Official UO statements regarding snowball incident
4:30 p.m. DECEMBER 9, 2013
Statement from Paul Shang, Dean of Students:
On Friday, Dec. 6, the University of Oregon campus received nearly eight inches of snow—a rare experience for many of our students. Throughout the afternoon, people across campus enjoyed the novel weather. A short video posted later to YouTube depicts what appears to be an isolated incident of several individuals inappropriately interfering with two vehicles attempting to drive through a snowball fight.
Working with UO Police and other campus officials, my office began investigating the incident right away. The university has identified several of the individuals in the video, and any students in violation of the UO Student Conduct Code are subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Any student-athletes involved are subject to additional measures.
University officials, including myself, have spoken with and apologized to the drivers of both vehicles shown in the video and neither is interested in filing charges against students involved.
The behavior exhibited in the video is unacceptable. This incident is being taken seriously and appropriate actions are being taken.
1:15 p.m. DECEMBER 9, 2013
Message from University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson to the campus community:
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.”
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.
6 p.m. DECEMBER 8, 2013
Statement from Mark Helfrich, University of Oregon head football coach:
On Saturday, I was made aware of an incident that occurred Friday afternoon during the snow day involving multiple Oregon students including members of the football team. The behavior exhibited in the video is completely unacceptable and dangerous. We take this matter very seriously and disciplinary actions have begun.
The University of Oregon Police Department is investigating an incident, captured on video, in which a passing vehicle was the target of snowballs thrown by young people in an area on the UO campus. Police hope to determine the identities of those who were throwing snowballs, whether they are UO students and whether their actions constitute a criminal act.
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.