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The changes at St. Cloud State: An update

Q. In 2003, former St. Cloud State University President Roy Saigo wrote a column about how much fan behavior had improved. What was your hockey fan behavior like back then?...

Q. In 2003, former St. Cloud State University President Roy Saigo wrote a column about how much fan behavior had improved. What was your hockey fan behavior like back then?

A. I want to start by saying that every school is proud of their home atmosphere. At the same time, every school has issues when the enthusiasm crosses the line.

Controlling fan behavior is an ongoing process. It never really ends. We do the best we can to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our visitors and our fans. There isn't a school that doesn't have to deal with this.

Q. What was the specific problem with your fan's behaviors?

A. There was some inappropriate language being used during cheers.

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Q. What did you do about it?

A. We kept the lines of communication open. We sat down with people and shared ideas about how we could fix the situation.

Q. Did you hold open forums for the public as well as school members?

A. Once. Mainly we talked to the student leaders, coaches and so on. Inappropriateness is a moving target and I think the leaders were best equipped to deal with what was going on.

Q. I heard of a student organization at SCSU called the Dogg Pound. Can you tell me more about that?

A. Oh yes, that is our student run fan base. It's a bunch of students who want to support the Huskies in a positive way. I think the leaders understood what was going on in 2003 and they helped. We met with them, we had pizza, and we just talked. We also talked to campus security and the athletic department to monitor fan behavior.

Leaders and security worked together to make the environment better.

Q. Overall, has your fan behavior improved?

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A. I think it has been better these past few years. It will never be fully solved. Some years are better than others, but we continue working to keep the enthusiasm there and in a safe way.

Stephanie Liden, a UND journalism student and Herald intern, conducted the interview.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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