University of Oregon sends clear message to Occupy Eugene: No camping here!
As Occupy Eugene participants exited Alton Baker Park, broke camp and marched toward the campus of the University of Oregon, acting Provost Lorraine Davis emailed the following notification to her Colleagues:
Oct. 27, 2011
The University of Oregon has received word that leaders of the Occupy Eugene movement intend to relocate their encampment this afternoon from Alton Baker Park to the UO campus.
We are in active conversateion with the movement’s leaders, and the outcome of those discussions is not yet clear.
However, Occupy Eugene organizers have been notified that camping is not permitted on the UO campus. It would be very disruptive to the university’s core mission of teaching and research.
The UO supports the right to free speech and encourages the active exchange of ideas. Those concepts are at the foundation of higher education. But the time, place and manner for expression of ideas must be consistent with the university’s mission, and the UO cannot accommodate a campground.
The Eugene City Council voted Monday evening to allow the Occupy Eugene movement to camp legally in Alton Baker Park until Dec. 15, but the group’s organizers are seeking a new location for the encampment. The UO is working with the City of Eugene and Occupy Eugene organizers to find an alternative site.
Various representatives of the university are working to minimize disruption to teaching and research. We will keep students, faculty and staff updated as information becomes available.
According to UO Media Relations Director Julie Brown, the memo was distributed by email to all key campus staff and personnel.
The message seems clear enough. The University supports Occupy Eugene’s right to free speech and encourages the active exchange of ideas, but will enforce and uphold the policies of the University of Oregon on behalf of the student body, faculty and staff.
Excessive disruption will not be tolerated here.
In speaking with a Eugene Police Department communications officer, it was shared with me that the department is taking a ‘wait and see’ position as to the future of Occupy Eugene within the city of Eugene. To date they are preserving the status quo.
No comment today from the office of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, who was a party to the majority vote of City Council, extending a camping variance for Occupy Eugene through December 15 at Alton Baker Park.
According to Occupy Eugene spokesperson Argus and others. The park was damp and cold, too hard to self police, and too far out of town.