By Laura Carr & David Allen
When can school spirit become detrimental? On April 16, when Denison faced Ohio Wesleyan University in the North Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship, the OWU Athletic director sent a message to Nancy Carney-DeBord, Denison’s director of athletics, regarding what happened during the game regarding DU’s fans.
“Specifically, Denison spectators chanted ‘F*** OWU’ during the match a Denison student got physical with OWU players as they were leaving the field,” said head of security, Garret Moore.
Eddie Vita ‘14, a member of the lacrosse team said that, “What I heard was that some kid from OWU was walking back to the locker room and a Denison student hit him on the back of his helmet. I don’t think they got in a fight, I heard they just yelled at each other. The right people saw it and the right people took care of it.”
It doesn’t help that OWU is a known bitter rival with DU, and it also doesn’t help that this past weekend, Denison faced OWU yet again, in a game that was marred with restrictions by security.
“We made some adjustments to prevent some of the behaviors of our students. We kept spectators away from players,” Moore added. “We reminded students to refrain from profane and vulgar language directed at the opposing players or they would be removed from the premise. Students who were a problem last game were banned from future matches.”
Security, in addition, stopped letting students into the game at halftime, which disappointed some students.
“I thought that it was ridiculous that security stopped letting people in at halftime,” said Kelsey McCormick ‘17, a student from Los Angeles, Calif. “In order to encourage attendance, they should allow people to come in at any time.”
One of the specific concerns of the DU faithful was the vulgarity of the chants, which somewhat repaired itself after encouragement from security.
“We warned students and they were creative with their chants so they were not profane or vulgar,” said Moore.
However, despite security’s efforts, students still continued to use other sorts of comments. “A lot of people chanted ‘safety school’ whenever OWU had the ball,” McCormick said.
According to Moore, another problem was alcohol.
“Some students arrive at matches drunk and if we see them drunk they are not admitted into the game. Some students smuggle alcohol into the matches and when we find them, they are removed from the premise,” added Moore.
Students were aware of these alcohol restrictions at the game. “What I heard a lot was that security was concerned that at halftime people would go back to their rooms and drink and then come back to the game drunk for the second half and they’d get rowdy,” Courtney Lynn said.