Dash Paulson reports on Senate Task Force on Sexual Violence meeting

UO Matters: Because of the importance of Thursday’s July 24th meeting of the Senate Task force on Sexual Violence to the UO community and beyond, I hired reporter Dash Paulson as a freelancer to cover it. Mr. Paulson wrote several excellent stories as an Emerald reporter, including the first substantive interview with President Gottfredson, in January 2013, here, and he previously reported for UO Matters on the June Trustees meetings, here and here. His summary is below, followed by a detailed report on the meeting. As usual, quotes are in quotes, otherwise it’s the gist of the discussion.

The Task Force’s Official website is here, prior UO Matters posts are here. President Gottfredson’s self-appointed “External Review Panel” is scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday, still no word on whether their meetings will be open or closed.

Mr. Paulson’s report:

Last Thursday, the new Task Force to Address Sexual Assault and Survivor Support, created by a motion in the faculty senate, met to elect a chair and clarify the goals and mission of the new group.

Professor Carol Stabile and Randy Sullivan volunteered to co-chair the task force. Stabile wanted to focus on facilitating the task force meetings while Sullivan leads development of a tentative new course to educate students and to some extent UO employees on sexual violence. After unanimously electing Sullivan and Stabile as co-chairs, the group had a lengthy discussion on the charge of the task force. It was widely agreed that the task force should begin by gathering as much information as possible about the UO’s process and policies on sexual assault cases. Task Force members Sandy Weintraub, director of student conduct & community standards, and Renae DeSautel, sexual violence response coordinator, volunteered to give a presentation on the UO’s policy on handling sexual assault incidents. Some members said that the procedure appeared from the outside to be “broken” in light of the March 8th incident of alleged sexual assault, and they felt part of the group’s charge would be to identify problems and recommend improvements.

The group also discussed the upcoming Campus Climate Survey. Stabile said the task force should endorse the University’s proposed survey along with others, like one conducted by Professor of Psychology, Jennifer Freyd, who has been developing a survey on campus sexual violence for two years.

Several members wanted to understand better what the panel initiated by President Gottfredson will be doing. Senate President Robert Kyr, who called in for the first half hour of the meeting, told the Task Force the President’s Chief of Staff, Gregory Rikhoff, would be contacting them. There was discussion of liaisons between the groups. By the end of the meeting, the task force agreed to meet again in two weeks and in the meantime make contact with other groups on campus that deal with sexual violence. Talking points next time will include the presentation by Weintraub and DeSautel, the role of alcohol in “party culture”, and more about a possible course on the nature of sexual violence.

The full, updated committee membership, which now includes US Attorney for Oregon Amanda Marshall, is on the committee website, here. Senate President Rob Kyr and Andrew Lubash showed up via conference call.

3:06 p.m. Introductions

Lisa Mick Shimizu: Thanks everyone for coming. Welcomes two new members, Andrew Lubash who will join via a conference call and Cheney Ryan (Law). UO Ombudsman Bruce McCalister has also joined the committee, but he’s on a plane at the moment.

3:10 Confirmation of Chair

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UO Professor Freyd’s Op-Ed on sexual violence and institutional betrayal

7/14/2014, In Al Jazeera America:

… It is not trivial to measure sexual victimization or perpetration, because these are stigmatized behaviors. People don’t readily admit to abusing others or being abused themselves. Researchers have worked for decades to discover how to ask behavior-oriented questions that avoid charged language and pick up underlying experience. We are now equipped to assess sexual violence experiences through careful social science survey methodology using a representative sample of students. Eventually these campus violence surveys should be standardized and administered at the same time on campuses across the nation.

However, the first step will be to test various versions of such a survey on individual campuses. This pilot work will provide useful information to the local school and help the national effort to create a standardized survey. Currently, however, those of us researchers willing to perform such surveys are meeting a vast amount of administrative resistance at our universities.

That resistance — combined with a tendency for colleges to retaliate against faculty who speak up about sexual violence on their own campuses — has created a difficult climate for sexual violence researchers.

For example, when I requested help from my university to conduct such a survey, officials turned down my request and then, in explaining that decision, speculated to the press about my supposed bias due to my personal opinions. Those personal opinions were presumably related to my criticism of the university regarding its response to campus sexual violence. This public attack on my reputation and integrity as a scientist was unfounded and irresponsible. Unfortunately, for those of us who have criticized our universities or attempted to collect data about the rates of sexual assault on our own campuses, it’s not unusual. I worry about the chilling effect this sort of institutional response has on individuals who want to speak honestly but lack my job security and credibility.

