NDSU policy prohibits fencing practice on campus - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

NDSU policy prohibits fencing practice on campus

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After years without representation on campus, North Dakota State University students interested in the sport of fencing have created a new club.

As they look for a new place to practice, however, school policies are prohibiting them from practicing on campus.
"The current interpretation of the non-weapon policy in NDSU...understands our fencing equipment as weapons," says the club's coach Enrique Alvarez.
Alvarez has been fencing since his early teens. He says despite their appearance, the foils, epees and sabers they use don't have sharp edges or points.
"This is a spring and a flat tip that if you press the spring against the body of the other person, will be awarded a point," he demonstrates.
Nonetheless, NDSU's Police and Safety Office Director Ray Boyer cited the school's policy manual and Code of Student Behavior, saying sabers and swords are prohibited on campus:
"They are deemed weapons, and as such, possession or use on University owned or controlled property is prohibited," he says.
Club members who are trained to properly use the equipment say they don't think an epee is much worse than a baseball bat.
"In fact, I think it's less dangerous. If you look up like statistics, fencing is an incredibly safe sport," says the club's President Winfield Brand.
So in the meantime the club has been practicing with the F-M Fencing Club at Grace Lutheran School in Fargo, but they worry it's taking away from attendance:
"We have only a small hand full who practice on a regular basis and we feel that's largely due to not being able to practice on campus," says the club's Vice President Jaime Jensen.
Club members say surrounding colleges and universities have fencing clubs that practice on campus. They hope NDSU will look into how those schools handle the situation.

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