May 13, 2014 11:53 AM EDT
NDSU Weapons Policy Bans Fencing Club From Practicing On Campus
The fencing club at North Dakota State University cannot hold practices on campus as a result of the school's weapons policy, Campus Reform reported.
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Members of the newly formed club said that despite having no pointed tips or sharp blades, the school classifies the club's equipment as weapons.
"The current interpretation of the non-weapon policy in NDSU ... understands our fencing equipment as weapons," Enrique Alvarez, coach of the fencing club, told Valley News Live.
The foils, epees and sabers they use do not 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," Alvarez said.
However, the university's Police and Safety Office Director Ray Boyer is sticking to the school's policy manual and Code of Student Behavior.
"They are deemed weapons, and as such, possession or use on University owned or controlled property is prohibited," Boyer told Valley News Live.
Members of the fencing club 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," Winfield Brand, president of the club, told Valley News Live.
Since it can't practice on the school campus or any other university owned or controlled property, the group is hosting practices at the Fargo-Morehead Fencing Club at Grace Lutheran School in Fargo.
However, the off-campus location may be 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," club Vice President Jaime Jensen told Valley News Live.