School, Fanatics debate fan behavior

By Austin Block and Shawn Ma

As the Faculty Academic Committee reviews the Fan Behavior and Sportsmanship Review Committee’s draft proposal to improve sportsmanship at athletic events, the Sports Council has begun a dialogue with the five Head Fanatics.

As the Faculty Academic Committee reviews the Fan Behavior and Sportsmanship Review Committee’s draft proposal to improve sportsmanship at athletic events, the Sports Council has begun a dialogue with the five Head Fanatics.

The Head Fanatics met with the Sports Council on Oct. 4 to discuss fan behavior at sporting events. The Fanatics mainly lobbied to continue using chants directed at opposing teams and players, which are prohibited, according to the school’s fan behavior policy. The Fanatics don’t support personal attacks, but believe generic negative chants should be allowed, Head Fanataic Noor Fateh said. Though the two sides were unable to reach an agreement, both are hopeful that a consensus can be reached.

“The Head Fanatics established a strong relationship with the Sports Council and the school,” Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas said. “They definitely got us thinking.”

The Sportsmanship Committee has narrowed its draft proposal for improved school sportsmanship to five items. The FAC is currently reviewing the streamlined proposal and will most likely approve it sometime this week. Faculty will submit any comments to math teacher Kent Nealis, the head of FAC. If FAC approves the proposal, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts will review it. If she signs off on the proposal, the recommendations will start to be implemented.

“The revised proposal report has five priority items that the school community felt would be the biggest deal for us to address,” Sportsmanship Committee Chair Dietrich Schuhl said. “Most of it was all stuff that was in the original report but there are some new things and a couple of changes that came up that everyone thought would be helpful. We are already working with the SAAC to look at fan behavior and ways to talk about it with students at class meetings.”

Schuhl said the five provisions of the report say the school should establish expectations for sportsmanship and fan behavior, clearly communicate those expectations, and work with the Fanatics and the student body to develop appropriate fan behavior expectations.

Schuhl said that the committee hopes to “make it so it’s still fun for the Fanatics and at the same time have positive cheering. It’s not just about telling the Fanatics what to do, but about working with the Fanatics to develop the expectations.”

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