Northwestern Wildside reports stolen items, aggressive fan behavior at football game against Wisconsin


Daily file photo by Joanne Haner

Northwestern Wildside reported stolen items and aggressive fan behavior at the Saturday football game against Wisconsin.

Charlotte Ehrlich, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern Wildside reported stolen items and aggressive fan behavior at the Saturday football game in a statement posted on its Instagram account Sunday.

Members of the student-run athletics organization called security to escort out two attendees who threatened violence, according to the statement.

“This type of behavior was not tolerated yesterday and will not be tolerated moving forward,” the statement read. “Nobody deserves to be treated the way we were yesterday, during mental health awareness week or at any point.” 

Wildside Operations Chair and Weinberg sophomore Skyler Stone said fans, including students, became impatient after Wildside staff refused to hand out free merchandise to non-Wildside members.  

This quarter, Wildside implemented a sticker system where students sign up for membership and place a sticker on their Wildcard to receive free apparel at games. Stone said the organization created the system for two reasons: to gain visibility and to collect T-shirt sizes when placing orders.

For non-Wildside members, the organization posted a QR code near its table that linked to a sign-up form. From there, students could show a Wildside member the completed form, get the sticker for their Wildcard and take free apparel, she said.

But Stone said when fans grew impatient with Wildside’s sign-up process, the stealing began.

Vice President and Weinberg junior Poem Lin said fans went through her personal belongings, which included Wildside merchandise, behind the group’s table.

“I had my phone, wallet, portable charger and stuff set off to the side,” Lin said in a text to The Daily. “It was in a closed box with some of the giveaways I pulled. Someone dug through all the stuff and left my things just on the floor.”

After Wildside staff realized fans were stealing, Stone called security and halted merchandise distribution. 

She wasn’t required to stay at the table past the first quarter, but she felt concerned about fans’ behavior and stayed to monitor the situation.

“Even after I shut it down, someone came up to us and got mad that we were no longer giving (merchandise) out,” Stone said.

The Wildside statement emphasized the operations committee’s hard work and long hours going into game days.

The statement addressed aggressive attendees directly and said Wildside would not tolerate similar behavior again.

“We are people too,” the statement read. “Being difficult doesn’t get you anywhere.” 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @charlottehrlich

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