Class in session at University of Occupy

Students organize a day of lectures held on Dal campus

University of Occupy "students" watch presentations outside the Dalhousie SUB on Wednesday. (Photo: Bianca Müller)

About 30 people gathered at Dalhousie University Wednesday to participate in a day-long forum of community based education lectures.

Several tents were set up on the median between the student union building and the Arts and Social Sciences building along University Avenue.  Throughout the day, people gathered in a circle to hear guest speakers. A class schedule was posted and written material was made available, such as copies of the Occupy NS magazine.

Paige Delaney, a third year international development student at Dal, helped organize the event.

"We have set up a day, called 'Ideas are Free,' in which we have guest lecturers talking about a variety of topics to get students involved in some of the issues."

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The circle listens intently as a guest lecturer speaks at U of Occupy. (Photo: Bianca Müller)

Dalhousie philosophy professor Christina Behme held a lesson and discussion on environmental ethics Wednesday morning. Cory Stockwell, a teaching fellow at the University of King's College, was scheduled to discuss the effect of radical remarks in the afternoon.

Fred Williams, 61, came down from the Valley to be here for the event. Williams camped with Occupy NS for four days in October, saying it was one of the hardest things he's ever done. He said universities may help carry the message as society acknowledges it needs change, calling the times a "coming out" for education.

Williams compares the times we live in to the the Matrix movies. He anticipates that "there will be a lot of Morpheuses running around," but notes that "everyone is a Neo." Morpheus woke people up. Neo had to be awoken. 

Police presence during U of Occupy

Hamish Russell is a Dalhousie student who has been actively involved with Occupy NS and has visited the original Occupy Wall St. He said that a couple of police officers stopped by in the morning to discuss the possibility of complaints. The median where the education sessions were held is property of the Halifax Regional Municipality. According to by-law 600, no one is allowed to camp on city property.

However, Delaney said the tents were being used as a visual representation of the Occupy movement itself. She said no one tied to the U of Occupy had plans to camp on the Dalhousie campus.

"If they get complaints then we will have to take them down, and we will do so willingly," Delaney says. "We are not here to cause trouble. We're just here to bring awareness and education to students and everybody else." 

According to the police, no official complaint was made and no units were dispatched. 

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