Salisbury University might allow tailgating at events

Stadium 1 (1)

The all-American custom of tailgating at sporting events could begin at Salisbury University in the spring and will probably coincide with opening of the new $19 million stadium.

A committee studied tailgating at SU, after years of urging by the student government and alumni associations, and decided it should be allowed. Now, members of a second committee are determining how to make it a safe and positive experience, said Dane Foust, vice president of student affairs at the university.

“Our goal is to create it and focus on having fun, on getting to know people and not necessarily for alcohol. We talked about creating a kids’ zone so some clubs and organizations, their members could spend time with kids, playing games with them. We’re looking at maybe setting up corn hole, about looking at tailgating as a concept that is much more global,” Foust said.

“On game day, when we open the new Seagull Stadium, how do we want to attract people to it? What do we want their experience to be and how can we enhance that?” Foust said.

He added the opening date for the stadium isn’t yet certain, so tailgating could be delayed until the fall 2016 semester.

Tailgating could be from the back of a truck, or in a 10-foot-by-10-foot tent set up beside a car. It would be limited to a certain area, probably near the SU tennis courts.

Moderate, legal consumption of beer and wine – no hard liquor – will be allowed. Foust said the enjoyment should focus on foods and camaraderie.

It isn’t yet firm if tailgating will be allowed at every home game or all sporting events. When it is permitted, it could begin three hours before a game starts, but not during the game or at half time.

SU is a Division III school. Foust said there is no tailgating model or pattern for other Division III schools. All have different policies. Frostburg University, for example, only allows tailgating one day each year, at homecoming.

The student government and alumni associations have been asking the university to look into allowing tailgating for some time, he said.

An October 2013 editorial in the school newspaper, The Flyer, supported it.

“Almost all college-aged kids in attendance know how to drink responsibly and are able to enjoy the game without bothering anybody. If a student wants a Natty Boh to wash down their hot dog before the SU homecoming game, what is the problem with that if they are legally allowed to do so?” the editorial states.

“Even Johns Hopkins University, which is not commonly labeled as a party school, allows their students to drink beer and tailgate simultaneously. There is no reason why SU should have a different policy,” the editorial states.


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