UAA draws the line between friendship and harassment

An extroverted freshman at UAA determined to make new friends on campus has been accused in multiple cases of harassment.

Andrew Yerger is known for asking other students about their love for the popular 60s rockband, The Doors. Photo courtesy of Andrew Yerger.

Andrew Yerger is a history major. He wanders the area between his dorm to the Student Union, asking every passerby if they listen to the popular 60s rock band The Doors.

Yerger began this habit at the beginning of the fall 2019 semester. Yerger claimed he had no friends prior to employing this icebreaker strategy. He believed that “reducing the size” of the campus would bring students closer together.

“What I set out to do was reduce the size of the campus,” Yerger said. “I have a lot of great friends now, and I’ve started a cult with wonderful people in it. I didn’t know any of these people before.”

Yerger has developed what he refers to as a small cult following. He hosts a group chat entitled “The Doors of Perception.” Currently, there are 16 official members.

Every evening, he asks his group chat which The Doors album they are listening to. Their love of the band led Yerger and four of the members of The Doors of Perception to play “L.A. Woman” by The Doors over KRUA on Sept. 19 and perform karaoke together.

Ellen Carty is a junior marketing major and one of what Yerger calls “children of Morrison,” or a member of his cult.

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“[Yerger] will chat for hours,” Carty said. “He wanted a way to bring UAA together and bridge the gap between classes. Weird guy, but to each their own.”

Undisclosed students have supposedly reported Yerger’s behavior as harassment, according to Yerger. However, he denies that this behavior qualifies as harassment.

“I’m not saying anything vulgar, I’m not disrespecting anyone’s personal space and I’m not touching anyone,” Yerger said. “I’m just asking people about a band from the 60s.”

The situation escalated when Yerger specifically told students not to report him for this behavior. Yerger found that since he told them not to, he was reported more frequently.

Yerger said he was detained on Sept. 19 after encountering a member of the University Police Department in Eugene Short Hall. Yerger recounted that the officer said that he had shouted the name of the lead singer of The Doors upstairs, but Yerger claimed that he had merely whispered it.

UPD denied that Yerger was detained, but confirmed Yerger was spoken to about his behavior.

Yerger claimed he was prevented from attending his class and was told that any further reports of harassment would lead to Yerger being arrested or expelled.

Yerger cites his lack of medication for his ADHD as reasoning for his behavior.

“[ADHD is] part of who I am,” Yerger said. “I never saw it as a disorder.”

ADHD is considered a disability by UAA’s Disability Support Services. It is unknown if this diagnosis is official, or if it will be taken into account when determining the potential expulsion of Yerger.

Since the alleged incident, Yerger has decided to ask for the consent of people before approaching them about the band in order to prevent another report of harassment.

“I’m not going to stop being me,” Yerger said. “Being me is the only thing I know how to do.”