Hands-on policy

Spectators in the student section are frisked on their way into Richardson Stadium, but football fans sitting on the the alumni side aren’t.
Spectators in the student section are frisked on their way into Richardson Stadium, but football fans sitting on the the alumni side aren’t.

The student section at Richardson Stadium fills slower than the section opposite it. There’s an explanatory theory alternative to assumptions that pre-game pancake-keggers are the reason. It implicates the pre-game frisk as the cause.

AMS Hospitality and Safety Director Ellen Allwright said Student Constables have jurisdiction on the student side of the stadium during games that are projected to draw high-volume attendance. She said the constables conduct pat-downs to everyone who enters the student portion of the stands to prevent anything entering the stadium that could be used as a projectile or alcohol that could jeopardize the same liquor licence used in every campus bar and AMS-orchestrated event.

It’s a precaution intended to protect people and establishments appreciated by people. I can dig that.

But why not have the Stu-Cons on both sides?

Allwright said Student Constables are mandated to provide security to the Queen’s student community, confining them to the student side while Campus Security and the police take care of the Alumni section. Security on the Alumni side don’t frisk their attendees.

I’m not going to use thousand-dollar terms. It’s not an intentionally ageist situation, just varied protocol from different security entities. But frisking one side of a stadium and not the other unavoidably implies a double standard.

The Student Constables’ policy to protect patrons and athletes from projectiles is more extensive than the practices on the opposite side of the stadium.

It doesn’t appear to be a conscious decision that one side’s fans are more of a safety risk than the other’s. But the present security situation at Richardson implies distrust in students.

Anyone can lob something onto the field or tape a flask to their leg.

There needs to be collaboration among the several operating security services at the Stadium. If the risk of projectiles is truly legitimate than it’s necessary for the entire body of fans to be patted down.

The difference between a security guard frisking a Sci ’12 versus a Sci ’52 seems drastic. A stadium-wide frisking policy would undoubtedly offend people. But that’s not a reason to refrain.

Security initiatives elsewhere don’t make a distinction. Making a distinction between the two groups and implementing security measures for only one of them suggests that one is more likely to act in a negative way.

Applying frisking to both sides of Richardson changes the implications of the preventative measure. If the attempts are completed with absolute equality no one can accuse the security of considering them to be dangerous because any group they belong to.

Returning to Kingston as an alumnus at a football game shouldn’t grant the luxury of not being patted down. A transition from suspicion to trust shouldn’t be necessary.

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