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Some UO students support pioneer statue removal

UO graduate student Marc Carpenter labels some of the controversial history of the pioneer statues.

Posted: Jun 14, 2020 6:26 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2020 1:47 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Many students were in favor of the two Pioneer statues being torn down on Saturday night. 

"I don't really know anyone that's been a fan of statue," alumnus Tim Slavick said. "This stuff has been happening where people want something to change like Deady Hall and (President) Schill basically says no and doesn't give a good reason. At a certain point, people get fed up."

According to a statement from the UO, "just this week, President Michael Schill recommended that the Board of Trustees dename Deady Hall and announced to the University Senate that he was asking a campus committee to look at whether statues or monuments on campus, including two Pioneer statues, should be removed. The university will put the statues in safe storage and allow that process to play out."

Others feel it should be a community decision on whether to keep the statues. 

"When you tear them down, it's like okay when history changes two years from now what are we going to tear down now?" Eugene resident Tim Hayden said.

Marc Carpenter is a graduate student who has done extensive research on the statues' history. 

"The Pioneer, which I know quite a lot about, is especially striking because of how prominent that history of violence is meant to be in that depiction," Carpenter said. 

Carpenter says he's had conversations with those from the Native American Student Union about statues' controversial past. He even added there was a protest on the 100-year anniversary of the statues unveiling. 

"I found that this statue was inspired by and patterned after an Indian killer back in the day named "Big Frank" to whom if I may quote the sculptor, 'Killing an occasional Indian was all in a days work.'"

There is no update on who was responsible for tearing down the statues. 

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