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Stadium bag search may become permanent

The UW Administrative Procedures Office has released a notice to expand a temporary emergency rule concerning bag searches at large UW facilities into permanent policy.

The office enacted the emergency rule after the Sept. 11 attacks, giving UW police and Husky Stadium security permission to search fans as they entered Husky Stadium.

"The rule, which has not been written yet, will predominantly be directed at Husky Stadium and Hec Ed Pavilion, but if we have a controversial speaker at Meany Hall or in Kane 130, we would need to adjust security accordingly," said Norm Arkans, executive vice president and director of University relations.

A temporary rule does not have to go through the stringent review process of permanent policy. It only needs to be approved by UW President Richard McCormick before it can take effect. But the rule is only effective for 120 days before its power expires. Since the original emergency rule was enacted on Sept. 21, its expiration date is set for Jan. 18.

"This is common procedure; almost every emergency rule is enacted because the rule is needed right away, not because it is only needed temporarily. Almost every emergency rule is eventually adopted into permanent law," said Rebecca Goodwin Deardorff, director of the UW administrative procedures office.

When fans migrate to Husky Stadium every other Saturday, they encounter a bag-searching station at every entrance. Those who do not carry bags are asked to open their jackets so security personnel can check for prohibited objects.

"The police didn't feel confidence that they could do their job effectively after Sept. 11 without the ability to conduct searches," said Deardorff.

Before the rule can become policy, it will be have to be discussed at an open pubic forum in the HUB. In most cases, the temporary-rule-to-permanent-rule process takes about four to five months. The open forum is set tentatively for late January.

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