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Pacifica Forum Out of EMU

University of Oregon officials have decided that the Pacifica Forum is no longer allowed to hold meetings within the EMU for the rest of the year. University Administrator Dr. Paul Shang informed last nights crowd several times throughout the senate meeting that the UO’s Administration has banned the controversial group from holding meetings in the EMU for remainder of the year.

That was just the beginning of an ASUO senate meeting that had to be one of the most emotional and intense senate meetings this  school year. Over 70 students attended the meeting pushing the maximum occupancy of the Walnut Room to the limit, making a few onlookers watch from the windows.  The new resolution stated that the Pacifica Forum should remove themselves from the UO’s campus. The resolution was amended later to state that the students no longer want the Pacifica Forum gathering on campus.

Before the proposal was presented the ASUO allowed for 20 minutes for a guests speakers list. Several audience members declared that they feel unsafe on campus. Ashlie Watts a student at the University of Oregon declared that “I’m from Southern California and I never experienced blatant racism until I came to Eugene.” BSU president Michael Reta declared that BSU members do not feel safe on campus.

The issue of campus safety was at the heart the argument for the resolution. People who presented the resolution brought up  several safety issues citing  one instance of a Pacifica  Forum member  bringing a knife to campus, several instances of protesters being targeted by Pacifica Forum members on fliers and several instances of harassment through E-Mail from members of the forum.

The senate  got very emotional in debating whether or not this resolution would infringe people’s right in free speech. ASUO Vice President Getachew emphatically  exclaimed that “This is not an issue of free speech, this is an issue of safety.”

The administration is hesitant on making a quick decision on whether or not to remove the group from campus entirely. Dr. Robin Holmes stated. “We want to make sure that we can protect the institution.” It seems that the administration is going to take a while on making a decision on whether or not to remove the Pacifica Forum entirely from campus. This is largely in part because removing the group could be in violation of the 1st Amendment.

The resolution will be voted on at next weeks senate meeting.

  1. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Here it comes…via the Ol’ Dirty

    “The ASUO Senate will vote next week on whether to ask the Pacifica Forum to leave campus entirely, after a forceful campaign by opponents of the controversial group.”

    Choice snippets where the obvious problem is not the Pacifica Forum:

    “The Pacifica Forum has drawn controversy over recent years by bringing speakers to campus who deny the existence of the Holocaust and espouse anti-Semitic views. Starting this term, that controversy has spilled over into protests at the group

  2. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Good question Java.

    I don’t know. I believe in higher-ed being a good thing, but I also thought that Vincent’s article a ways back about the increasing worthlessness of a 4-year degree calls the Raison d’etre of the university into question somewhat.

  3. Java says:

    Apologies to CT – My line should have read, “Individual speakers at Pacifica Forum have tackled subjects and stated points of view that others strongly DISAGREE with.”

    Even then the response, “Hardly a Raison d’etre,” suggests we could cost cut the budget by eliminating half the university departments from A-Z. Go read the list. If you had to fund them, would there be a Raison d’etre?

  4. OCfan says:

    Just wanted to clarify a few things about my last post. I’m not attaching the following thoughts to an argument for booting the forum, because as I said I am now abstaining on the issue due to a new realization of what a sticky gray area it all is.

    CJ: Let me be very clear: I grew up here. In eugene. Volksfront (the group behind the stormfront website) is already here. They have always been here and have been here longer than any of us have been alive, and they have been having kids. For me, college was a safe haven to get away from these people. Knowing that Eugene has a deep history of white supremacists is exactly where my fear originated from. Their shops are already here, in Eugene. That said, I agree that the protests could draw counter protests from these very scary people, which is one of the reasons that I’m no longer sure that it’s smart to actively pursue chasing the forum off campus. Then again, the fact that I’m scared to protest for fear of reprisal from scary people might be a reason to protest due to my not feeling safe, and said protesting might lead to said reprisals and… You’re absolutely right that it’s a giant ironic clusterf*** of “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” Like I said, I no longer have a stance because it’s a giant feedback loop of anger and not-accomplishing-much.

    Java: We’re actually saying the same thing, dude. I am NOT surprised that the Pacifica Forum attracts the attention of these people, and I was already aware that these people were a part of my larger community (Eugene, as opposed to the UO.) This is why this linked thread made me scared of the Forum when I wasn’t before: It was, for me, confirmation that these groups had already noticed the forum.

