Rector: some tailgating policies need revisions

Student, administration reaction mixed as guidelines take effect before game.

As new tailgating policies went into effect before Saturday's football game, Student Government Association President and tailgating task force member Tommy Rector said he would like to see some of the guidelines changed.

One guideline Rector said needed specific attention was the tailgating time limit from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. An additional half hour was needed, Rector said, for tailgaters to leave the area.

Rector also said he would like to see police presence decreased once students get used to the new policies.

"I think with the police there, it's kind of intimidating," Rector said. "I want it to be more fun."

Rector said police were courteous to tailgaters, and that he was not aware of any unusual problems with police.

Students also said they would like policies changed. Junior Brian Runyon said he felt administration should second guess the policies. Runyon said the enforced guidelines had a negative effect on tailgating.

"I think it stunk, personally," junior Brian Runyon said. "It just wasn't the same atmosphere as in the past. It was just lame."

Dean of Students and tailgating task force member Randy Hyman said he thinks tailgating went well. However, the task force will meet again, according to Hyman, to review the effects of the policies. He said no date was set for this evaluation.

Runyon said tailgating was not as festive as it had been in the past. The lack of festivities carried over into the game's crowd, he said, which was missing its usual school spirit.

"It was a really good game," Runyon said, "but students didn't show as much school spirit."

Rector said he thought just the opposite, noting that people were attending the game for football and not drinking. Hyman said the amount of spirit was unparalled by any other game this year.

"I've never seen such an outpouring of excitement and spirit," Hyman said.

More than 20,000 people attended the football game Saturday during Family Weekend, nearly mirroring the attendance during Homecoming.

While Rector said a normal-size group gathered for tailgating Saturday, senior Matt Osborne said the tailgating area was not even half full.

The new policies calmed tailgaters, Rector said, switching the activity from a party to a more structured event. But, Rector said, the events of Family Weekend may have played a factor in the behavior of tailgaters.

Hyman also said Family Weekend may have calmed tailgaters, but that he hoped tailgaters were following the guidelines and continue to do so.

Osborne said some parents were tailgating with students but none of them seemed to favor or dislike the policies.

Tailgating will probably continue to be calm, Rector said, when parents are not around.

"Since we've done it once," Rector said, "we'll be accustomed to the new structure."

Runyon, who said he usually tailgates before home games, said if the activity is not fun the next time he goes, he will not bother to stay.

Rector also mentioned other changes that could be made to tailgating, such as on-site disc jockeys and sending the marching band through the area. These changes could add to the spontaneity of the activity, Rector said.

However, these changes would not be a result of the task force, according to Rector. He said he would like the student government, Residence Hall Association and greek councils take the initiative on such changes.

Hyman said he would support such activities. Rector said students with ideas to improve tailgating could bring them to him.


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