‘He pointed it directly at me’: Jim Eikrem’s alleged use of firearms on campus unnerved staff member

Jim Eikrem addressing an audience before the Spring 2022 production of Number the Stars. Photo by Joseph Lohmolder

As staff and students at Clackamas Community College await a decision to determine if former theater director Jim Eikrem will return to his position at CCC, further concerns have since come out about Eikrem’s use of firearms while he ran the CCC theater department.

Haley Hurita, a department assistant for the theater, described an instance on Feb. 14, 2022 in which Eikrem was test firing a prop gun, loaded with blanks, on stage and in front of an audience of students in a manner that made her uncomfortable. 

“Jim walked center stage, reloaded the gun,” Hurita recalled. “And we’re watching him. And he is pointing the gun he is loading not only just in the direction of students, but directly at me.” 

According to Hurita, Eikrem would go on to fire the gun several times, which was misfiring in several instances. Eikrem then asked Ms. Hurita to fire the gun while he sat in the audience. When she refused, he then asked a student to fire the gun instead. 

Human Resources at CCC was later notified about the incident, and Campus Safety then confiscated all of the theater department’s firearms.

Dennis Marks, the director of campus safety at CCC, wrote in an email that the list of firearms confiscated by the college included: “two starter pistols – by design (barrels blocked and no trajectory options), three firearms missing critical components and completely inoperable, and one revolver that might function – determining that would take a gunsmith or gun expert to confirm.”

CCC policy prohibits firearms, destructive devices and other dangerous weapons on all college premises. The policy includes exemptions for concealed weapons licenses and law enforcement. There is no currently written policy or guidance regarding the use of firearms during a CCC theater performance..

Katelyn Oldham, Eikrem’s legal representation provided through the Oregon Education Association, defended her client, telling The Print, “This was an issue that the college looked into more than a year ago, and nothing resulted from it because it was a big nothing burger.” 

Eikrem himself declined to comment.

An arbitrator is set to make a decision on June 18 if Eikrem’s termination was handled properly by the college. Eikrem’s termination came in the wake of several complaints from staff and students regarding inappropriate conduct, as well as claims of a hostile work environment. A grievance committee put together by the college unanimously determined that Eikrem’s termination was justified. Despite this decision, the faculty senate at CCC decided to send the issue to arbitration. 

The Clackamas Print previously reported complaints against Eikrem including belligerent and demeaning behavior towards staff and students, a habit of entering the women’s dressing room unannounced and directing students in a manner that made them feel uncomfortable.

Eikrem is seeking reinstatement and back pay, as is common for labor disputes.


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Joseph Lohmolder

Joseph Lohmolder is the Editor in Chief for the Clackamas Print. He was the previous Managing Editor and News Editor. Joe has been on staff at The Clackamas Print and a member of the Digital Media Communications program since the fall of 2020. In his free time, Joseph enjoys writing and taking photos.