Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Interior Decorating 101

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz, whose team has staggered to a 2-2 start, says he has more important issues on his mind than pink locker rooms. But that wasn't the case during a public hearing Tuesday night. Erin Buzuvis, adjunct lecturer at the university's College of Law, continued her protest over use of the color in the Kinnick Stadium visitor's locker room (another subscription-only story located in comments). Des Moines Register columnist Marc Hansen says "if David Skorton, the school president, spends more than five minutes on this, it's time to worry."

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...

Pink protester stands ground

UI law professor tells forum lockers raise gender-equity concern

Danielle Stratton-Coulter
Cedar Rapids Gazette

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa law professor threatened for opposing the the pink pigment of the visitors’ locker room at Kinnick Stadium stood her ground last night at a forum on compliance with NCAA rules.

Erin Buzuvis, who said in Friday’s Gazette she thought the rosy-themed locker room was sexist and homophobic, has said she received death threats on her Web log, where she posted her complaints.

Pink is commonly regarded as "the color of little girls and or the color of effeminate men," Buzuvis said.

The message the Hawkeyes are sending to their opposing teams then, is, "you’re weak like a little girl, you’re weak like an effeminate man, you’re an inferior athlete," she said.

At the forum attended by about 50 people, Buzuvis asked the UI’s committee on NCAA compliance to include her concerns in their report. The committee evaluates how well the UI athletics department follows NCAA guidelines.

"I’m not asking you to paint the walls, I’m asking you to write this up as a genuine gender equity concern" Buzuvis told the panel.

Former Hawkeye football coach Hayden Fry first had the visiting team’s locker room painted pink years ago, citing psychological studies that showed the color had a calming effect. He reasoned mellow opponents would be easier to beat. Recent renovations to Kinnick Stadium included the addition of pink urinals, sinks, toilets and shower tiles.

Several other members of the UI community expressed their support for Buzuvis. Another woman at the forum said pink has other connotations for her, including the strength of breast cancer survivors.

Ben Bessman, a UI library assistant, was the only propink locker room advocate.

"It’s something we definitely need to keep," Bessman said. "Hayden Fry needs to be remembered in a lot of different ways and this is one of them."

Bessman, 30, of Iowa City, said after the forum that he posted a message on Buzuvis’ blog, but did not threaten her.

Many of the 280 comments posted on Buzuvis’ blog refuted her opinion, frequently using personal derogatory remarks regarding her sexuality and intelligence.

UI President David Skorton issued a statement over the weekend criticizing those who threatened Buzuvis.

Iowa City police said Tuesday they were familiar with the situation but had not received any formal complaints.

The UI’s report to the NCAA is set for completion Oct. 15, said chairwoman Pat Cain.

danielle.stratton-coulter@gazettecommunications.com