Wisconsin announces new fan behavior and carry-in policies for sporting events

MADISON | Last week, Wisconsin officials said they’d have updated policies and procedures in place by this weekend for their different sports venues after a fan wearing a President Barack Obama mask and a noose around his neck was seen at Camp Randall Stadium during a game last month. On Wednesday, those revised policies were announced.

Among them, include the barring of “nooses and ropes” from venues, with Wisconsin saying those will now be treated as weapons that constitute a threat to safety.

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“Any person who engages in violent, threatening, abusive or otherwise disorderly conduct which tends to provoke a disturbance or incite violence will be ejected from our events,” the new policies read. “Threats include statements, actions and behaviors that could reasonably be foreseen as having a purpose to inflict physical harm, even if the person making the threat doesn’t have the ability to carry out the threat. Disorderly conduct does not require that a disruption actually occur. Any spectator carrying a prohibited item may be refused admittance or may be ejected from the venue.”

The new policies were the result of UW administrators, students and community leaders coming together over the past week to shore up perceived weaknesses.

“What happened at Camp Randall two weeks ago goes against everything we stand for,” athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “I am very pleased that we all were able to work together to improve our policies. I greatly appreciate the collaborative spirit of our meetings with leaders in our community. It is great to be able to talk, and even more satisfying that we took action.”

The policies also reiterate that any kind of disrespectful conduct towards others, including racist behavior, won’t be tolerated.

“This policy change is an important step in ensuring that our sporting events are free from offensive conduct that has the potential to create a disturbance,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a statement. “I have asked the Office of Legal Affairs to work closely with the Division of Athletics in the next several weeks to review facilities use and other policies to clarify conduct rules at all of our sports facilities. We fully intend to include campus and community stakeholders in that process as well.”

Here are the complete changes announced by Wisconsin

CHANGES TO FAN BEHAVIOR, CARRY-IN AND TICKET POLICIES
Effective immediately, the following changes are made to existing policies:
1. Items prohibited from our facilities include nooses and ropes because they are weapons and they constitute a threat to safety, as do replicas of weapons.

2. Any person who engages in violent, threatening, abusive or otherwise disorderly conduct which tends to provoke a disturbance or incite violence will be ejected from our events. Threats include statements, actions and behaviors that could reasonably be foreseen as having a purpose to inflict physical harm, even if the person making the threat doesn’t have the ability to carry out the threat. Disorderly conduct does not require that a disruption actually occur.

3. The University of Wisconsin and the Big Ten Conference promotes good sportsmanship, appropriate fan behavior and a welcoming atmosphere for all fans at all athletic events sponsored by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Racist and other offensive behavior is not appropriate for our venues.

4. Any spectator carrying a prohibited item may be refused admittance or may be ejected from the venue.

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