Each college and university now has a choice: nervously guard its reputation at the profound expense of student well-being or courageously invest in student safety, health and education. College campuses need to know what they are fighting. Enabling the methodical collection of data — and encouraging their transparent distribution and study — will signal to campus communities across the country that institutional betrayal can be replaced by institutional courage.

And a few examples of institutional betrayal:

7/13/2014: Hobart & William Smith Colleges rape investigation:

Another appalling story about how colleges handle rape allegations involving frats and jocks. In the NYT, here.

Also in the NYT:  Indian Girl’s Rape Called Case of Eye-for-Eye Village Justice

Sen. McCaskill releases campus sexual assault survey findings

One of the recommendations is a campus climate survey, along the lines of the one Professor Freyd wants to do at UO. As Steve Duin reports in the Oregonian, UO *really* does not want her to do that survey.

Press release on the McCaskill survey, with link to full results here. Quoting:

Among the findings in McCaskill’s survey:

  • Investigations:  Federal law requires every institution that knows or reasonably should have known about an alleged sexual assault to conduct an investigation. But 41 percent of schools surveyed have not conducted a single investigation in the past five years. More than 21 percent of the nation’s largest private institutions conducted fewer investigations than the number of incidents they reported to the Department of Education, with some institutions reporting as many as seven times more incidents of sexual violence than they have investigated.
  • Training:  21 percent of institutions surveyed provide no sexual assault response training at all for members of their faculty and staff.  31 percent of schools do not provide any sexual assault training for students.
  • Title IX coordinator:  Colleges and universities are required to assign a staff or faculty member as a Title IX coordinator, with responsibility for coordinating the institution’s compliance efforts, including investigations of sexual harassment and sexual violence, but more than 10 percent of institutions surveyed do not have a Title IX coordinator.
  • Adjudication:  Federal law requires institutions that receive claims of sexual assault to conduct an adjudication process to determine whether an assault occurred and, if it did, to reach a determination. But:
    • 33 percent of schools failed to provide basic training to the people adjudicating claims.
    • 43 percent of the nation’s largest public schools let students help adjudicate cases.
    • 22 percent of institutions give athletic departments oversight of cases involving athletes.
  • Climate surveys:  Confidential climate surveys of students are one of the best ways to get an accurate portrait of assaults on a campus, but only 16 percent of schools conduct climate surveys.
  • Coordination with law enforcement:  Law enforcement officials at 30 percent of institutions receive no training on how to respond to reports of sexual violence, and 73 percent of institutions have no protocols on how the institution & law enforcement work together to respond to such violence.

Rape allegations? Who UO gonna call? Melinda Grier update.

Probably not Tim Gleason’s 160over90 branders. Here’s the story on the burgeoning business of helping universities deal with the legal and PR implications of rape allegations, athletic or otherwise. No evidence that Gottfredson has gone there yet, though who knows what’s in the hidden subcontracts.

More likely that UO is using the services of our former General Counsel Emerita, Melinda Grier. $1390 a pop for this practical and engaging workshop at the Santa Monica offices of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP, with a discount if you bring the whole basketball team:

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I recommend the Seaview Motel. $125 a night, and the $1 bus from LAX stops just a few blocks away.

Oregonian prints response from basketball players attorneys

Update: John Clune, attorney for the survivor, has this response, so far:

This is a pretty poorly spun version of the night in question which noticeably omits all of the facts that incriminated their clients. The description doesn’t mention that two of the three men admitted in police recorded phone calls that what they did to the victim that night was wrong with one of the men calling their behavior “very inappropriate and not something he would want to happen to his mother or sister”. The third man who refused to give a statement is facing his second sexual assault allegation in the past year.

I can’t blame the lawyers though as they are just trying to help their clients explain some pretty ugly behavior that has gotten a lot of press.

6/24/2014: Andy Greif has the story in the Oregonian. The full text of the letter:

From Shaun McCrea, Laura Fine Moro, Greg Veralrud:

No jury would find that Dominic Artis, Brandon Austin or Damyean Dotson committed any form of sexual assault against their accuser. Some people will insist that the University’s suspension is proof that the acts occurred, but they would be wrong. This determination was carved in stone the day the University’s president, in response to a hail of local and national criticism, all but declared these young men guilty and dismissed them from the team. Good political cover, bad principle. It’s absurd to expect that his underlings in the Legal & Student Affairs Departments would deviate from that line.

