UO Trustee Ginevra Ralph puts Ducks on the spot about cheers and sexual assaults

3/16/2015: Diane Dietz has the report in the RG, here. Long story, many interesting quotes from Ralph, Coltrane, Rognlie, Freyd, and Duck PR flack Craig Pintens:

[UO Trustee] Ginevra Ralph hesitated when she brought up the subject to fellow members of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees recently.

She could imagine the reaction before she spoke: She’s a prude. She’s an enemy of free speech. Or she is the type of person who would blame the victim in a sexual assault.

But Ralph, who besides being a trustee is a prominent Eugene arts administrator, plunged ahead:

“I have watched people be incredibly uncomfortable with the U of O cheerleaders,” she told the trustees, “and they actually leave the basketball (arena) during intermission because of the overt sexual dancing, or whatever you want to call it.” …

“It’s one thing if someone is doing any of that on their own,” Ralph told the trustees, “but we are making a public statement. … I’d like to see us analyze it a little bit.” …

The university rents them out by the hour, under strict rules, according to the cheerleading website. The rate is $200 per hour for one to three cheerleaders; $400 for three to six cheerleaders and $600 for seven or more cheerleaders. The Duck mascot can be rented, too, for a higher per-individual rate. Proceeds help pay for the cheer program. …

UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd, meanwhile, has attempted on and off since 2007 to study the cheerleading program, but she said the athletic department has declined her requests to interview program participants.

In March 2014 — just prior to the alleged rape — Pintens replied to a set of the professor’s questions by email:

“Is there any consideration of whether the uniforms and/or choreography might (or might appear to) convey or encourage exploitive sexuality?” Freyd asked.

“No,” Pintens answered.

2/27/2015: Duck AD Rob Mullens sends Duck cheerleaders to hit up Uncle Phil for more cash

I know VP for Development Mike Andreasen is doing his best to get a little for the academic side, but how can he compete with AD Rob Mullens, and this?

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 11.04.02 PM

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to UO Trustee Ginevra Ralph puts Ducks on the spot about cheers and sexual assaults

  1. Hey Mike says:

    Give Phil some more respect, sending the cheerleaders into the backroom only worked on [redacted].

  2. Just a Grrl says:

    Could the pimping be any more blatant? Who thought this was a good idea? I, for one, am looking forward to Coltrane telling (read:lieing to) us tomorrow how about how this fits into his strategic plan to confront rape culture on this campus. 4p Ford Alumni.

    • Working GTF says:

      Nothing says “We care about improving campus culture” like parading scantily-clad undergrads in front of a wealthy, aging male donor.

      Also word around the grad lounge is these students were given excused absence letters from the athletic dept. for a “fundraising function.”

      Pimping, indeed.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth.

  4. just different says:

    Just curious–do the Duck cheerleaders “perform” at women’s athletic events? If so, for which sports, and do they do the same kinds of routines? I’m afraid I’ve never been to any sporting events at UO besides track & field, which is mercifully cheerleader-free.

    • uomatters says:

      I’d always assumed it was a tit-for-tat thing, and that they had male cheerleaders for the women’s sports. But I could be wrong.

      • Thom Aquinas says:

        You are wrong I’m afraid – it’s a tit thing only, … for male sports. Tats would look silly in skirts and pom-poms….

      • Fishwrapper says:

        I thought the cheerleaders weren’t allowed any visible tats…

    • DuckU82 says:

      As a matter of fact, UO cheer appears at every home women’s basketball game. The routines are exactly the same as those performed at men’s basketball games.

  5. Cynic says:

    frankly, I am much more taken aback by some of these kinds of comments about young women engaging in a voluntary pursuit than I am by anything about them and what they choose to do, and I have had honors students who delighted in their participation and are now in successful postgraduate careers. Is the age of Aquarius over?

    • just different says:

      Selling cheesecake goes back long, long before the Age of Aquarius. I would hope that maybe we’d be past that kind of thing for the “ambassadors of the University of Oregon,” as the Ducks website has it. Shouldn’t the “ambassadors” have some clothes on?

  6. New Year Cat says:

    This is a campus where the student newspaper has plenty of ads for “gentlemens’ clubs”, so are we really surprised? I attended UO in the ’70s and there was plenty of sex on campus (and in my own life, lest some think I am prudish), but not so much exploitative hawking of it through “official” or authorized venues. That seems to be a societal issue, and the fact that we don’t see how it is hawking voyeurism of (and by insinuation, owning of) women, as opposed to men, shows how far back society has fallen in some ways, and why some campuses still — after decades — have a rape problem. I do think the adults running the university have a duty not to pander to the lowest common denominator — one doesn’t have to forbid dancing at or attending booty clubs, but one could avoid encouraging it at occasions like official UO sportsgames and UO-sponsored birthday celebrations. Since most of the people involved in making these decisions are men, I don’t expect much to change. Maybe if the AD was female…which could happen in, say, the year 2525….

    • McArthur says:

      I don’t think it is a gender-leadership issue. Wasn’t Lorraine Davis in charge of organizing get-togethers for football recruits and female students? Wasn’t there always a female head coach for cheerleading?

      If I remember correctly, then there was a sudden turnover in the cheerleading coaching staff a few years ago because of rumors about football players and one of the cheerleading coaches. The performances during that year – when the team had no coach – were quite “over the top” during basketball games. The following year it calmed down again – when they hired a former cheerleader as a coach – but the performances were always different to the 50s style of cheerleading.

    • that effing Dog again says:

      @NYC nice Zager and Evans reference
      but probably an optimistic timescale

    • uomatters says:

      What a cheap shot at Ginevra Ralph, who had the guts to say something in public about a real problem, and got people talking about it. The RG comments are of course all over the place, but some are pretty thoughtful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.