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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

UW Athletics changes venue policy following noose costume

New policies will be put in place for attendees of home athletic events, the University of Wisconsin Department of Athletics said Wednesday.

The changes come following an incident involving a fan wearing a costume depicting President Barack Obama with a noose around his neck and the university’s response calling the costume free speech. Athletics facilities will now prohibit nooses and ropes, which will be treated as “weapons that constitute a threat to safety.”

The updated policy also includes a statement declaring that “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 that event. Threats include “statements, actions and behaviors” that reasonably imply the intent to inflict physical harm, even if the person making the threat does not have the ability to carry it out.

The updated language also reiterates that racist and offensive behavior is inappropriate at UW Athletics events.

"What happened at Camp Randall two weeks ago goes against everything we stand for," UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. "I am very pleased that we all were able to work together to improve our policies.”

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