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Eugene Weekly publishes more on rape allegations, letter supporting Freyd survey.

6/26/2014:The letter from a fellow of the American Psychological Association is here: The second part of the story by Camilla Mortensen is here. Meanwhile the Lane County DA’s decision on the NYT appeal of Dave Hubin’s redactions is due early next week.

6/12/2014: Eugene Weekly publishes story on Duck athletics and sexual assault

Just in time to be distributed to the Trustees at their meetings today and tomorrow, and to the parents visiting for Monday’s commencement:

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The report from Camilla Mortenson has a lot of history, including this from a student who reported an alleged rape involving a football player in 2001, and has now gone public with how UO responded:

After she reported the incident to the UO, Goodman says she received a 7 am phone call from former Ducks football coach Mike Bellotti questioning the accuracy of her recollection of that night. “I said, ‘I know you have a daughter and you wouldn’t grill her the same way.’” EW has contacted ESPN for a response from the former coach.

Given that President Gottfredson and AD Rob Mullens clearly hoped to cover up the March 8-9 allegations as well, it makes you wonder how many other similar assaults have been reported to the UO administration, and kept from the press and public to protect the Duck athletic program’s brand.

6/6/2014 update: UO removes all mention of Gottfredson from Commencement website

Old version below. New official UO website here. Gottfredson is off the website. Also the “Duck Walk” will now bypass Johnson Hall, the scene of many recent protests against Gottfredson’s handling of the March 8-9 basketball rape allegations.

Presumably they are printing the glossy programs now, didn’t want to have to go through them pasting a little “Interim President Coltrane” sticker over each mention of “President Gottfredson”. Not to mention having to deal with the pictures. Here’s Gottfredson’s 2013 speech:

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Oregonian sportswriter says Gottfredson acted like a child

John Canzano in the Oregonian, here.

I don’t empathize with the Ducks coaching staff or UO administrators. They’re the goats here, protecting one another. Coach Dana Altman hasn’t fielded my inquiries for comment. Altman looked physically ill, trying to sell the university’s version of events during that shrouded and awkward news conference. The athletic department administration has subsequently mocked the important public records requests that were made by media and citizens, trying to ascertain what they knew and when they knew it. The UO president has mostly responded to the protesters on campus by issuing, then desperately re-issuing their so-called “timeline” of events. Michael R. Gottfredson and Co. acted like children — thinking if they just yelled and shouted their version of the story a little louder it might make it more true.

No expulsion, UO bans Duck athletes from campus for 4-10 years

6/23/2014 update: KVAL reports that the survivor’s lawyer, John Clune, is focused on UO’s decision to admit Brandon Austin:

Clune told KVAL News his client remains concerned about Oregon’s recruitment of Austin, who left his previous school while under investigation for a possible sexual assault there.

“We definitely want some more candid answers from the Athletic Department about their recruiting of Mr. Austin,” Clune said. “The suggestion that Coach Altman was recruiting a student-athlete who was at the time serving a disciplinary suspension for an entire season and no one ever asked why is just flat out not believable.

“If we can get honest answers without any litigation – great, but my client, her family, and the UO community need some transparency here or something like this is just going to happen again.”

The alleged assault in Eugene took place in March, but news of the incident didn’t break until the police report became public in May.

“If we can get honest answers without any litigation – great, but my client, her family, and the UO community need some transparency here or something like this is just going to happen again.”

The alleged assault in Eugene took place in March, but news of the incident didn’t break until the police report became public in May.

UO has a “Athletics Special Admit” committee, chaired by Lorraine Davis. Still no word on what role they had, if any.

6/22/2014: No expulsion – UO bans Duck athletes from campus for 4-10 years

Josephine Woolington has the story in the RG, here. The news is from the survivor’s lawyer, who also says she plans to finish college at UO. Good for her:

In her statement released earlier this month, the victim praised employees in the UO’s Dean of Students office for their support, but was critical of the athletic department.

“I am angry with the culture that appears to exist in our athletic department that prioritizes winning over safety of our students. I cannot fathom how our basketball coach recruited someone who was in the middle of a suspension for another sexual assault to come to Eugene,” she wrote, apparently alluding to Austin.

