A member of the University of Iowa marching band is taking to social media after school officials said it was subjected to "inappropriate actions" during Saturday's football game between the two rivals.
Iowa State fans are accused of taking these actions against the Hawkeye marching band in Ames on Saturday. Iowa's band, in addition to the team itself, was booed heavily by the Iowa State student section when it entered the stadium before kickoff.
Following the incident, officials from both schools launched an investigation. Then, the athletics directors from Iowa and Iowa State issued a joint response.
Jamie Pollard from Iowa State and Gary Barta from Iowa say both schools emphasize providing a safe place for everyone to enjoy watching football. They say the marching bands at both schools were the target of unacceptable behavior at away games in Iowa City and Ames.
Pollard and Barta went on to say: "A significant part of the solution is insisting our fans help address this issue by showing more respect to our visitors."
The schools closed the investigation.
Second year band member Nathan Topping expressed his frustrations with the athletic department following the closing of the investigation.
“It was just more disappointment on the fact that we always support the athletic department here, we always put our trust in athletics to keep us safe, and this time unfortunately they did fail us in upholding our trust.” Topping said.
Topping received a bruise on his forearm after a beer bottle was thrown at him in the tailgate lot before the game started. He initially trusted the University to get to the bottom of it, but then felt left hanging once the investigation was closed.
“At the end of the day, we just want Athletics to have our back, we still have faith in the UI to do the right thing, dropping the investigation might not have been the right decision at the time, however we still have the faith that they will eventually do the right thing." Topping said.
Another band member Corey Knopp posted a message to Facebook, detailing some of what he said happened during the event. The post reads:
Gotta love Iowa athletics and the AD. They tell us YESTERDAY they’re investigating the violent acts against us in Ames. They tell us things will change (with no specifics) and they will not sweep this under the rug. They tell us we need to trust them that they have our backs all the way up the ladder. Well come to find out TODAY the University of Iowa And Iowa Athletics are no longer investigating.
People were physically assaulted. We expect to get booed and cussed at. But never for violence to take place. Especially to students in THE BAND of the rival university. No “alleges” no “maybes”. This happened. Put yourself in our shoes. Kids. Marching in formation back to our busses after a long day. Getting shoved and having beer cans shaken and sprayed at our feet. Getting slapped because of the words on our uniform (IOWA). Getting pushed so hard that someone’s (not going to name this person) ribs are broken. That is completely unacceptable.
Good to know athletics does not have our backs and nobody up the ladder actually cares. Dr. Bush has been fighting for us since Saturday. This is not on him. This is on whoever up the ladder doesn’t care enough about the students that go to this University. I wonder if this had happened to the football team if athletics would still be investigating.
“Be careful what you post on social media” they told us that yesterday.
And today I no longer care. Thank you Iowa Athletics and the University of Iowa for showing me that when I’m physically assaulted at an away football game as a part of the Hawkeye Marching Band, you don’t have my back and you don’t care."
The University released a statement on Friday afternoon which included a message they had sent to all members of the marching band. The full message is below.
The communication on social media made it clear we had not shared enough information with our students about the steps the university has taken to address the concerns raised by members of our marching band. Student safety is our number one priority and we are committed to ensuring a safe experience on game day for our students. Additionally we are continuing our investigation to ensure all of our students have the ability to share their experiences with the appropriate authorities. Please find the message shared with members of the marching band this afternoon.
Dear Hawkeye Marching Band Member:
We understand the last week has been difficult for each of you, and we would like to take a moment to offer our unconditional support, while ensuring you have access to the list of resources which was shared on Tuesday:
Student Care and Assistance, 319-335-1162, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator – 319-335-6200; email@example.com
*University Counseling Service, 319-335-7294
*Women’s Resource and Action Center, 319-335-1486, firstname.lastname@example.org
Center for Diversity and Enrichment, 319-335-3555, email@example.com
Military and Veteran Student Services, 319-384-2626, firstname.lastname@example.org
Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement, 319-335-3135, email@example.com
Campus Inclusion Team, 319-335-1162, https://inclusionteam.uiowa.edu/
Office of Student Accountability, 319-335-1527, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Office of the Ombudsperson, 319-335-3608, email@example.com
*Employee Assistance Program, 319-335-2676
Law enforcement is limited in the actions they can take in response to reports to the media or online. If you have been a victim of assault, UI Police can assist you in filing a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency.
University of Iowa Department of Public Safety: 319-335-5022
Additionally, we would like to reiterate a few of the actions the university has taken over the past week:
Athletics Director Barta reached out to Director Pollard after receiving information about the incidents.
Deputy Director of Athletics Barbara Burke reached out to each student who identified as being impacted on Saturday.
University of Iowa’s Division of Student Life, Human Resources, Athletics Department, and School of Music met with the entire band.
President Harreld and Director Barta have been actively engaged in the process and have publicly pledged to ensure better protections for students moving forward.
President Harreld visited with ISU President Wintersteen and UNI President Nook and each committed to discussing and adopting a uniform safety protocol prior to next season.
Your safety is of paramount concern to each of us at the university and while we cannot change what occurred last Saturday, we can work to prevent it from occurring again – and that is what we are committed to doing.