    Just clarifying what I was trying to say, again I will stress that I’m not arguing one way or the other. This is a personal history thing on my end, so I am definitely not suggesting that my unique perspective should drive policy. I think that CJ’s mentioned self-fulfilling prophesy is working both ways… And I’m staying the hell away from Agate hall. Other than that, it’s back to studying for me: Last week was my last protest that I’ll be attending personally. I don’t want them here, but moving them to the edge of campus makes it so I don’t have to cross paths with them… So relatively pretty content now.

    I think we can all agree that it makes for a much more interesting news cycle than we had this time last year, eh?

  5. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Public institutions have to be very careful when trying to control 1st amendment rights. Yes, it’s university property, but it is partially funded by taxpayers. That makes it public, which makes it yours and mine in part…and it makes it the Pacifica Forum’s as well.

    There are plenty of instances where universities have attempted to work around the 1st amendment (Cohen vs. California). Justice John Marshall Harlan said

  6. Betz says:

    @CJ: Ain’t it the truth?

    If the group is barred from the EMU, then they no longer have the ability to reserve rooms out – right? From my understanding, the only eligible rooms (for a student, or faculty member) to reserve are in the EMU; all other rooms and conference places on campus are owned and operated by the UO adminisration – and thus under their discretion as to which groups they allow access to. It’s not a violation of 1st amendment rights to deny the groups access to a venue on their property. I guess the real question is how did they acquire a room at Agate Hall?

  7. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “Individual speakers at Pacifica Forum have tackled subjects and stated points of view that others strongly agree with.”

    Hardly a Raison D’etre.

  8. Java says:

    To OCfan – My guess is that Stormfronters shop at Safeway, eat at restaurants, pay off mortgages, pay taxes that pay public salaries and attend colleges and universities.

    They also create websites for their agendae and obviously they write on blogs. If they end up paying attention to Pacifica Forum, should anyone be surprised?

    Individual speakers at Pacifica Forum have tackled subjects and stated points of view that others strongly agree with. For this, the entire group and the broad range of opinions it represents, has been publicly labeled as racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, anti-immigration, etc., and guilty of something more nondescript known as ‘hate-speech.” As lightening rods go, why wouldn’t extremist groups show an interest?

    Pacifica Forum has been and remains a group made up of those who attend it, as well as being open to any person who wishes to present a point of view. Where’ve you been?

  9. CJ says:

    The more attention protesters give the Pacifica Forum, the more Stormfront goons will become aware of its existence and think Eugene is a good place to set up shop.

    Before all this hullabaloo, the PF was a group of 6-12 musty old cranks. Now they have a spotlight and a microphone and an audience.

    That’s called cosmic irony.

  10. C.T. Behemoth says:

    OC fan…you’re right. That thread is pretty boring and not really threatening. Just a bunch of bigots talking to each other. I hear you on your personal experience, which I can’t imagine was any fun, but anecdotes aside…it’s hard for me to buy into the ‘get rid of em’ argument merely because they have warped world views and mean things to say a lot of the time.

    I hear you on accuracy John. From what I know at this point it seems like the ASUO said they will be moved to Agate and the administration supported that idea with a caveat as to determine how to go about what’s next. For me, it’s not like they are in lockstep with one another, but the overall sentiment seems to be a lot more than, ‘move them to another room’. This is especially so because of the entire argument that a handful of WP asshats and their elderly emeritus friend have meetings on campus and are a safety hazard.

    Your last tidbit is where I see the administration going. Rethink faculty access and the start of some P.C. testing of any event ever held on campus. Which gets us back to free speech, at least as long as this is still called a public institution. Granted, it’s likely more complex than that (i.e. the university having a rule against carrying weapons on campus despite state law indicating that it is ok with certain conditions having been met).

    My scenario is only absurd because I’m using your NAMBLA example. Why not include something like Creationism, Communism, Socialism, Israel-Palestine, ‘Devil’ Worship, or any other contentious issue where people get together and say a lot of stuff that offends other people? This gets us back to the slippery slope in that the question must be asked, “Where does it stop?” If the UO’s take on something like their ‘Diversity Policy’ is any example of where things could go…it could easily get out of hand.

  11. johnK says:


  12. johnK says:

    “I was only referring to the ASUO meeting last night where it was stated that they are going to move the next PF meeting to Agate Hall”

    And I was referring to you saying: “the ASUO has made a grand proclamation to move the forum to another room,” when the actuality is, according to Drew’s original post: “UO

  13. OCfan says:

    JMB: I really got passionate about getting them off campus when I saw this message board thread:

    It’s not damning evidence that would hold up in court, but as I have had real life run ins with members of Volksfront that left me with a few fake teeth early in life, seeing this thread on a white supremacist website is where my initial feeling of fear where this group is concerned came from.