Why just suspension, and not expulsion? In 2011 the US DOE Office of Civil Rights recommended lowering the standard of proof for expulsion for sexual assaults to “a preponderance of the evidence”. But UO’s VP for Student Affairs, Robin Holmes, didn’t do anything to update UO’s student conduct code. Too busy with her bowl game junkets.

Finally, after the rape allegations, the Senate got wind of this, and quickly passed revisions:

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Too late of course. For that matter President Gottfredson still hasn’t signed off on the revisions, passed May 28.

You’ve got to wonder what the penalty would have been if Gottfredson had succeeded in hiding the whole incident from the public, as was apparently his plan. Gottfredson gave the Eugene PD report to his athletic director Rob Mullens, while his police chief only found out about it from reading the newspapers.

Under UO’s student conduct code, suspension does not even necessarily include any notice on the student’s transcript – that’s a different penalty. From: http://uodos.uoregon.edu/StudentConductandCommunityStandards/StudentConductCode.aspx:

(1) Forms of Sanctions
(a) Expulsion. Student status is severed permanently. A Student who has been expelled from the University shall not be permitted to participate in any University Sponsored Activity or allowed to reside on University Premises.
(b) Suspension.
(A) Individual Suspension. Student status is severed for a specified period. A student who has been suspended from the University shall not be permitted to participate in any University Sponsored Activity or allowed to reside on University Premises during the period the student is suspended.
(B) Group Suspension. A Student Organization loses University recognition and all privileges associated with such recognition for a specified period. Imposition of this sanction against the ASUO or a recognized Student Organization requires approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
(c) Negative Notation on Transcript. Entry of the fact of violation on the Student’s permanent academic record as the sole or an additional sanction may be imposed at the discretion of the hearing officer or panel. After the expiration of the period of time, if any, set by the hearing officer or panel, the notation shall be removed upon the request of the Student or former Student.

Oregonian, RG join Times in appealing Duck redactions to DA Gardner

6/20/2014 update: Gottfredson’s efforts to cover up his handling of the rape allegations bring more trouble to UO. The full Oregonian and RG petition, which is considerably more comprehensive than the NYT’s, is here:

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UO has pled for more time to respond, and the Times et al. have given them until the end of the month – which will means UO’s response will likely be the last official act of UO General Counsel Randy Geller, set to “retire” for undisclosed reasons on June 30. His predecessor, Melinda Grier, was fired, over issues related to her failure to respond to reporters’ public records requests about the Bellotti contract, but seems to now be back on the UO dole.

6/16/2014: New York Times appeals Gottfredson’s redactions of rape allegation emails

“Accordingly, The Times requests that the documents be provided in accordance with the law.”

Gottfredson’s efforts to cover up how his office responded to the rape allegations are going national. Full letter here. Timeline here, link to RG stories and Dave Hubin letters here, and info on former UO Journalism Dean Tim Gleason’s prior efforts to help UO hide public records from reporters here.

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UO administration rejects Professor Freyd’s survey of campus sexual violence

6/12/2014 update: Coleen Flaherty of Insidehighered.com has a write up on this too, here. UO is getting quite a reputation in the national higher ed press, a story last year on Gottfredson’s efforts to subvert academic freedom is here.

6/10/2014 update: UO administration rejects Professor Freyd’s survey of campus sexual violence

Josephine Woolington has the story in the RG, here. VPSA Robin Holmes, who made the decision, is the person who sat on the 2011 recommendations for student conduct code revisions for three years. The UO Senate finally took charge, and wrote and passed the revisions on May 28. Gottfredson has not yet signed them, and the administration’s web site for the current policy still lists former student conduct director Carl Yeh as their point person. (Archived here.) Yeh left UO in August 2013, and Holmes didn’t replace him until this March.

Freyd is asking for $30-$40K to cover the survey costs. (You can donate via the UO Foundation’s website here. Make sure you put “Research on Trauma and Oppression, Jennifer Freyd” in the “additional gift instructions” box, or your money will probably go to Duck Athletics.) The UC system recently hired consultants to conduct a more general campus climate survey, at a reported cost of $661K, albeit for a larger sample.

