Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Police, equality alliance come to agreement

The University of
Wisconsin Alliance for Programming Equality and UW Police Department reached an
agreement Tuesday to open communication about safety in planning Union events.

Tuesday's meeting came
as the result of the cancellation of a UW Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity's
party, which planned to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican
Independence Day Sept. 15. It was canceled by UWPD due to concerns over crowd
control issues.

National Lambda Theta
Phi officials accused UWPD of racial profiling late September.

UWPD Chief of Police Sue
Riseling and Lieutenant Bill Larson, who attended the meeting, denied the
fraternity's allegations that the event was canceled based on race or the type
of music that would have been played.

"We try very hard to
stay away from content [of events], whether that's in demonstrations like
pro-choice or any issue," Riseling said. "It doesn't help us to get caught up
in the content of things."

APE — a Union directorate
committee that represents student organizations — and UWPD reached a compromise
involving a revision of the Registered Student Organization process currently
in place, which sets rules for hosting events at Wisconsin Unions.


"[The Union] is a place
where every student should feel safe," said Matt Forrest, WUD music committee
assistant director. "This is their house, and it should have the same
expectations that a house on Langdon Street has."

According to Amanda
Green, Wisconsin Union vice president of public relations, the revised RSO Security
Board would add various student organizations like the Associated Students of
Madison, WISPIRG, MultiCultural Student Coalition and the Student Organization
office to ensure the success and safety of union events.

Previous RSO Security Board
meetings were made up of two UWPD officers, a Union employee and students
involved in planning the event being discussed.

"For us, both unions
need to be the students' house," Riseling said. "We want more than anything for
people to feel the same. We're on the same page here."

According to Union
Building and Event Manager Roger Vogts, the amount of security at Union events
is based on two principles: the previous experience with a group and the size
of the planned event.

APE also discussed the
formation of a security plan, which would take place months before the event
date. An event could be booked almost a year in advance, though there would be
no security meeting until two or three weeks before it was supposed to happen,
Green said.

UWPD said the department
must take the past into consideration when securing events. According to
Riseling, UWPD is accountable for more than recent occasions, and police must
apply that knowledge to present-day events.

"For example, every
[football] game we go into we always have to go back to 1993, [when] students
ran onto the field, knocking over the fences and people were stuck underneath,"
Riseling said. "It was just a huge mess."

Larson, APE and UW
officials will meet biweekly to further discuss plans.

"Sometimes it takes a
lot longer to get to a point where people agree, and it got there pretty
quickly," Associate Dean of Students Argyle Wade said. "We just have to
continue to work on the details to flush out exactly how this will work."

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *