Today was a long day.
It started this morning, with a press conference that some of us attended. Others were not allowed to enter for reasons ranging from “press only” to “the room is too full.” A recording of the conference is here.
One of the major points President Gottfredson wanted to make is how transparent the university is trying to be and how much he “appreciates” our concerns. President Gottfredson did let slip that Coach Altman would hold a press conference at 3 pm.The performance was wooden, over-rehearsed, and most of us left for the rally at Johnson Hall feeling that we hadn’t learned anything at all.
After this disappointment of a press conference, we re-occupied Johnson Hall. President Gottfredson took the opportunity to address the crowd. In front of some SURVIVORS B4 SPORTS signs, he regurgitated the same message he delivered at the press conference and then re-distributed print offs of that exact same speech.
It was, as it turns out, a secret press conference. And yes, those words do not belong together. Not only did the President’s office refuse to tell UO-CESV members where the meeting would be held, when we figured out that information and got to the location, we were denied admittance.
After asking to be allowed in because of Oregon’s Public Meeting Laws, we received the finger from an undergraduate woman whom they charged with watching the securely locked door. For us, the locked door and the young woman from athletics giving us the finger through the window represented everything the University really means when they say “transparency.”
As many alumni have already stated, we could not be any more ashamed of our university than in moments like these, when their promises of transparency are shown to be shabby window-dressing for business as usual. Business, that is, conducted behind closed doors.
We will continue to occupy Johnson hall until we get answers:
- why did the Eugene Police Department tell the University to disobey the Clery Act and Title IX t (we still have not received a campus report that a rape occurred)?
- why did the University readily disobey the Clery Act and Title IX, but staunchly upholds FERPA and the privacy of athletes — athletes who, mind you, waived their FERPA rights to the University so their likenesses could be sold for video games and action figures?
- why was a student who was and continues to be under investigation for sexual misconduct at Providence College allowed to come and represent the University of /Oregon on the court?
We’ll see you at Johnson Hall on Monday and every day thereafter until we get some answers.