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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 30, 2011

UI student leaders endorse Big Ten sportsmanship and spirit agreement

Leaders of University of Iowa student government and the Hawks Nest, the official student fan group, have joined other Big Ten Conference student leaders in endorsing a Big Ten Sportsmanship and Spirit Agreement.

The agreement encourages student fans to be "proud and cheer loud," but also urges respect for visiting teams and fans, game officials and the private property of residents living near Kinnick Stadium. It grew out of talks at the Big Ten Sportsmanship Conference hosted by Hawks Nest on the UI campus in July. Five to eight members from most Big Ten universities attended that meeting, said Lauren Whalen, vice president of the UI Hawks Nest.
"We agreed that this shouldn't be about rules, but about creating a sense of pride as members of the Big Ten Conference and having respect for all of our Big Ten opponents," she said.
Each university's efforts will vary, but all will aim at creating that respect, she said. At Iowa, the Hawks Nest and student government leaders will send a mass email to all students asking for their support. Hawks Nest members will also form a Welcoming Committee that will go from tailgate to tailgate handing out buttons to fans from other Big Ten schools. "We want them to know they are welcome, and that we hope they have a great experience," Whalen said.

UI officials welcomed the development of the student initiative, saying it is a perfect complement to their ongoing "Think Before You Drink" campaign, which started last year and continues this year. That campaign seeks to make football Saturdays more family friendly and safe by reducing unsafe and disruptive behavior linked to excessive drinking.

"Our student leaders are setting a great example of high-spirited support and respect for the game that will make all Hawkeye fans proud," said UI Athletic Director Gary Barta.

"We made tremendous progress with 'Think Before You Drink' last fall, which is why we are emphasizing it again this fall," he added. "Our goal is very simple: To reduce to zero the number of fans who abuse alcohol. More often than not, they are the cause of problems for the vast majority of fans who simply want to cheer the Hawkeyes to victory."

Tom Rocklin, UI vice president for student life, also praised the student leaders. "Student support is essential in creating a culture of safe and responsible alcohol consumption," he said. "I have every confidence that this effort will further reduce the number of students injured by overconsumption.

"It's important that we remind everyone that the university is not interested in prohibiting consumption of alcohol on game days," Rocklin added. "We want to create a game-day atmosphere that everyone can enjoy. We believe that preventing unsafe and illegal alcohol consumption is an essential part of making the whole experience a positive one."

Think Before You Drink initiatives for 2011 include the following:

- Tailgating will be allowed on UI property for three hours after 11 a.m. games. However, to encourage safe and sober post-game driving, alcohol consumption on UI property must end two hours following 11 a.m. games. During the final hour of post-game tailgating, fans will be asked to pack up tents, tables, chairs and grills and begin to exit UI parking lots and ramps.

For games that start at 2:30 p.m., post-game tailgating must end two hours after the game and alcohol consumption must end one hour after the game. No post-game tailgating will be allowed after games starting later than 2:30 p.m.

- Fans who observe disruptive behavior in the stands will be able to text officials for help. A text message should be sent to 57375 with the word "Alert," the nature of the disruption and the location in the stadium included in the message. Fans can also call in complaints by dialing 319-384-3000.

- In an effort to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere in Kinnick Stadium, warning cards will be issued to fans who engage in inappropriate behavior. Extremely bad behavior may result in removal from the stadium, arrest and loss of ticket privileges.

Fans who arrive on campus on Fridays and park overnight in UI lots are reminded that consumption of beer and wine is not allowed in those areas until Saturdays, beginning at 7 a.m. Iowa City's open container law will be enforced prior to that time.

UI Police also announced the location of safety checkpoints for home games. Random safety checks will be conducted at the entrance to Hancher off of Park Road, at the UI Power Plant on West Burlington and Front streets, and at University Club on Melrose Avenue. Additionally, police will be looking for signs of impaired driving along various traffic routes.

For complete "Think Before You Drink" policies, see

For complete football parking information, visit

For related news releases, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,