Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ASSOU Student Senate Passes Resolution in Support Eliza

Last night, Paul Jenkins, Stevenson Union Senator, brought before the ASSOU Student Senate a resolution to fully support Eliza Schaaf in her efforts to return to her Ceramics class and remain a student at SOU, provided with the appropriate accommodations to make that happen.

Eliza was given the floor and read the Statement below. Eliza's mother, Deb, read a letter of support from Eliza's good friend Erika Hultz (see
Comments - Letters to SOU - Blog). A ceramics classmate announced that signed statements from 14 [now it is ALL] of Eliza's classmates have been collected and they pledge their full support for Eliza and want her to return to class. Full statements and signatures will be posted soon.

The student Senate voted on the Resolution in Support of Eliza Schaaf and passed unanimosly in favor - 17-0-0 giving Eliza the full support of the student body

A copy of the signed and dated Resolution can be found under documents to the right of this blog.

Here is Eliza's speech she gave to the ASSOU Student Senate:

Hi my name is Eliza Schaaf. Last June I graduated with the class of 2010 from Ashland High School. This summer I enrolled as a non-admitted student at my new school, Southern Oregon University to take an art course called Introduction to Ceramics. I have always loved learning and I like working with clay. I just wanted to take a course and learn the basics of pottery with other college students my age.
I really like my class. The students are nice and give me feedback on my work. I like being creative and have made lots of different projects – like these tissue boxes and a punch bowl that I am working on right now.
Last Tuesday morning, I got a letter from Alissa Arp, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences saying I can’t be a student at SOU any more. This made me frustrated and upset. I was told I can’t go back to class. Why Not? I did my work. I came to class every day. I am a good student. What things have I done wrong?
I have come here with my friend Mollie who is in my ceramics class to ask for your help. I have always been taught to believe in myself and follow my dreams. Continuing my education is important to me. So are my friends.
I have never thought of myself as being disabled. I am not a disability. I am a person who loves to learn, This fall I am helping with teaching art at Pinehurst School.
I want to be allowed to go back to my class with my friends and finish my projects.
Thank you for your time.


  1. You go Eliza! I am proud of your determination and commitment to lead the life you choose, not the one others tell you you should. Keep up the good work and I send all my love and prayers to you and your family. I have known you since the day you were born and have always known you were an amazing person.

  2. Hello Eliza. I have never met you, but I know one thing: in life you can never let the decisions of others determine how you will shape your life. You must preservere and peruse your art. I've seen pictures of your pottery and it is quite good. No matter what happens at SOU you must follow your soul. You are a talented artist.