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Monday, December 06, 2021
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Chancellor David Ward said at an Athletic Board meeting Friday while the “Rose Bowl incident” has prompted alcohol policy review, the issue is not unique to the Athletic Department.

Following Rose Bowl incident, Ward says UW-Madison needs to review its alcohol policies

Following the alleged sexual assault of a student by an athletic official after a night of drinking at the Rose Bowl, UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward said Friday departments campus-wide need to review their off-campus alcohol policies.

Ward told the UW-Madison Athletic Board while the "2012 Rose Bowl Incident" brought light to the issue of off-campus drinking, it is not unique to the athletic department.

"In this culture and our society today, [drinking] is a generic issue, not particular to athletics," Ward said. "I don't think there's a quick fix."

Ward said he plans to begin discussions about the university's alcohol policies with the Faculty Senate's executive committee, the academic staff and student leaders.

In discussing how to implement university alcohol policy changes, board member Adam Gamoran said using gift money to fund underage drinking, as in the Rose Bowl incident, should not happen.

"Clearly there's no ambiguity at the present time about the advisability of using gift funds associated with the university to provide alcohol to underage people," Gamoran said.

One of the student representatives on the board, Nicholas Schmuhl, said it is important students are involved in the review process.

"Not only was this particular issue an issue of student welfare, but I think that students have a perspective that they can provide that would be really valuable," Schmuhl said. "I'm just hoping students are well-represented."

When assessing the process of reporting the incident, Chair Dale Bjorling said he was pleased the student involved in the alleged assault remained anonymous throughout the review process. Ward added that people have generally been "complimentary" about how the individuals involved reported the assault.

But board member Jeff Anders said the reporting process might not have went as smoothly if different individuals had been involved in the incident, and accessing the chancellor to inform him of the incident was not as easy as it should have been.

"I think that if not for the due diligence of the people involved, this could have not worked its way out the way it should have," Anders said. "I think we see a winding, winding kind of path. I don't think on our campus there is a good mechanism to go directly to the chancellor's office in particular if significant concerns like this arise."

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