University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson releases statement regarding snowball fight

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Posted by Julianne Parker on Monday, Dec. 9 at 1:42 pm.

University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson on Monday issued a statement on the snowball fight that went viral over the weekend.

In an email Gottfredson sent out to the entire student body, he stated that the UO Police Department, the Office of the Dean of Students and other campus officials are investigating the snowball incident that occurred on Dec. 6, which was captured on video and posted on YouTube. The video garnered attention everywhere from NBC’s Today to The New York Daily News and even reached the No. 2 spot on Reddit Saturday night.

“We have identified several of the individuals involved as UO students and are determining appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken in accordance with the university’s established policies and protocols,” the statement read. “In cases where those involved are student-athletes, additional disciplinary action is being carried out by the Athletics Department.”

After speaking with the drivers of the vehicles shown in the video — an emeritus faculty member, Sherwin Simmons, and another staff member — UOPD, Dean of Students Paul Shang and football head Mark Helfrich released a public statement:

“The University of Oregon takes the conduct of its students seriously. Consequences are clear for those whose actions reflect poorly upon the university or violate its standards for student behavior. However, until the facts of the snowball-throwing incident are sorted out, it would be premature to speculate about any potential outcomes in this case.”

Shang’s full statement is available here.

“As president, I assure you that the University of Oregon will not stand for behavior that threatens the safety of our campus or violates our code of conduct,” the statement continued. “This unacceptable incident is not being taken lightly, and we continue to take swift, appropriate action to address the matter.”

Here’s the full text of Gottfredson’s statement:

Members of the Campus Community:

On Friday, a short video was posted to YouTube depicting an incident in which several individuals inappropriately interfered with two vehicles attempting to drive through a snowball fight on our campus.

The UO Police Department responded to the situation quickly, and in concert with the Office of the Dean of Students and other campus officials began an immediate investigation of the incident. We have identified several of the individuals involved as UO students and are determining appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken in accordance with the university’s established policies and protocols. In cases where those involved are student-athletes, additional disciplinary action is being carried out by the Athletics Department.

Over the weekend, the UO Police Department, Dean of Students Paul Shang, and Coach Mark Helfrich spoke with the motorists seen in the video, an emeritus faculty member and a current staff member. Dean Shang issued a public statement on Saturday that read, in part:

“The University of Oregon takes the conduct of its students seriously. Consequences are clear for those whose actions reflect poorly upon the university or violate its standards for student behavior. However, until the facts of the snowball-throwing incident are sorted out, it would be premature to speculate about any potential outcomes in this case.”

Dean Shang’s full statement, as well as other statements regarding the university’s response to this incident, will be posted on the UO Communications website as they become available.

As president, I assure you that the University of Oregon will not stand for behavior that threatens the safety of our campus or violates our code of conduct. This unacceptable incident is not being taken lightly, and we continue to take swift, appropriate action to address the matter.

Regards,

Michael Gottfredson, President



  • Jake Johnson

    You have to appreciate the gall of Paul Shang when he states,

    “Consequences are clear for those whose actions reflect poorly upon the university or violate its standards”

    Shang was caught up in the racketeering scandal at the UO in 2011. See: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/9/prweb8783095.htm

    I would think that when Shang engaged in racketeering activities with other UO admin that it reflected more poorly on the university more than a snowball fight.

    I understand that Shang and UO admin settled that case out of court and criminal charges were never filed. I would imagine the same will happen in the snowball fight.

    • Duck.

      Okay, did you even look at the details of the case?

      http://dailyemerald.com/2012/01/27/university-doctoral-student-sues-school-over-harassment-accusations/

      The person who filed that lawsuit has had a restraining order placed against him from his ex-girlfriend, charged for unwanted contact against several women, harassment both physically and through email. He even had to go through a mental health threat assessment. I am not saying that UO administration has a pristine record, but you have picked a terribly example.

      • Jake Johnson

        Did you look at the details of the case? Why do you think Shang settled out of court for *racketeering*? Those were simply lies (and you are even inventing new ones in your comments) that were created by Shang, et. al. to defend the UO from their unlawful behavior. The fact that Shang and the rest who created those lies was the very reason this young man sued and *won*.

        If you really look at the details of the case, Shang deserves to be in jail for what he did to that poor young man. Sadly, Shang will probably never be held accountable. Sandusky, again.

  • Real Student

    Football and basketball players, at this level, are cuddled and protected. They are not students in any normal sense of the word. They are recruited to entertain the fans. So long as they meet NCAA eligibility requirements, nothing really matters. The University have to consider if ranking on the sports page is more important than achieving excellence in education. And if the tail should be wagging the dog, why bother having professors at all?

    Mr. Helfrich is reported to be earning $1,800,000 a year for a five years contract, while President Michael Gottfredson is reported to be earning more than $500,000 a year in total compensation and benefits. Maybe Gottfredson is hired to put his general theory of crime into practice. Just maybe there is a link between early childhood experiences and delinquency…

    The priority is clear. The outcome is predictable.

  • Concerned citizen

    Such a disgrace to their school these students are. At this age, they need to understand that their behavior comes with repercussions. Clearly, these students don’t.

  • Chris Paul

    ‘Punishment’ for student athletes, guess it didnt work for Demarcus Cousins. it is what it is.