Richard Lariviere, the President of the University of Oregon, just sent out the following campus-wide e-mail:
Dear University Community:
Early this morning, we discovered a large swastika had been painted on the carpet in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning Alliance (LGBTQA) Student Union Office in the Erb Memorial Union. It is reprehensible that such a hateful, cowardly act occurred on our campus. When one group is targeted, it threatens all of us and must be addressed directly and swiftly.
Unfortunately, these types of events can and do happen, even today. When they do, it reinforces our imperative as a community to band together against hate and intolerance of any kind.
We must do all that we can to come together as a community to fight such acts of intolerance and to provide support to those affected as we deal with the aftermath of this event.
This act of vandalism is not about exercising free speech or having challenging, difficult conversations; this is about hate and vandalism. We will vigorously pursue all avenues available to us to hold the perpetrators accountable for this cowardly act. We will continue to work with the Department of Public Safety and student leaders to ensure that we are doing all that we can to preserve the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff.
Richard W. Lariviere
President, University of Oregon
At the moment, no one but the actual person who committed this act knows who did it, least of all myself. What I do know, however, is that I find it rather… convenient that, after all of the overheated rhetoric about how the Pacifica Forum somehow threatens the “safety” of the campus community, a swastika was suddenly found painted on the LGBTQA office in the wake of the Senate’s failure to vote to ban the PF from campus.
Without pointing the finger at anyone in particular, suffice to say that these sorts of things have happened before.
Whoever is responsible, it’s clearly a despicable act. That being said I find the timing of this event extraordinarily questionable.
The Oregon Daily Emerald has run a story on the incident. It’s as good a summation about what is known about the case thus far. It did, however, confirm a rumor that I had heard yesterday, which was that there were no signs of forced entry whatsoever. It’s unclear, at the moment, exactly what that signifies, but it does cast an even darker shadow over this whole sordid affair.