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On The Street

What do you think of the UO rape investigation?

Hayley Oakland 22, UO student 

Have you been following the UO rape investigation?

Yes.

Do you think the UO is handling the investigation well? What about the police and the district attorney?

[The UO] has been very political about it, definitely. I don’t know how much they’ve actually done though. I think the police have done a fairly good job. I don’t know — it’s difficult to tell since I don’t have a lot of experience with it. I don’t really know how to feel about it; if it was me I would be incredibly terrified.

Do you feel that there has been an increase in sexual violence recently?

I don’t know, I’ve never been a part of the party scene so I don’t really know on a personal level or have any friends who’ve had that issue. But it seems like it’s become a bigger issue in general. It also seems to me … this may or may not be related and may or may not be useable, but just over the four years that I’ve been here, women’s fashion has changed a lot and I know that people would say to me it has nothing to do with women’s fashion, but I think women’s fashion is a good indicator of attitude, and just the repression of women in general. 

Change in what way?

Like cover less skin. You basically just see women wearing underwear around campus.

What kind of indicator is that to you?

I think that these women would be arguing that they are free to express what they want and they’re happy to live in a society where they can be comfortable doing that. But I honestly see it exactly the same as the women who are fully covered head to toe and I think it’s the same representation of repression because it’s just trying to reflect what porn is telling you to look like and that’s really sad to me. 

If a woman is drunk, is she opening herself up for something like rape?

No. Honestly it doesn’t make a difference. I think it’s more about the psychology of these guys, to me. Reading the police report is really disturbing; the consent part is what is questionable in terms of her being drunk. But I think the bigger problem is the cult of celebrities around the basketball players. I think it gives them a feeling of power that other people don’t have that’s kind of terrifying; I don’t think that the average person might do something like they did.

Should women have self-defense training? Or should men have training in how not to be violent?

I think that’s a tough issue. I think it would be good, like freshman year in college, to have both. But at the same time I think that a lot of what happened just seems to be a reflection of what our society is telling us to be like, and going more and more towards male domination. I don’t know if that can really be reversed by a class that someone might be forced to take, but it might at least help.

 

 

Charlotte Gramms 62, massage therapist

Have you been following the UO rape investigation?

No.

Do you feel that there has been an increase in sexual violence recently?

I don’t think so. Actually I think there’s less right now. 

Why?

Just the way that people act around here. I mean, they’ve been made aware and you can tell they’ve been made aware that this is not a good thing.

Should women have self-defense training? Or should men have training in how not to be violent?

I think everyone should have self-defense training. I think it’s a wonderful thing. Martial arts are one of the most wonderful things you can do for a person. All children should be in martial arts.

Can social media or pornographic portrayals of women lead to sexual violence?

I don’t think so. I think people should be able to see the human body and learn while they’re young. I think actually it will help people be less violent and more loving, if you teach them how to love instead of being violent.

 

 

Michael Foster 22, UO student 

Have you been following the UO rape investigation?

I have.

Do you think the UO is handling the investigation well? What about the police and the district attorney?

I’m very strongly opinionated on this subject. It seems that there was always lags of communication and lack of communication between different entities, such as the Eugene Police Department and the University of Oregon Athletic Department. But overall I believe that the university handled the situation extremely poorly, and in my opinion it is as though they prioritized athletics over student safety, and I fundamentally believe that is not what a university should uphold. 

Do you think that the UO sports culture leads to a celebrity/party atmosphere that causes sexual assault to be swept under the rug?

Yeah. When athletics become the image of a university it attracts a certain demographic of kids who want to go to that university and it seems as though, in our modern society, when athletics are the base of a university it attracts kids who are less concerned with academics and their priorities are somewhere other than academics. Which, partying could be one of many.

In the last four years I have been utterly shocked at the amount of notifications the student body has received about sexual violence and rape. 

If a woman is drunk, is she opening herself up for something like rape?

It makes her more vulnerable, but I would not say she is “opening herself up.” I think in situations such as these, where there’s a confusion about whether she gave consent or not, it really complicates the situation. But overall, no. 

Should women have self-defense training? Or should men have training in how not to be violent?

I think women should have self-defense training. I think that’s an overall good skill to have. But if I had to pick one or the other, by far I think that men should have classes on how not to be violent. We live in a very masculine society, and it never ceases to amaze me at how much male violence is directed at females in our society. It’s horrible, disgusting and disgraceful. It’s just a reflection on how unequal American society and culture still is, and I believe that men should be taught from a very young age about the severity of violence towards women.

 

 

Kit Kittleson 57, industrial inside salesman 

Have you been following the UO rape investigation?

Following, no; aware of it, yes. 

Do you have an opinion on whether the alleged victim was raped or not?

I believe that if she felt she was, she was.

Do you think the UO, DA and EPD are handling this case well?

Well, just from what I’ve heard and read it doesn’t sound like it … there’s a tendency for the press to sensationalize I’ve noticed. So, it’s hard to get the truth of the matter.

Has there been an increase in sexual violence recently? 

An increase? I don’t think so. But I think it’s always out there, it just occasionally becomes public. 

 

 

Christine Stutson 46, currently unemployed due to disability

Have you been following the UO rape investigation?

Pretty much, yeah.

Do you have an opinion on whether the alleged victim was raped or not?

I think they did it … I feel like they’re trying to get out of it. I feel for the person it happened to because I’m a victim of rape myself. I was a teenager when it happened. But, it’s hard, ya know? It’s hard to get over.

Do you believe that the culture of athletics can lead to a culture of partying that increases the likelihood of sexual assault?

Somewhat. I believe that. 

Should women have self-defense training or should men have training on how to not be violent?

Both. 

Do you think the UO, DA and EPD are handling this well?

Not really. They could be a little more tentative with the victim … a little more harder on the three guys. 

Can social media or pornographic portrayals of women lead to sexual violence?

I think to an extent it can. Pornography is out in the open nowadays. Years ago it was taboo, but now it’s out in the open.

 

 

Kris McReynolds job hunting

Do you think the three basketball players accused of rape are guilty? 

I don’t want to push too much one way or the other, but I think they might’ve had a hand in it.

Do you think there has been an increase in sexual violence recently?

I think there’s definitely been an increase in sexual violence in the last year. 

Do you think the athletic culture that the UO has can lead to more partying which can in turn lead to more sexual violence?

I do believe it leads to a party culture, whether or not that leads to sexual violence … that’s been unproven. 

Do you think women should have self-defense training or that men should take trainings on how to be less violent or both?

I think women should take a self-defense class. I think every woman should know self defense and carrying Mace might even be a good precaution. 

 

 

Wayde Love artist/home decorator 

Do you think that the three accused are guilty?

I think that they did something … I think that she was originally kind of into it and then she wasn’t and that’s where they went wrong if they went wrong. If she said “no” then they should’ve stopped … I wouldn’t say that they’re innocent but I wouldn’t say they’re rapists … If they went past “no” then they should be prosecuted. 

Do you think athletics can lead to a party culture that in turn can lead to more sexual violence?

Well, I party all the time, and I don’t have to deal with that. I think it’s a matter of putting yourself around good people. 

Do you think women should have to take a self-defense class or that men should have trainings on how to not be violent or both?

I encourage that for sure.