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Student booted from event buries hatchet with Tories

Awish Aslam, a political science student a the University of Western Ontario who was removed from a Conservative rally, speaks with a friend on campus in London on April 5, 2011.

GEOFF ROBINS/geoff robins The Globe and Mail

The 19-year-old student who became the unwitting face of the victims of the Tory's bubble campaign has made her peace with the Conservatives.

Awish Aslam, a sophomore at the University of Western Ontario, said she is satisfied with the apology from Conservative campaign spokesman Dimitri Soudas. But she still wants to know who told the RCMP to screen and act as bouncers.

She and her friend were expelled from the event 30 minutes after arriving because, an official told her, "We know you guys have ties to the Liberal Party through Facebook and you're not welcome here."

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Ms. Aslam spoke with Mr. Soudas on Wednesday night, after he provided his cellphone number via a Facebook message.

"Dimitri, he was just really nice about the situation, and he seemed pretty genuine and sincere with his apology," Ms. Aslam told The Globe and Mail. "He basically just let us know that whenever the prime minister was around southern Ontario, he would let us know to see if that date would work out with us to meet him."

The RCMP has taken responsibility for ousting people from recent Conservative campaign events in southwestern Ontario, acknowledging it broke the rules in doing so. But Ms. Aslam's ouster for the Conservative rally in London, Ont., on April 3 drew the most national interest.

Ms. Aslam said she is not a Liberal Party member, but she has a Facebook photo of her and Michael Ignatieff taken when she attended a Liberal rally a week earlier. She said as a political-science student, she's studying all the parties and had registered to attend the Harper rally with the help of her friend's father, who's a card-carrying Conservative Party member.

Mr. Soudas initially reached out to offer an apology to Ms. Aslam via Facebook.

The private message, which she shared with the Globe and Mail, reads: "Awish, my name is Dimitri. I wanted to send you a short message of apology for the rally the other night. I'd like to offer to introduce you to Prime Minister Harper next time we are in London."

Ms. Aslam responded to Mr. Soudas, reiterating her interest in meeting the Conservative Leader and sought an explanation for her removal from the rally.

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"Obviously, we apologized for any inconvenience that this may have caused and the prime minister looks forward to meeting her at some point, to take a photo with her and hopefully she'll put in on her Facebook site," Mr. Soudas said.

Ms. Aslam has vowed to ask Mr. Harper personally the reasoning for her removal from the rally event if and when she gets to meet him.

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