Update related to encampment

May 6, 2024

The following message was emailed to students.

Dear University of Oregon students,

On Monday, April 29, an unauthorized tent encampment was erected on the Memorial Quad by several student groups protesting the conflict in Gaza.

The loss of life in Gaza and Israel – and the complex history surrounding this region – has evoked strong emotions from many, including some of our students. These students hold strong convictions on this topic, and many have good intentions. We also know many other students are deeply distressed and have come to feel unwelcome in the very place they regard as their community.

The UO has a long tradition of responding to demonstrations with engagement, listening, and dialogue, in hopes of achieving a peaceful resolution. University leaders have been in regular communication with the students engaged in the current demonstration. Our chief concern is the physical safety and well-being of the community. To date, we have provided those in the encampment with information on our policies, a notice of the policies of which they are in violation and created an avenue for communicating with the administration.

I want to acknowledge that this is a tense time, and we may hear and see things that are deeply offensive and hurtful to us. While upsetting, this type of challenging speech, even that which may be considered hate speech, is generally protected by the Oregon and US Constitutions. UO respects and protects the constitutional right to free speech, peaceful dissent, and freedom of expression, while also being committed to upholding the right for all our students to receive their education, to participate in and attend classes, and to do so safely and without intimidation. Antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, anti-Palestinian hatred, and other forms of hate and intimidation are loathsome and do not reflect the values of our university.

Recognizing that many in our Jewish community are experiencing a range of impacts, my team and I have met personally with Jewish students, communicated directly to parents, and have met with leadership of Hillel and Chabad. The purpose of these meetings was to hear first-hand about the impact of this protest and to talk about how we can continue to support all members of our community. I and members of my team will continue to meet with students as needed.

The University of Oregon is committed to fostering equity and inclusion and a welcoming, safe, and respectful community for all. This commitment is central to our organization and is specifically called out in our core values, which assert that we “value our diversity and seek to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community.” As a public institution we are also bound by federal law, specifically Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The institution needs to be informed of targeted, specific threats, and other instances of bias and harassment because this information is crucial for our ability to respond appropriately. I request that all students report these types of issues or experiences. Students can report concerns they may have in several ways. Issues related to classes can be reported to courseconcern@uoregon.edu. Issues related to harassment, bias, and/or intimidation can be reported to the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance using the make a report link.

The University is also reminding faculty and teaching staff of their instruction obligations and resources to assist them in conducting teaching and research activities without disruption. A communication was sent by the Office of the Provost on Saturday and can be found here.

In short, no student should be encouraged or compelled by UO employees to be exposed to the protest or encampment. This includes visiting the encampment for any academic or instructional purpose including class or office hours. I encourage students to reach out to report concerns through the links in this message, to practice self-care and mutual support, and to make use of the following resources as we navigate this challenging time.

Resources and Support

I am heartened by the spirit of support, candor, and mutual care I have seen from so many in our community over the last week and encourage all students to use the many support resources available to them as we continue to navigate these circumstances together.



Kris Winter, EdD
Interim Vice President for Student Life