Sherwin Williams, Retired University of Oregon Professor Pelted by Students with Snowballs, Not Pressing Charges


Sherwin Williams was pelted by snowballs during a “frenzy” at the University of Oregon, but the retired professor said he won’t press charges against any of the students involved.

“I have confidence that the reaction of the university given what has happened will be proportional,” Simmons. “It will consider these young people and their futures and will also, I hope, suggest to them that they need to rethink behavior like that.”

A video captured by Oregon’s Daily Emerald shows some men, some of whom have been identified as students, forcing Williams to stop his car within a group of people, who begin dumping snow on it. When Williams exit the car, he gets pelted by snowballs.

Simmons was on his way to the campus museum to donate several of his own paintings to the museum’s collection.

He said that the mob mentality took over the group. 

“People were cheering when snow was thrown into my car,” Simmons told the Daily Emerald. “I don’t think people do that except under some sort of psychological mechanism that comes with people feeling they have permission because other people are doing it, and to act in a way they maybe wouldn’t act individually.”

Finally able to leave the scene, he alerted security at the university to what had happened.

The university’s dean of students, Paul Shang, said in a statement that the university’s police department is investigating what happened.

“Police hope to determine the identities of those who were throwing snowballs, whether they are UO students and whether their actions constitute a criminal act,” he said.

“The University of Oregon takes the conduct of its students seriously. Consequences are clear for those whose actions reflect poorly upon the university or violate its standards for student behavior. However, until the facts of the snowball-throwing incident are sorted out, it would be premature to speculate about any potential outcomes in this case.”

A petition has been started to try to pressure the university to discipline the people involved. 

“t is one thing to horse around and have a fun day out on a first snow day,” the petition introduction reads. “But it’s a different thing where a group of people act disrespectfully towards others including Professors. Participants threw snowballs at the vehicles, trapped cars by standing in-front of them (provoking drivers to act aggressively, endangered themselves and others), and dumping snow on the windshield blocking the view of the drivers.

“This poor, distasteful way of having fun needs to be made example of. UO needs to take a stand and act accordingly where the perpetrators and instigators would be able to take away a valuable lesson from. Otherwise, if goes unpunished, It teaches our youth that disrespect is fun – and I as a citizen of Earth do not agree with this kind of fun at expense of others.”



Top