Officials abandon “wear black” campaign
Daily Barometer: Oregon State University officials from the athletic department and university licensing have decided not to go forward with the “wear black” campaign for football games this fall.
For the Oct. 20 and Nov. 17 games, some tickets for season-ticket holders had been printed telling game attendees to wear black, and there is also a page on the Oregon State University Athletics website saying what should be worn at each game.
According to Steve Clark, vice president of University Relations and Marketing, that campaign has now been suspended, following a meeting he had with Bob De Carolis, director of the athletic department, and John Rizzardini, chief marketing officer, last Thursday, as well as a meeting yesterday with Provost Sabah Randhawa, Student Affairs Vice Provost Larry Roper and other university administrators.
“Concerns had been raised from student leaders, among others, and we began to discuss it after receiving an e-mail from Amelia [Harris, ASOSU president] two weeks ago,” Clark said. “The athletic department and university life have chosen not to promote the wearing of certain attire at games. ”
Harris was pleased about the decision. “It’s a positive step for the university community, as the university was obviously not ready for it, especially after all the culturally insensitive remarks made since the [Barometer] article last Friday. It shows we need more education to make campus safe for all students,” Harris said.
Other students in agreeance with Harris’ stance were also pleased with the outcome. “Having worked with different communities as part of the cultural centers, I know many are really offended by the topic,” said Charlie Vang, external coordinator of the Pride Center.
Nicole Perez, a fourth-year student majoring in ethnic studies and natural resources, did not understand why the university was even considering such a move. “The whole thing is insensitive. They could have thought more about it,” Perez said.
However, many other students are unhappy about the move. Ray McGuinness, a business administration student, was at the first blackout in 2007 and thinks the university missed an opportunity to learn from past mistakes. “I understand the underlying issues and how it can be insensitive,” McGuinness said. “But cancelling the event doesn’t help us confront the issue. By cancelling it, we are just brushing it under the carpet, hiding it from view.”
Jon Dallas, a senior in electrical and computer engineering, began camping out at Reser Stadium on Sunday at 2 p.m. for tickets to the Washington State game. He was about 30 people back from the front of the line.
“When I think of wearing black, I don’t think of a skin color. I think of the actual color. We are supposed to be moving forward with this issue, but making this an issue seems to be going in the wrong direction,” Dallas said. “I just don’t understand, I guess. I don’t know why such a big deal was made out of it. Orange and black are our school colors, other schools do blackouts all over the country; it’s not like we’re the only ones.”
Sophomore wide receiver Obum Gwacham said that when OSU played at Utah during a blackout game there, it was a little intimidating. But he also understands concerns student leaders here have had about blackouts. “I understand why students want to do the blackout, because it is nice for the school; it’s showing school spirit. But on the other hand, I can understand why ASOSU, their president, wouldn’t want to do it. I guess we have to kind of monitor the way that students dress for the games. I figured a blackout is just a simple black shirt,” Gwacham said.
If wearing the color black is so offensive, why not change their school colors to white and orange. Oops, I’m sure a “wear white” day would be just as offensive.
As a woman, I find their selection of a beaver for their mascot offensive. Why would they choose an animal whose name is slang for a certain lady part?