Using profanity prohibited in student section


I.J. IDRIZAJ The Vermont Cynic
Fans in the student section pack into Gutterson Fieldhouse for the men’s hockey game against UMaine Nov. 8. Members of the student section have been scrutinized for their use of profanity at recent games.

Each game the UVM men’s hockey team fills Gutterson’s student section with waves of green and gold.

Fans cheer on their team for the entire game, but recently some of those chants have received negative attention. UVM hosted its first home game against Clarkson Oct. 17.

While the normal cheers took place, a new one took precedence in the student section as “f— you Clarkson” echoed around the rink.

As a result of the profanity UVM Athletics created a video called “Keep it Loud, Keep it Clean” Oct. 22 that they distributed through their social media outlets in order to deter the bad language.

“We want you to be loud, funny and creative, but let’s keep the language clean,” senior captain Mike Paliotta said in the video.

The video featured shots of the various attendees of the game at Gutterson Fieldhouse from UVM students to small children.

“The energy in our student section has been amazing, and we want to see it continued throughout the season,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said.  “The Gut is a family-fun atmosphere and inappropriate language will not be tolerated.”

As student fans entered the rink for the second home game Oct. 25 against UConn, they were handed handbills with a personal letter from Sneddon asking for clean language. The rink staff also made announcements over the PA systems warning against profanity use.

Despite the various deterrents, the obscenities continued, which resulted in the ejection of seven students, said Joe Fischer, associate athletic director.

“We wanted to send the message that obscene language and profanity would not be tolerated,” Fischer said.

“So we ejected students who security guards and/or police officers clearly observed participating in cheers and/or chants that used profanity or obscene language,” he said.

Once a student is ejected, they are sent to a different office, according to Larry Magnant, Lieutenant of police services.

“We would refer an incident of this nature to the University Office of Student Ethics and Standards,” Magnant said.

Although the students may fill one section of Gutterson, the rest of the fieldhouse is filled with other patrons, including young kids.

“We ask that our students recognize that there are little ears in the building,” Sneddon said.

“As a father of an eight-year-old daughter, I appreciate the fans being understanding that swearing is not appropriate for our events,” he said.

Fischer said that they plan to continue to use the same protocol for future games, including the handbill and PA announcements.

“We will continue to work with our fans to continue the highly energized and supportive atmosphere we have at our home games,” Fischer said.

“We will also continue to work with our fans to discontinue using profanity and vulgar language in their cheers and chants,” he said.

This past weekend the athletic department handed out flyers with suggestions for appropriate cheers during the games.