Event featuring Caitlyn Jenner at University of Oregon attracts protesters
EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) hosted an event featuring Caitlyn Jenner and her publicist, Alan Nierob, on Tuesday night.
However, not everyone in attendance was happy about the visit, including members of the transgender and LGBTQAI community.
A handful of U of O students and community members created signs and stood inside Straub Hall on the University of Oregon campus, protesting the event. The event was hosted in an auditorium in Straub Hall, and was titled "On Her Own Terms."
The event was about what strategies Nierob used when Jenner decided to come out publicly as a transgender person.
The Dean of the SOJC says he was fascinated by Nierob's career, and though it would be an excellent case study for public relations students to learn from. He says it took over a year to plan the event, but many people say they were upset.
Protesters at the event say Jenner's politics are harmful to all marginalized communities, and they say that they were upset they were not consulted before Jenner was invited to the University.
"She has financial securities and has a different social status than most people that are going through these things," said Taevian Bolds, who was in attendance protesting the event. "So, ofr people to be like, 'Oh, Jenner is the person that is going to teach you all that it is okay to be trans,' it's just infuriating. She can't give you an accurate depiction of what it is to live life and struggle and go through these things."
The dean of the SOJC says the event wasn't created to focus on the characteristics of the client, but rather as an educational opportunity for PR students.
"This originated from the fact that as he has an impressive career in public relations and as a well known public relations strategist," said Juan Carlos Molleda, the Dean of the SOJC. "He has a story to tell. The addition of a high profile individual I will say is the cherry on top of the cake."
The event lasted about an hour and a half, and a UO Spokesperson says that 500 seats were available for the event, but they were reserved very quickly. The protesters silently left before the event wrapped up.