Dear Campus Community,
Over the last few months, we have seen a number of protests in Eugene related to the upcoming election, Black Lives Matter, and other social movements. We fully expect that protests, marches, and sometimes counter-protests will continue throughout the fall term, in some cases they may take place on or near campus.
The University of Oregon fully supports the legally protected right to peaceful protest. In fact, peaceful protest has been a force for positive social change around the nation and on this campus in the past. Understandably, some of you may choose to participate in marches and protests based on your personal opinions or beliefs. You have the right to lawfully protest, march, and to share your feelings and opinions—and we certainly encourage you to vote in the upcoming election.
We want to share some safety precautions you should consider before participating in some of these events.
Remember we are in a viral pandemic. Do not participate if you have COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have recently been exposed to COVID-19. In addition:
- Wear a mask or facial covering that fully covers your nose and mouth.
- Bring hand sanitizer and use frequently.
- Avoid sharing drinks and food or touching objects that others have touched.
- Limit your immediate group size and maintain 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible during the activity. Currently, Lane County is in phase 2 of reopening, which means the maximum capacity for gatherings is 100 people outdoors.
- Consider avoiding activities that involve shouting or singing in close proximity to others and avoid those who are not wearing masks or face coverings.
- Bring your own water, food, or other personal items.
I encourage you to be sure you learn as much as you can before you join an event or activity. Find out who is organizing the event and be sure that they represent your personal views or opinions.
Be aware of your personal safety and the safety of others. Most protests are peaceful and law-abiding, but some recent events in Eugene have ended in violence or criminal activity. Some tips to protect your safety include:
- If violence or disorder erupts, leave the area immediately and move to a safe place. If law enforcement is nearby, be sure to follow police directions.
- If police are not present and violence ensues, call 911.
Finally, if you need assistance contact the UO Dean of Students at 541-346-3216 or use our report a concern form if immediate assistance is not needed.
R. Kevin Marbury, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Life