Provost Jayanth Banavar sent the following message to instructors offering guidance on the National School Walkout:
Dear Instructional Faculty and Graduate Employees,
You may be aware of the National School Walkout planned for 10 a.m. on March 14. This event is being held to ask Congress to act on gun safety issues, especially in light of the recent events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It is being replicated throughout the country on the one-month anniversary of the school shooting and is intended to last for 17 minutes in honor of the students who were so tragically killed.
The University of Oregon has joined other institutions of higher education in stating that a prospective student’s admission to UO would not be jeopardized for participating in this event.
My office has received questions on how faculty members should handle the situation if students in their classrooms should choose to participate in the walkout. Many of our students might wish to join the walkout to protest the senseless violence in our schools.
The University of Oregon deeply values an individual’s right to free speech and the right to peacefully protest. As with any protest, the university will not take any student conduct action against students who choose to participate in this event, so long as their participation does not result in disruptions to classes or other university business.
As instructors, you should assess a student’s absence from class as you see fit within the requirements for your course.
If you need additional guidance on this issue, please contact my office at email@example.com.
Provost and Senior Vice President