

Take some time to rethink your strategy, you chose to study at OttawaU, the system isn't perfect, but try to respect the criteria for projects, or go into politics if you want to use an assignment to attack employees and ''fight the system.'' You've turned away many students who would have been sympathetic to your cause had you taken a better.

One more thing, I hope you had permission to send out a mass e-mail to OttawaU students and if not, I hope they take legal action. Maybe it's time i conceal a tape recorder and fight the war on spam...or maybe i'll just stick with having a life.

Anonymous said...

I hate the university administration they are all assholes and the way allan rock spoke to you was utterly disgusting. What a douchebag.

Anonymous said...

this marc kelly guy is a tool

Anonymous said...

The little prick got what he deserved. Kelly was not allowed in that office period, and Rock should have had him expelled and filed for a campus wide restraining order at that time. This little punk is a ticking time bomb. Wants to have police barred from campus ? What an idiot. Is he already planning for the day he brings a gun to school?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I am not really in the mood to make an account, so I am going to post anonymously. However, as I choose to do so, a few words about how I got here:
I am a university student from Germany and stumbled upon a video of a student being arrested by the police during a lecture and escorted from campus. This student was Marc Kelly.
The video inspired me to google the name and find out more about the incidents that have taken place.
Doing so takes you, among other things, to this site:
http://academicfreedom.ca/
So the past few hours I spent reading up on the incidents that lead to what happened here.
I find Denis Rancourts approach to teaching as it is described there a very fascinating concept and agree with him on many things.
Reading that site you will also realize that what is described in these most recent posts are just the latest developments of what had started quite a while ago.
However, I would like to tell you my thoughts about this:
It is clearly shown on the aforementioned website in which timeframe Marc sent those E-Mails to the dean. Now, I don't know if Canada is any better when it comes to response times of academic or any official bodies than most other countries in the world, but over here I would have waited for at least two to four weeks for a reaction.
You have to consider that this is the DEAN of the university - and not a small university either. Most part of his job is dealing with correspondence, talking to people, dealing with problems. Yes, this means he should have replied to your mail eventually, but it also means that he probably gets dozens if not hundreds of official and less official messages that require his attention EVERY DAY.
You decided to go to his office and talk to him - okay, no big deal actually. But there are a few things not quite clear to me:

- Why did you bring a recording device right away? Judging from the videos I was able to find, you guys usually only videotape when you plan on confronting the authorities you question. Thus one could assume that you didn't just simply wish to present your case, but actually confront the dean. This means the situation in his office did not actually escalate, but was supposed to get heated up quickly. But yes, even in circumstances like that the dean should have remained calm and professional, which he didn't. I see fault on both sides here, but nothing tells me that there is some underlying motive on his part.

- As mentioned in one of the posts here already: the receptionist knew you by name. Even the dean did seem to know who you are right away. When you started sending out those E-Mails that went to the whole student body, I believe somewhere you stated exactly how many recipients you would have by doing so, thus it follows that the student body is quite large (numbering several thousand students, if I remember correctly).
So, in my experience, the dean and his secretary of a university this size wouldn't know who you are just by looking at you, unless you would have been there quite a few times before.

- The voices on the record are quite clear. DID you actually hide the recording device? Because it rather sounds like you were carrying it openly. Which too might have contributed to the dean's aggravation.

- The video about you being arrested is unclear on some points. You were there, holding some sort of presentation it seems. What was it about? Might that have been the reason for the authorities to react so drastically? You also had a document with you stating that you were allowed to be on university grounds as long as you were with one of your supervisors. WHY did you have such a document? It means that you have been banned from university grounds even before you were expelled for some reason. Could you explain why you were banned / needed an official document to prove you were allowed to be there?

Sincerely,
Sebastian Seck

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Kelly,

I wish to look at both sides of the coin in order to make an informed decision regarding your arrest as well as your conflict with President Rock. It is a serious accusation to say that the Rock Administration is practising political and freedom censorship. To be honest with you, I support the university and its decisions. The system is definitely not perfect, but your method of "making it better" is, at the very least, offensive to most people.

Regards,