    That said, I’ve backed down my stance since posting on some previous threads… I’m less sure about what’s right and what’s wrong now. I know I feel scared of them, but do not have a firm stance on what the right/ethical thing to DO about that fear is. I don’t feel, however, that the fear is unreasonable. I do understand that it will be dismissed as “Oh, well you’ve had a bad personal experience, so you have a right to be scared… But all these others who haven’t had experiences like that don’t have any right to be scared.” And that’s fine. I’m no longer arguing, just stating how I feel personally.

  14. JMB says:

    Can someone clearly explain to me how this is a “safety” issue? I dislike PF as much as the next rational-thinking person, but I don’t understand how they actually threaten anyone’s safety. And calling someone a nasty name doesn’t do it for me, I want specific threats or intimations of violence. There’s been lots of talk about “safety” but it’s woefully short on concrete examples and details.

  15. C.T. Behemoth says:


    1. The condition of being safe; freedom from danger, risk, or injury.

    This doesn’t seem too ambiguous, and it definitely doesn’t seem to describe anything related to this imbroglio. Although, I will admit that if one chooses to look at only the first part of the definition, there is plenty of room to grind an axe.

  16. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Darren, I was thinking that while they seem innocuous, stupid people really are a safety issue on campus. Who knows how many injuries, threats, assaults, and so on have been carried out by stupid people over the years.

    Maybe we should find out where they are, scream at them, and see if one of them will threaten us with something so that we can get them out of here? It seems like a great idea really, and it would be a boon for the university.

  17. Darren says:

    The OUS does limit constitutional rights in the name of “safety”
    They could say that the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly for a specific group is unsafe for the students and it would not be a new thing for them.

  18. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Sorry, not rents…”reserves” a room that is partially funded by students.

  19. C.T. Behemoth says:

    What if your NAMBLA situation plays out, but instead of being an outside group, a professor sponsors them and rents a room?

    JohnK, I was only referring to the ASUO meeting last night where it was stated that they are going to move the next PF meeting to Agate Hall. Perhaps they are not going to do that despite saying so. It certainly wouldn’t be an ASUO first.

    And didn’t you say:


  20. johnK says:

    “So the ASUO has made a grand proclamation to move the forum to another room.”

    your reading comprehension continues to astound me

  21. johnK says:

    Also, CT’s mistake of saying they are “renting” the facilities is important. Because they aren’t renting (Etter just reserves a room), they aren’t subject to the kind of scrutiny a paid contract with the UO would entail. The University has the right to reject non-campus groups from using UO facilities based on various grounds (ie. conflict with the mission statement or “community standards”).

    For instance, and NAMBLA was mentioned on one of the comment threads, what if NAMBLA proposes renting out the EMU ballroom to host a speaker giving a talk outlining the pleasures of sex with 4 year olds (which is not a call for doing so, of course)? You think the UO doesn’t have the right to say, “uh, no. Go find somewhere else”?

  22. Darren says:

    While we are at it, I feel unsafe with stupid people on campus. Can something be done about that?

  23. C.T. Behemoth says:

    So the ASUO has made a grand proclamation to move the forum to another room.


    Technically, you’re right. The EMU isn’t like other buildings because it’s an auxillary (not really part of campus) and funded by students through the I-fee.

    “here are reasonable arguments that not allowing them there is a proper course of action at this point (such as the problem of neo-nazi jew-hate from non-university fuckwits in the same building as the Jewish Student Union (whose members partially fund the building when the former do not)).”

    Sorry, that doesn’t seem reasonable to me. It seems hysterically projecting the situation into, what is it now, oh right….a safety issue.

    You’re right too, this is a slippery slope we’re on. If you don’t appreciate my own hysterical arguments, that is ok, but I guess it’s ok at this point to explain that I am satirizing the entire thing. It’s all a load of hysterical bullshit wrapped up in some sort of weird dance.

  24. johnK says:


  25. CJ says:

    Yeah, what the hell? For future reference, I put my name on everything I write.
    (I don’t get melodramatic and wear bandannas for fear of the “fascists” “targeting” me, either.)

  26. C.T. Behemoth says:

    “While I disagree with their bigoted statements, that is not the foundation to ask their removal, threats and harm to students is.”