The strange “external review committee” that Gottfredson, Holmes, and Mullens just appointed to review their own dilatory response to the conduct code and basketball rape allegations – three months after Gottfredson first learned of them – will now decide how to conduct their own survey. Talk about a conflict of interest! The story also quotes Holmes’s $83K “strategic communicator” Rita Radostitz, but don’t expect much in the way of frank talk from her:

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The UO Senate does not trust the administration on this issue, and the Senate Task Force membership will be announced shortly. Presumably they will take charge of this matter as well.

6/6/2014 update: Gottfredson’s self-appointed “external review panel” includes old insider

Gottfredson, Mullens, and Holmes have now announced the names of the people they are appointing to the “External Review Panel” to investigate their own actions or lack of actions regarding the March 8-9 rape allegations and sexual violence prevention. Full list here.

The panel will include Bob Berdahl. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2005, in his previous job as UC-Berkeley President, Berdahl got into some trouble over his lucrative sinecure payments, but managed to avoid prosecution:

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Mayor Piercy releases email showing UO lied about rape allegation redaction

First UO President Mike Gottfredson tried to claim the Eugene Police hid their investigative report on the basketball rape allegations from him.

So the police released their timeline contradicting him. Gottfredson then refused to release the documents supporting his story, claiming they were redacted because of “attorney-client privilege”.

Then yesterday UO public records supervisor Dave Hubin tried to use FERPA to justify why his office had redacted an email from Mayor Kitty Piercy to Gottfredson’s chief of staff Greg Rikhoff, expressing her concerns about the rape allegations.

So today Mayor Kitty Piercy released the email, contradicting Hubin’s excuses.

Josephine Woolington has story in the RG here, complete with a quote from UO PR flack Tobin Klinger, still trying to pretend. And several from UO Journalism and First Amendment Chair Kyu Ho Youm, who nails it. FERPA does not require these redactions.

What else is hidden behind UO’s redactions – and, with 11 days until Gottfredson’s commencement speech to UO’s students and their parents, what’s coming next?

I’m not sure, but Hubin’s office is now trying to use fees to prevent the release of additional documents:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for Dear “any public records involving communications to or from special assistant to the president and athletic director Lorraine Davis involving the March 8-9 rape allegations, from March 9th to the present”,on 06/03/2014, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request. By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $60.00. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure. Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

and

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “any public records involving communications to or from Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon involving the March 8-9 rape allegations”, on 06/03/2014, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request. By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests.

The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $90.00. Upon receipt of a check made payable to the University of Oregon for that amount, the office will proceed to locate, copy, and provide the records you have requested that are not exempt from disclosure. Your check may be sent to the attention of Office of Public Records, 6207 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-6207.

Student survivor of alleged rapes sends open letter to UO via her attorney

From the ODE:

An open letter from a fellow Duck:

The past few months have, undeniably, been the hardest and most challenging time in my life. This is such an overwhelming experience and one that I hope that no other student on campus ever has to live through. Given what has transpired on campus recently, I have at times wondered whether I ever should have told anyone about what had happened.

I know a lot of people are angry. I am angry, too. I am angry with the culture that appears to exist in our athletic department that prioritizes winning over safety of our students. I cannot fathom how our basketball coach recruited someone who was in the middle of a suspension for another sexual assault to come to Eugene. I think that students, faculty, and other community members have been asking some very needed questions of our athletic department, and I am not satisfied with the answers they have provided. I think that we all deserve better explanations and real transparency.

Despite my frustration, it is important to me to thank the Dean of Students office. They have been very kind and supportive of me and I can’t thank them enough. I’m not sure I would still be on campus if it weren’t for their help.

I know this has stirred up a lot of issues on campus and some of them are bigger than my incident. My sincere hope, though, is that as a school UO can get through this and come out in a better place at the end. I still love our school and I want it to be the best and safest place anywhere in the country.

The letter was sent from her lawyer, John Clune of Hutchinson Black and Cook LLC. While UO’s attorneys still refuse to post their resumes – or even their names – on the GC website, Mr. Clune clearly has extensive relevant experience:

… In recent years John has focused a substantial amount of his practice on representation of students and families on campus rape/Title IX matters, and adds this expertise to the firm’s existing Title IX litigation group of Baine Kerr, Kim Hult and Chris Ford.

