By Kiley O’Donnell
St. Bonaventure University’s student section in the Reilly Center has been pushed back in order to secure a safer surrounding after the basketball doubleheader on Nov. 30.
Before, the stanchions were placed directly behind the print media. Now, they have been pushed back so students are not interfering with the media’s space and the safety of others.
The first game at which the student section was pushed back was Dec. 3 against the State University of New York at Buffalo Bulls—a game the Bonnies won 90-84.
Steve Campbell, the associate director for internal operations at Bonaventure, said how the shift was influenced by students’ actions.
“The reality is the stanchions were being moved forward by a few students, probably the same few students who were interfering with the print media seated along the baseline,” said Campbell. “In fairness to those professionals who are covering the team for their respective papers/organizations, they deserved a little breathing room.”
The media tables traditionally house members of both student and professional news outlets, as well as members of the media from the opposing team’s area at times. For example, during the game against Buffalo, most media outlets were only allowed one seat at the tables because of the number of different outlets that were in attendance.
Campbell mentioned how it was unfair for the media to be distracted by the students behind them.
“There have been a few situations where students were leaning over the top of these individuals and in some cases making unintentional contact with their chairs, their backs as well as the media table,” said Campbell. “Unfortunately the actions of just a few are the result of this slight adjustment.”
Gary Segrue, head of campus security at Bonaventure, had the same response as Campbell. An adjustment was needed due to students’ behavior.
“The stanchions were moved back towards the bleachers as a direct result of student behavior from the doubleheader basketball games on Nov. 30. St. Bonaventure University takes great pride in having a supportive fan base that creates a difficult atmosphere for opposing teams,” said Segrue.
“However, we cannot allow students to make contact with reporting professionals who sit directly in front of the end zone student section. The minor movement of the stanchions allows for a security presence in the end zone and a greater buffer between the students and media,” he said.
Even though the stanchions were moved back slightly, Campbell still saw the same school spirit coming from the Reilly Center crowd and student section.
“Based on what we witnessed on Saturday, this had no negative affect on the fantastic student support/atmosphere that continues to make the Reilly Center a tremendous college basketball environment, especially for the games when students are on campus,” Campbell said.
Campbell said that despite the new distance away from the basket for students, it is still a good place to watch the game. He said that this is due not only to the proximity to the court, but also to the style of basket in the arena.
According to Campbell, the university chose to replace the standing hoops it previously had in favor of the current retractable hoops attached to the ceiling. This was because the school officials did not want the stands the old baskets were attached to, to obstruct the student’s views.
The next game in the Reilly Center will be tomorrow when the Bonnies host UNC-Wilmington at 6 p.m.