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UO Students Shout Down President During $50M Gift Announcement

<p>University of Oregon President Michael Schill</p>
<p>University of Oregon President Michael Schill</p>

University of Oregon President Michael Schill was scheduled Friday to announce a $50 million gift to the university. But that plan was cut short after a group of protesting students swarmed the stage.  

Shouting "nothing about us without us," the students broke up the gift announcement program just minutes after it began.

The students said they disrupted the program to speak about campus safety for students of color and rising tuition costs.

According to student newspaper The Daily Emerald, students said they no longer felt safe on campus because of "fascism and neo-Nazism."

Though the students managed to cancel Schill's announcement of the anonymous $50 million gift, he released his remarks via video shortly after the protest.

“I believe with all my heart in the right to free speech. And I respect the passion of these protesters," Schill said. "But I do not agree with any protester, shutting down the speech of another person.”  

Schill said part of the money from the large gift would be spent on building a Black Cultural Center on campus and creating more faculty positions.

"I come away from today’s experience with a new energy and determination to teach all of our students and members of the community the value of free speech and tolerance," Schill wrote in a statement.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting