Blank comments to Nov. 7 faculty senate

November 7, 2016

Chancellor Rebecca Blank shared the following statement to the Nov. 7 meeting of the UW–Madison Faculty Senate:

“I am personally very sorry for the hurt that this incident and our response to it has caused. I have heard from students, faculty and community members who are dissatisfied with our response, and I understand why.

A noose is a symbol of some of the worst forms of racial hatred and intimidation in our country’s history. We understand this and we should have communicated this more forcefully from the beginning.

A noose displayed in this fashion has no place in Camp Randall.

I understand the deeply hurtful impact this has on our students and communities of color.

We are reviewing our carry in and ticket policies at Camp Randall, together with what our tickets and other information says about conduct at the stadium;

We are also reviewing facilities use and other policies to clarify conduct rules at all of our sports facilities.

Changes in our carry-in policy and ticket policies will be in place prior to the next football game this Saturday and announced later this week.

Other policy review will require input from the Athletic Board and other stakeholders and will occur over the next several months.

I’m limited in how much I can say today, but can announce that we’ve indefinitely revoked the season tickets of a pair of individuals related to this situation. We took this action because the person using the tickets brought a prohibited item into the stadium and failed to follow the direction of our event staff.

We are also in touch with our new community advisors group and are listening to them, along with everyone who has shared thoughts.

We have launched many new initiatives in the past year in an effort to improve our campus climate situation.  Many of you are involved in them. This is a work in progress, and we are a long way from where we want to be. But with your advice and input of governance, we have invested time, energy and effort into things like the Our Wisconsin program aimed at incoming freshmen, a bias reporting system, a review of our ethnic studies curriculum, and a black cultural center.

We will learn from this incident and do better next time.”