Students finish finals, seize Jock Box

3/18/2011: From Bill Graves in the Oregonian:

A group of University of Oregon students today plan to enter a restricted area in the opulent academic center built for athletes by Nike founder Phil Knight and call for opening the building to all students.

Students say the top two floors of the John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes, a three-story $42 million glass cube built on campus last year, are reserved for student athletes.

“We just feel it is a physical representation of the separation between students and athletes and how athletes are valued above non-athletic students,” said Janae Schiller, 22, a senior majoring in sociology who plans to take part in the 1 p.m. demonstration.

Schiller said she expects at least five students and possibly dozens at the event, where some students say they are prepared to be arrested. Students say the fact this is the last day of finals may limit participation in the event.

The building, nicknamed the jock box by some on campus, is a public space on public property, Schiller said, but non-athletes are allowed on only the first floor, where there is a classroom, study rooms and a coffee shop.  …

I like Ms Schiller’s priorities: finish finals, *then* occupy a building. Here’s the follow up story – UO let the students in – but didn’t let them hang out on the couches. Strangely, neither Bill Graves story mentions that the athlete only tutoring is paid for by regular student tuition and state funds. $2 million a year. Rachel Bachman covered that story months ago.

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