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UO Therapy Records Access Gets Congressional Attention

Rachael McDonald

The University of Oregon's possible violation of a student's privacy when it accessed her therapy records has garnered national attention. This week Oregon's Congressional Delegation got involved.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Suzanne Bonamici both sent letters to the Federal Department of Education citing concern over the breach of privacy. The U of O procured records from the campus Counseling Center belonging to a young woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by 3 basketball players last spring. The student is suing the University. Jennifer Freyd is a professor of Psychology at the U of O.

Freyd: "From what we can understand that happened, it seems something broke down and the consequence is a very severe lack of trust in both the University's Counseling Center as well as alarm around the country that this could happen on other campuses."

Freyd wrote a resolution, passed this week by the University Senate, demanding that the records be returned. It also called for clarifying policy that would, as she says, hopefully make it possible for this to never happen again.   

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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