Education
5:42 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

U of O Sexual Assault Panel Hears From Public

After three student athletes were suspended for sexual misconduct violations, the University of Oregon began taking steps to prevent sexual violence on campus. Today (Wednesday) the President’s Review Panel for Prevention and Response to Sexual Misconduct held a public input session.

Residence Hall advisor training, and a sex ed smart phone app and self defense. These are just some of the ideas people offered for preventing sexual assault on campus.

Panel members and audience listen to public comment at Ford Alumni Center on U of O campus.
Panel members and audience listen to public comment at Ford Alumni Center on U of O campus.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

Before U of O Interim President Scott Coltrane welcomed comments from the audience, he made this point:

Coltrane:“If students are sexually harassed or subject to sexual violence, it changes their whole life.”

About ten people signed up to speak to the panel. Ryan Kelly is instructor of the only Women’s Self Defense course in the P.E. Department. He’s glad to finally hear the subject of self defense being discussed.

Kelly: “The only thing that has statistically been shown to really reduce the likelihood of sexual assault is training women on the skills that they need to avoid, interrupt or physically defend against sexual assault.”

24 year old Samantha Krop is a high school teacher and U of O grad student.

Krop: “As a survivor of sexual assault and as someone who knows many people who are also survivors of sexual assault, I feel that the University has really undervalued our voices and our position and has made this to be an issue that is much smaller and less acknowledged than it should be.”

After being attacked, Krop founded the Warrior Sister’s Society in Eugene.

Krop: “We provide free and ongoing trainings to women and other high risk populations in basic self defense. And that includes verbal skills, assertiveness, how to establish your own boundaries, confidence building, physical skills, and hand to hand combat, weapons disarmament. We really do everything.”

Krop came to this forum to encourage the U of O panel to endorse greater access to self defense training for women on campus.

Samantha Krop shows Ryan Kelly a self defense tactic.
Samantha Krop shows Ryan Kelly a self defense tactic.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

The President’s Review Panel expects to hold more public input sessions when students return in the Fall. The 8-person panel will evaluate sexual misconduct policies and practices, then make recommendations to President Coltrane.