Tailgate policy changes pre-game fun for fans


Editorial Board

The Issue:The tailgating policy change went into effect with very little student feedback and with very little time for Jacks fans to adjust.

The Solution:With decisions that affect thousands of students and hundreds of alumni, university administration should work thoroughly to seek out student input and find a solution most can be happy with.

Starting with the Cereal Bowl, the Sept. 15 home football game against the University of Northern Iowa, Jackrabbit fans will have to find a new way to cheer on the football team-by actually watching the game.

For die-hard fans of SDSU athletics, the tailgating policy change won’t be a big thing; they have always been in their seats long before the game started, studying the opposing team’s stats and arguing about the ending score and who will be the MVP for the day. Unfortunately, most SDSU students and alumni who attend football games don’t fall into this category. Being forced to find a seat a half hour before kick-off isn’t an idea that is going to appeal to Jackrabbits who go to Coughlin-Alumni Stadium more for the electricity that hangs in the air than for the love of the game.

One reason touted by supporters of the policy change, first discussed in early summer and decided on a few weeks later, is that the focus of the event should be the game, not the partying. Administration wants more people to actually enter the stadium and attend the football game.

If seats were regularly half-filled with lackluster fans, this reasoning would be understandable. But when fans tried to stake their claim on a section of bench 30 minutes before kick-off last year, they found there wasn’t an empty seat on the SDSU side of the field.

Herding mobs of people who have been drinking-and some of those will be well above the legal limit-into an already overcrowded stadium is just asking for disaster.

Perhaps the most disturbing part about the policy change is the lack of student voice involved. The change was made during the summer, when students weren’t around and able to contribute. By the time everyone moved back to Brookings, the policy was set in stone with very little anyone could do to change it for the 2007 season.

When administration is writing policy that affects nearly every student on campus as well as alumni, some of whom donate lots of their hard earned money to help make SDSU the dynamic university it has become, more care should be taken in getting feedback from those involved. Students deserve to have the opportunity to present a strong case. Policy like this should not be discussed and written behind their backs.