Student protestors from the University of Oregon (UO) who were offered a choice between pardon and punishment for violating the students code by shouting down the university’s president last month responded on Monday by demanding the administration “cease the punitive measures.”
In a letter from the campus radicals, the UO President Michael Schill and the other trustees were accused of having ” endangered” the student protesters that assaulted them. Dozens of students who had rushed the stage where Schill was to give his State of the University address on October 6th and loudly disrupted the event for 15 minutes, hurling obscene slogans.
The letter made the absurd claim that, “it is time [for the administration] to de-escalate” after exposing students to “national mockery.”
The letter’s specific complaints against the administration include “intimidation”; “investigatory errors”; “derailing due process”; “lack of just representation and counsel”; “anticipation of conflict, not engagement” before the event; “factual ambiguities” in how the UO has discussed the incident; and “lack of oversight” by the Student Conduct and Community Standards Committee in bringing up the misconduct charges.
After Schill was unable to give his speech—his comments, some of which had addressed the chaotic and unruly student radicals were recorded and broadcast. Hearing the college administration’s tepid and weak complaining about the protest whipped the radical students in to an even more violent frenzy of rage.
As student paper, the Daily Emerald, conveyed, the university offered the students two choices: to go through the regular student code violation process; or a “special option,” which includes the promise of no sanctions and an invitation to meet with the administrators and discuss the protesters’ demands.
The administrators had also waived the $30 fine that is usually associated with a conduct violation, regardless of which option the students choose, as per the email.
The Student Collective have rejected the offer to meet with administrators, as that would be a silent admission of misconduct that they believe themselves innocent of “on the grounds that students are the business of the university.”
“Student protest and student dissent cannot be a disruption of university business, student protest IS university business,” wrote the collective body on Tuesday.
“The allegation that we disobeyed a reasonable order from the administration is to say that it is reasonable to order marginalized people to be silent. It cannot be deemed that silence to our oppression is reasonable. What is reasonable is justice, liberation, and equality. This is what the Collective fights for. This is why we protest,” they had continued.
The radical collective also said that it will have its first meeting with the administration to contest the misconduct allegations later this week.
Tobin Klinger, UO’s senior director for the public affairs communications, said that the university “views the conduct process as educational, not punitive.”
“We hope to use it to open the same productive dialogue students are requesting,” said further added. Also saying that the university’s “special option” remains on the table, and expressed optimism that the “process is moving forward.”