Coltrane stalling on sexual violence reforms?

With the lawsuit over the alleged basketball rapes picking up steam, Johnson Hall is in a dicey situation regarding allegations they’ve been mishandling sexual assaults. Changes in procedures might imply that there was something wrong with the old procedures and increase liability. Sure enough, it seems like not much is changing. From Scott Greenstone and Lauren Garetto in the Emerald:

The task force’s responses were reasonable, but unswayed: Suspension of FSL is necessary.

That was three months ago.

Both sides agree that there is a problem, but neither has the power to do anything alone — both are waiting for the university to either suspend FSL or let it grow. But the university has yet to respond to nearly all of the recommendations, and unless it does, FSL will continue to grow.

And the Op-Ed from Psychology student Jennifer Gomez doesn’t pull any punches:

Dear Interim President Coltrane,

In your January 8, 2015 email to the UO community, “A message from Interim President Coltrane on sexual assault lawsuit”, you indicated that you welcome feedback from the campus on your progress. I agree with the open letter provided here by OASA ( I would like to express my additional concerns.

The purported shared goal of UO and its constituents is two-fold: 1. to prevent the experience of sexual violence and 2. to respond appropriately when such violence does occur.

Up to this point, with inclusion of the email you delivered January 8, the UO has both refused to acknowledge any culpability for both the reported distress by the student described in the email and the magnitude of the problem of sexual violence on this campus.

Case and point:

You have taken the time to write a disparaging email about a current lawsuit from a current student.

I am confused as to how the email you sent on January 8—a one-sided, punitive response to a lawsuit in which a student alleges institutional failures to prevent and respond appropriately to sexual violence—is consistent with your public position that the university must improve prevention and response efforts. Instead, your email is likely to both discourage students from reporting sexual violence and punish those students who do identify problems within the system. …

And for a more general discussion of the problem, there’s this, in Time Magazine:

… I’m especially aware of the culture of entitlement that some athletes feel as they strut around campus with the belief that they can do no wrong. This ridiculous notion certainly has contributed to the alarming statistics concerning athletes and rape. A 1995 review of reported sexual assault cases at schools with Division I sports programs found that although male student-athletes made up only 3.3% of the campus population at these schools, they accounted for 19% of sexual assault perpetrators and 35% of domestic violence perpetrators. Related research has also found that athletes are far less likely to be convicted of sexual assault than members of the general public. These statistics should be shocking, but sadly they probably aren’t to most people.

A major contributing factor to athletes becoming sexual predators is our culture’s need to elevate them to heroic status. Yes, they deserve praise for their accomplishments, but throwing a football or dunking a basketball shouldn’t make anyone a hero.

By some guy named “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar”, in Time Magazine, here. Read it all, It’s one of the best summaries I’ve seen on how universities have let themselves become corrupted by big-time sports.

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