Tailgating does not mean laws can be broken

Despite popular belief, the legal drinking age in Indiana and on Ball State University is 21. With that said, why is there such a commotion over the new regulations on tailgating at Ball State football games?

Tailgaging is not a free pass to drink at all ages, at all hours, or through the entire game. Tailgating takes place on Ball State property, giving the university not only the right, but the responsiblity to say, "if you are underage, you will not drink here."

Many students also have a problem with Ball State's plan to -- horror of horrors -- redirect tailgaters to the actual football game.

Tailgating, by definition, is done "before" the game. When you drink through the game, you are not tailgating. You are simply getting drunk.

When tailgating came to Ball State, the university made the mistake of not regulating it. The university has spent the past several years looking the other way when it probably shouldn't have.

Most other colleges have heavily regulated tailgating, yet somehow the fun contniues in earnest. But Ball State's non-policy has spoiled many students, who act like these regulations are a violation of their God-given civil liberties.

Some of Ball State's new regulations may go a bit far. The DAILY NEWS does question why tailgating will not start until 10 a.m., and who determines what a "massive amount" of alcohol is.

At the same time, though, the university has every right to regulate what happens on its own property. If anything, it's about time.


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