WGSS statement in solidarity with the survivors of sexual assault and violence and the current events regarding the president

To OSU students, faculty, and staff:

As faculty in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, we affirm our solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and harassment at Oregon State University and elsewhere. OSU has repeatedly failed survivors, and, as we now know, the hiring of President Alexander is one more example of that failure. We recognize that the recent news about President Alexander’s actions at LSU may be traumatizing for survivors, and OSU has a responsibility to increase support for survivors immediately.

WGSS supports survivors and demands that our community not reproduce and excuse violence.

We commit to feminist interrogations of systems of power. Our classes will continue to examine the ways that inequity, oppression, and discrimination via race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and nationality generate violence and shield individual and institutional perpetrators. Our curriculum, and especially our courses in the Bacc Core, equip our community to analyze these workings of power and not just imagine a world without racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, but also work to build that world now. 

We cannot do this work under a president who does not acknowledge fully his complicity in the abuse at LSU and therefore contributes to institutions that care more about protecting perpetrators and people in power than survivors. 

We call for President Alexander's resignation. Furthermore, we call for the resignation of the Board of Trustees and a transparent and thorough external review of the search process that led to President Alexander's hiring. Complete transparency and full community participation in hiring of senior administrators is the only way to ensure that OSU will not repeat these same mistakes and continue to retraumatize survivors in our community.

We call for the university to fund and fully staff the Survivor Advocacy Resource Center, Equal Opportunity and Access, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Employee Assistance Programs, and to make the changes to the bias reporting process that students, faculty, and staff are currently demanding because it has repeatedly failed to prevent and address race and gender-based discrimination. President Alexander’s claim that what happened at LSU could not happen at OSU because of OSU’s policies is false. OSU must commit to substantial changes to its institutional priorities and policies.

We express our solidarity with other faculty, staff, and students as they demand that OSU enact the changes in leadership and institutional policy and resource allocation that will make Oregon State University a model of appropriate response to gendered violence and institutional complicity. 


Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Oregon State University