John started his career as a criminal prosecutor in the mountains of Colorado and served as Chief Deputy District Attorney for Eagle County. After leaving the prosecutors’ office, John spent several years in a litigation based private practice representing individuals and corporations in a wide array of criminal and civil matters. In 2007, John started the Boulder law firm of Victim Justice, PC, developing a national practice representing victims of sexual assault and other violent crimes in a variety of litigation. In 2009, John co-founded the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, a pro-bono non-profit organization dedicated to the enforcement of the rights of crime victims.

John has additionally represented clients in a number of high-profile cases including the sexual assault civil matter against Kobe Bryant, the civil lawsuit against MLB player Johan Santana, and several actions against schools for Title IX violations. John’s cases have been featured on many national news outlets including 60 Minutes, the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and the New York Times and is a regular speaker on navigating media coverage of high profile litigation.

Meanwhile, word is that UO has spent $150K on outside lawyers just in the last month. How much of that do you think the academic budget is on the hook for? More details when I get a response for payments and invoices from the UO public records office.

Can Dana Altman pass Dominic Artis off to UC-Berkeley?

That’s the latest rumor, from the SBNation sports blog.

Frankly it seems wildly implausible that another university will take any of these three, after reading the DA’s report. Yes, Alex Gardner concluded he couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what happened March 8-9 was a gang rape, but most universities have a somewhat different standard for admissions, even for basketball players.

While there are plenty of coaches as desperate and unprincipled as Dana Altman, they can no longer claim plausible deniability, as Altman is still trying to about his decision to take Brandon Austin from Providence. (Still no word about Lorraine Davis’s role.)

And you have to wonder what mojo UO’s Faculty Athletics Representative Jim O’Fallon is pulling to keep these players academically eligible and pumping up the Duck basketball APR, when they aren’t even on campus going to classes.

If Andrew Greif of the Oregonian hadn’t found out about the rape allegations and made them public, Altman and the Duck AD would have transferred these three quite happily, and quietly, to some other unsuspecting campus, as Altman all but admitted in his press conference:

But for a real pro at dissimulation, watch Rob Mullens’s fake-out when a reporter asks him – twice – if he and Altman knew the names of the three players. He nods profusely, then repeatedly says “we did not have the identities confirmed”. Perhaps true, but that wasn’t the question. So, he did know the names, he just didn’t do anything about it until he 7 weeks later, when he and his coaches had cashed their bonus checks for the NCAA tournament, and couldn’t pretend anymore:

Senate to vote on mandatory sexual violence prevention courses Wednesday?

If Gottfredson had come clean about the alleged March 8-9 assaults back in April when he got the final EPD report, we could have had time to think and prepare. But instead of informing the Senate, he went to his Athletic Director. We found out the same way the UO Police Chief did – from the newspapers. So this motion will be on the already packed agenda for May 28:

2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED THAT the University of Oregon Senate, in consultation with Undergraduate Council, work on the addition of a mandatory Multicultural course for Undergraduate students on the topics of gender, sexuality, social inequality, and sexual violence; and

2.2 BE IT FURTHER MOVED THAT the contents of the course are constructed with consultation from the Head of the Ethnic Studies Department (or their designee) and the Head of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department (or their designee); and

2.3 BE IT FURTHER MOVED THAT this course requirement be implemented no later than Fall 2016.

Undergrad Council Chair Josh Snodgrass (Anthropology) has written the Senate tonight, explaining the reasons for giving this important proposal full consideration and deliberate discussion – not something that can be done tomorrow:

Dear Senate Members,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Undergraduate Council about the proposed motion (4.12) to add a new multicultural course requirement to the undergraduate curriculum.

I was unable to attend the May 21 Senate meeting but watched the video of the meeting. I was troubled by the repeated references to the inability of UO committees—including the Undergraduate Council, which I chair—to effectively perform their duties. I am certainly aware of times when committees are overly bureaucratic and inefficient, but the current matter (i.e., considering whether to add a multicultural requirement on gender, sexuality, social inequality, and sexual violence) is not one of them. I was first made aware of the proposal to add a multicultural requirement on May 19 (by Helena Schlegel, who asked me about the process for adding a multicultural requirement) and no formal request has yet been brought to the Council. Given that nothing has been brought to the Undergraduate Council it borders on the bizarre to discuss our failures.

Like all of you, I am deeply troubled by recent events and the repeated campus failures on issues related to sexual violence. I agree that we need action and that this action should be on multiple fronts. However, I do not support the proposed new multicultural requirement. My objections are as follows:

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