    Bullshit. This is just the only argument that the morons who protested the forum and caused all of this hoopla came up with to justify their cleansing of the campus thoughts arena. I don’t like what’s going on at Pacifica, and I even went a couple of times to see for myself. The most pathetic part about the safety trope is that it only arose after the ‘I can scream loud’ crowd showed up and antagonized the situation. It actually works out quite nicely for the thought police. Here’s how it goes:

    Step 1: Find a group on campus that you don’t like
    Step 2: Round up your friends, wear a bandanna and start shouting loudly
    Step 3: Antagonize the situation until people cry and feel unsafe, GOAD THEM
    Step 4: Complain to the university that you feel unsafe now
    Step 5: Conveniently ignore that you are a large part of the problem
    Step 6: Plead with the ASUO to make some sort of statement
    Step 7: Wait and see what happens
    Step 8: If the group is silenced and banned, celebrate. If not, return to Step 1.

    I’m not CJ either.

  27. C.T. Behemoth says:

    johnK…you do realize that the only reason the forum can hold meetings on campus is because a retired UO professor rents the space to do so, which is his right as an emeritus UO professor?

    How does it look if you ban a group from holding meetings on campus when the only way they’re able to be there is because of this policy? I’m not overstating the case at all. I’m pointing out that changing policy to fit this particular instance is discrimination (of the worst kind on a university campus I might add). The only way out of that is by removing the policy altogether so that no one can rent rooms on campus. Perhaps there is a way to justify the discrimination, and this trumped up charge of a safety issue could be that way. Still, what prevents me from rounding up a group of my own flunkies to find some meeting on campus full of equally biased people saying equally biased, spiteful, or just mean and hurtful things that I disagree with? Once I found this group, all I have to do is yell loud enough and beg the UO administration to protect me from myself and…VOILA…said group is done. If the U of O actually carries through with this idea, which I cannot believe is even being discussed, I might just have to do that.

    You’re an idiot if you think that this decision means that they can only not rent rooms at the EMU. If that is actually the case, then nothing has changed and this alleged safety issue still plagues the university…wherever the forum ends up at this point.

  28. Cims G says:

    This is not about a host of groups, not about a host of ideas. This comes as a response, to physical attacks, threats and harassment. While I disagree with their bigoted statements, that is not the foundation to ask their removal, threats and harm to students is. The Pacifica Forum is group who has been espousing hate speech for years and has ties to known violent groups through its membership.

    Their presence on campus, is creating an unsafe environment, this environment exists because of them. It has been getting worse and now students are protesting it. Not the other way around CJ. We didn’t protest then say its unsafe, we are protesting their comments and statements. This call for them to leave campus came when it information arose that their speech incited violence and has led to at least one assault. Now numerous cases of harassment and a general feeling of insecurity drives the push to move them off campus

  29. nike urbanism duk says:

    Considering the amount of Asbestos in the EMU the best way to bury Pacifica would probably be to keep them in the EMU.

  30. johnK says:

    “The Administration is practically bound at this point to disallow ANY faculty members to ever rent a room on campus for anything now”

    How does that logically follow from disallowing Pacifica Forum from using rooms in the EMU? Right, it doesn’t. You’re overstating the effect of this decision, which does not, so far as I can tell, ban them from getting a room on campus, just the EMU. Disallowing them from using those rooms actually makes sense in addressing most of the issues raised by sane people.

  31. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I should add that I also despise the Pacifica Forum, but I’m not going to waste my time railing against them. They’re pretty innocuous in comparison with the neo-Stasi cultural police.

  32. C.T. Behemoth says:

    The fascists have won!


    The Administration is practically bound at this point to disallow ANY faculty members to ever rent a room on campus for anything now…because someone, somewhere might not like what they’re doing. Then, these asshats will show up and cause a scene and THEN argue that campus is unsafe with group X on it. Nevermind that it’s unsafe because they (the asshat fascists) are making it that way.

    Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy!

    I might add that it really reminds me of the Anti-Hate Task Force looking for racism in the blackout and then hollering about it in the press to make themselves look relevant with the culmination being that the apparently non-racist mixed-race student who started it all had to change the entire thing.

    If anyone is making campus unsafe, it is these types of social police running amok challenging everything they don’t like and then forcing it to leave/change to something more palatable for them.

    I…dare I say…hate them.

  33. Salaam L says:

    Chutzpah! harasment and threats of violence have only been AGAINST people going to PacificaForum meetings. Anti-Hate Task Force mobilized hundreds to shout down PACIFICA speakers and spread lies about them belonging to violent groups. The Anti-Racist Action published threats online, sent someone a death threat, wrote libellous graffiti on someone’s workplace, and produced stickers threatening to kill people for their opinions. This is a show trial – there is no evidence, no chance for the defendants to answer the charges. Knives? Making people feel unsafe? It’s a pack of lies from the pc left, stalinists in anarchist clothing…

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