Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Open Letter to Chancellor Wiley: Stadium security ruin game day

Dear Chancellor Wiley,

I am writing to describe to you my experience at this week's
football game, which was one of the best and worst experiences I have had at a
Badger game. After reading the front-page article in The Badger Herald on
Friday about our infamous rowdiness ("'Keep fit, thank you,'" Nov. 9), I was
much more aware of our sportsmanship. Despite our long-lived rivalry against
the Wolverines, I was pleased not to have witnessed any of the treatment toward
Michigan fans that we all expected. The fans were more respectful than usual,
our infamous chanting was less loud than usual, the team played great, and the
band, as usual, succeeded in reminding me of how proud I am to be a Badger. I
will never forget the sight of our aging band director do the chicken dance
while the band played outside the stadium. These joyful memories of our last
home game this season will forever be remembered.

However, unfortunately these were not the only events that
marked my experience. My friends and I decided to sit in section K to watch the
game. Unlike many students, we opted to sit in our actual seats. We were
therefore doing nothing wrong at this game — we were not belligerent, we
cheered our hearts out for the team, and we did not disrespect anyone. What happened
next was so upsetting that I actually found myself crying with frustration at
the treatment of my fellow students. My boyfriend was caught in a crowd of
students trying to get back to their seats, all wanting to watch our UW band
play and see Ron Dayne's jersey retired. Unfortunately, despite having paid for
the right to see these things happen, they were not allowed to because event
staff and a police officer or two randomly decided they should not be allowed
back to their seats. They withheld a group of 50 or more from reentering the

I approached a few members of the event staff and inquired
as to why they were doing what they were doing. I was not disrespectful in any
way when addressing them. Though they might have overheard my conversation down
to my boyfriend, what I said then was not directed to them. Not one person
responsible for this behavior could explain why he or she was doing it.
Instead, I was told that if I didn't go away, I would be kicked out of the
stadium or even arrested. One specific staff member repeated he was going to
arrest me when all I was seeking was information. In my opinion, this type of
treatment from those in power is not only completely out of place at a college
football game, but undemocratic and un-American. These individuals are paid to
keep us safe at our football games and prevent chaos. I understand that they
often have to kick people out of the stadium to maintain order. I, though not
involved, was too upset from simply witnessing this to enjoy the rest of the

This continued for the entire third quarter. The only
explanation I ever received was that our section was overcrowded. However, this
does not make much sense, since everyone in the section had tickets for that
section, unless the staff did not do their job of checking ticket stubs
correctly. Even if some students had snuck into our section from other
sections, punishing students with tickets for that particular section was not
the way to fix the situation.


At one point I asked if I was allowed to go to the bathroom.
I was told to go, and when I came back, a policewoman allowed me, but no one
else, back into the stadium, since I had asked to leave beforehand. I walked up
the stairs and was stopped by a different officer. I told him that she had let
me go, and he told me I was lying and made me wait until he went to talk to
her. I insisted that she had let me go, but he continued to mock me and say
that I was lying.

My friends and I stayed for fifth quarter for the first time
since our freshman year, and it was great. Finding myself in a much better
mood, I knew I would be able to control my anger well enough to discuss the
event with the event staff and policewoman involved. I first approached the
staff member who had threatened to kick me out simply for talking to my
boyfriend and inquiring into his actions. I asked him for his name, because I
wished to complain about his treatment. He told me I could not know his name,
and if I didn't get out of his face, he would have me arrested. I did nothing
that was breaking the law, and I was not rude to him. It has always been my
belief that if individuals are getting paid to do a job, and they are not doing
it correctly, the person affected has the right to complain to their superior. I
explained this calmly to this man, and he replied sarcastically that "I know a
lot about my rights, but I don't know anything about responsibility." As a
paying visitor to Camp Randall, my only responsibilities are to cheer for the
Badgers while respecting all of the other people at the stadium and helping to
maintain a safe environment for Wisconsin and visiting fans. At this point the
policewoman I mentioned earlier came up and told me that nothing I could do
would matter to anyone and that if I didn't leave the stadium she would make

I understand the need for heightened control of football
games, but the way I was treated at this game was unacceptable. These staff
members and officers made me ashamed of my school for allowing its students to
be treated as animals. We are intelligent people. We are the next doctors,
lawyers, businessmen and politicians of Wisconsin. To be treated like a moron
by someone paid to keep me safe is unacceptable.

I know this mishap was not your fault, but as a person of
power, I beg you to stand up for your students and ensure that we are not
treated like this again.

Kathryn Nix
([email protected]) is a junior majoring in biochemistry and French.

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