Tag Archives: rape culture

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Interim President Coltrane’s email response to sexual assault lawsuit

Dear Campus Community,

Today, the University of Oregon was notified about a lawsuit filed by a current student related to a reported incident of sexual misconduct. While unfortunate, this filing is not unanticipated.

The university would prefer not to be in litigation with any student. We have been as respectful and supportive as possible of the student, including immediately implementing support services and appropriately honoring her choice of process, once hearing of her experience.

The university disagrees with the allegations against it and believes that it acted in accordance with the law, including Title IX. This litigation in no way undermines the university’s on-going commitment to support the student inside and outside of the classroom.

It has long been UO’s priority to provide support and services to any student in need and make our campus a safe place for all members of our community. We have regularly reassessed our efforts, implemented changes and added resources to address sexual assault. Our current efforts are guided by recommendations from the University Senate, the President’s Review Panel and a university-wide analysis of prevention efforts, which was coordinated by Student Life. We welcome feedback from the campus on our progress.

To be clear, UO’s review of transfer applications for all students includes an evaluation of academic credentials and potential campus fit. Enrollment decisions are made based on the information made available to us by applicants and our colleagues nationally.

The university has posted a timeline of events, which has been publicly available since mid-May. It outlines the aspects of the university’s response we can share while still protecting the privacy and rights of those involved.

As a community, each of us must work hard to provide support and services to any student in need and make our campus a safe place. Thank you for being part of our community.


Scott Coltrane
Interim President

Fraternities on UO Campus

The other day I was informed that one of the fraternities on campus (Sig Ep) was put on social probation because roofies had been found in their frat house. But I was also told keep this quiet because it’s not supposed to get around. While I think it’s good that Sig Ep is facing a punishment for this I also think that our students have the right to know about this incident so that they can keep that in mind when they are going to the frat house or making the decision whether or not to go to that frat house. I understand that this incident is not representative of every male in the Sig Ep fraternity and I’m not trying to say that people should stop going there completely. It’s also not my desire to cast a bad light on Greek Life. I’m just worried by the fact that this information is not being made public because our students who could be put at risk by something like this deserve to be able to make informed decisions for their safety and health. This incident takes on even more significance in light of recent events, and I am continuing to be disappointed in how the university is choosing to handle these types of occurrences. I’m starting to lose trust in my school and I don’t feel like my safety and the safety of my peers is being made a priority.

Bystander Story: 5/14/2014

Last night May 12th I worked at a Sorority/Fraternity event Anchor Splash. This was a charity event talent show that had the sororities and fraternities competing against one another. I have also worked similar events at OSU and have never seen anything as blatantly misogynistic as this event. this was my first event of this type at Oregon. I was deeply disturbed at the misogyny and homophobia expressed at this event. Most of the fraternities included members dressed up as women and held up to ridicule. I understand that some of this should be expected at an event of this kind but one frat went too far. They had a secession of “women” approach a man who then proceeded to reject them by pretending to strike each one until he found one acceptable. Violence- even pretend violence against women has no place in a University setting. I’m sorry that I can’t tell you which of the teams it was as I wasn’t keeping track of who was who. It is precisely this condoning of violence against women that contributes to the rape culture prevalent in society. They obviously felt comfortable expressing these views in public in spite of the events in the last couple of weeks. I found your website and decided to share my concerns.

An Open Letter re: UO Sexual Assault & Call To Action

*** Please join UO-CESV to raise our voices against this most recent instance of sexual violence at noon on Thursday, May 8, 2014, on the lawn behind Hendricks Hall.


The UO Coalition to End Sexual Violence expresses its deepest sympathy to the survivor whose reports of sexual assault have recently surfaced. We are devastated by this most recent report of rape on our campus. We grieve for this young woman and her family, as we have grieved for so many women who have been victims not only of sexual violence, but of institutional processes that privilege the rights of alleged perpetrators over the rights of those who have been victimized. We apologize to her and her family for the acts of violence that have occurred during her education, an experience that should be safe and equitable.

We are beyond frustrated that the University of Oregon has failed to prevent acts of violence like this from occurring on our campus. For several years, faculty, staff, and graduate students have expressed their concerns about campus sexual assault policies. As individuals and as members of groups, we have written emails, sat in meetings, and met with survivors of rape and harassment. This past winter, and in light of proliferating evidence of the University of Oregon’s institutional betrayal of survivors, we organized ourselves as the University of Oregon Coalition to End Sexual Violence (UO-CESV) in order to mobilize to address the rape supportive subcultures that exist on college campuses around the country and to create a sense of urgency around addressing sexual violence on our campus.

But we have not been able to move quickly enough. While the UO claims to foster a safe and equitable educational experience and to respond with the utmost seriousness to sexual violence, cases like this most recent one illustrate the dysfunction within our campus community, the ineffectiveness of our local law enforcement, and the apparent lack of institutional control over our athletics department.

For too long, we have been falsely assured that the university responds swiftly and effectively to survivors. For too long, we have been told that the university “has established internal conduct processes for handling misconduct allegation.” When we raised issues about serial perpetrators, we were told that the university had no evidence about these. When we talked about institutional betrayal, we were repeatedly told by UO administrators that the people they meet with have uniformly positive experiences of the process. We are angry and bitter that this institution has betrayed our trust. When our institution is more interested in winning ball games than protecting students, that is institutional betrayal. This type of betrayal harms us all.

It’s time to hold UO accountable. UO-CESV is calling for an investigation of the process whereby a basketball player who had been suspended along with another student for “not upholding their responsibilities as student-athletes” was welcomed into the UO community. We want a public meeting to discuss the Student Code of Conduct and the way in which UO itself is handling this investigation.