January 21, 2010
To: UO faculty and staff
From: Robin H. Holmes, Vice President, Division of Student Affairs; Charles Martinez, Vice President, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity; Frances Dyke, Vice President, Finance and Administration
Over the last few weeks, faculty, staff, students and community members have expressed increasing concern about the presence of the Pacifica Forum on campus. Student leaders are concerned about personal safety and the well-being of our campus. We take these concerns very seriously.
In response, the Pacifica Forum’s reservation in the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) will be transferred to a different location for the remainder of this academic year. The alternative location, currently Agate Hall, will provide better security options for the campus, recognize the community rather than student nature of the Pacifica Forum, and provide a larger venue when necessary. We will continue to monitor and review this decision.
University administration and senior academic leadership are in the process of revising its facilities use policies. The goal is to clarify facility use on the University of Oregon campus and how and when university activities will be held by a university or outside group.
Students and community members may exercise their right to be heard, in support of or in protest, within the University’s time, place and manner expectations. The Division of Student Affairs, ASUO, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and the Department of Public Safety will continue to work collaboratively and diligently to ensure safety for all involved in peaceful, non-violent rallies and protests.
Use of space on campus to hold an event does not mean that the University endorses it.
As a public institution, we value free speech and academic freedom. As an academic enterprise, it is appropriate for us to debate the boundaries and expectations of free speech. Our primary mission is the advancement of student learning, research and service. Activities that occur on our campus should emanate from these core goals and must not jeopardize safety or disrupt our educational and workplace environments. When they do, it is our responsibility to respond.