The university senate voted last Wednesday to revise the student collective’s second resolution that aims to denounce white supremacy and hate speech on campus.
Graduate student Arian Mobasser presented the second part of the resolution, which was previously divided from the collective’s initial larger resolution.
The resolution states that the presence of white supremacist groups on campus is directly in conflict with the university mission statement that says “we value our diversity and seek to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe and respectful community.”
The resolution states “the UO Senate denounces white supremacist, white nationalist, and Neo-Nazi groups and recognizes their organizing on campus as a significant threat to the university community and our stated values.”
“Other public universities have denied platforms to specific white supremacist speakers/groups,” according to the collective’s resolution.
The second resolution stated that “far-right and white supremacist organizations historically and currently used disingenuous appeals to “free speech” in order to gain access to public universities.”
The senate discussed the resolution and voted to have the senate, student collective and administration revise it to clarify certain language. The new version of the resolution will be presented to the senate and voted on later in the term.
Mobasser and the student collective initially brought forth a larger resolution on Nov. 29 following its student conduct charges for protesting President Schill’s “State of the University” speech on Oct. 6.
The resolution was divided on the floor of the senate by Keith Frazee. The first half of the resolution, which declared the senate’s support of the collective as they navigated their student conduct charges, was passed on Nov. 29.
“I perceived two very important concerns within the previous motion. Both are very important issues, but I felt they each warranted their own full and robust discussion,” Frazee said.
The second resolution aims to denounce white supremacy on campus through the senate pledging to unite against white supremacy. They also call the senate to urge the administration and community to do the same.
“Let us stand united in singling out these views and say as loudly as possible that those who walk with and alongside badges of hatred, bigotry and genocide may be allowed on our campus, but they are not welcome,” Mobasser said.
At the senate meeting last Wednesday, Susan Gary, UO law professor, raised concerns regarding the legality of the resolution’s wording. Specifically, she said the university cannot suppress speech based on content.
Gary presented an amended version of the resolution to the senate, addressing some legally concerning language she found in the original document. This sparked an hour-long debate on the wording of the resolution that led to the senate’s vote to revise the document.
“It’s our responsibility as a community to support the people affected by this,” Senate President Chris Sinclair said.