Other Campuses: Pink Kinnick to stay

By The Daily Iowan

The NCAA recertification committee will not address the issue of Kinnick Stadium’s pink-colored visitor’s locker room, the members announced Monday.

The committee, which will present a five-year plan to the UI, went through several channels before determining the controversy was not a certification issue. The head of the panel, UI Associate Provost Patricia Cain, said she consulted the subcommittee on sex equity, the Title IX Compliance officer, and UI General Counsel Office on the matter.

“It is not an issue for student-athletes, and that is what the NCAA recertification committee focuses on,” Cain said Monday.

The group is responsible for evaluating the UI athletics department, documenting compliance with NCAA rules, and developing appropriate plans for improvement, according to its website. Steve Parrott, the UI director of University Relations, said committee members were not devaluing the controversy by refusing to address the pink locker rooms.

“They have a very specific charge of issues to look into,” he said.

Several university community members brought concerns about the pink locker room to the committee at its second public forum. Adjunct law lecturer Erin Buzuvis, who addressed the committee, had no objections to the history of the color of the locker rooms but was concerned with the 2005 decision to retain the color in renovations, Sept. 27 meeting minutes show.

Buzuvis received violent threats after she posted an entry on her online blog that referred to the pink locker room as “sexist” and “homophobic.”

“We were disappointed by the threatening e-mails,” Parrott said but added that overall, the university has handled the issue with civility.

Buzuvis did not immediately respond to e-mails and phone calls Monday.

Cain said the complainants expressed good faith and genuine concerns. In its plan, the recertification committee has addressed sex-equity issues, including how to increase the percentage of female athletes involved in Hawkeye programs, she said.

-Amanda Masker These numbers “have increased 91 percent in the past 10 years,” she said.

Ideally, the committee hopes the percentage of women involved in Hawkeye athletics would be proportional to that of women enrolled in undergraduate programs, Cain said, adding that the group would like to see a 2 percent increase per year.

Minority issues are also included in the committee’s plan.

“We are already one of the most diverse departments on campus,” Cain said. “There is always the question of what more can we do.”

The recertification plan had been scheduled to be delivered to UI President David Skorton by Oct. 15, but setbacks have pushed it back to Friday – or Oct. 24 at the latest, Cain said.

She has a meeting scheduled with Skorton today to discuss the recertification plan and to propose that the locker-room issue be pursued by another UI committee.

Parrott said a charter committee consisting of faculty, staff, and students could possibly handle the issue best.

“It could likely go to the Human Rights Committee,” he said.

-Amanda Masker