Student tailgating back for another home game


Jocelyn Haven

Jackrabbit fans gather outside Dana J Dykhouse Stadium in the tailgating area.

Brooklyn Beery, Reporter

Student tailgating is back at home football games for the first time since 2020, thanks to an increase in reserved funds from the Students’ Association.

The Students’ Association had $29,000 left over from the previous school year, which was put into reserved funds, said Trinity Peterson, member of the finance committee. That money is now being put toward student tailgating.

“Student tailgating gives students a place to go on game days and unite,” Peterson said.

The location for student tailgating is on the west side of the Wellness Center in the empty grass lot, which is on the south side of Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

For each home football game, a different organization from South Dakota State University will sponsor student tailgating. The Students’ Association will host Oct. 1. The University Programming Council will host Oct. 8 and Armed Forces Association will host Nov. 12.

Organizations will be given a range from $2,000 to $4,000, with each one initiating a proposal of what they are planning on hosting. Each organization throughout the football season offers different activities and this determines how much money they need for their tailgating day.

Alcohol may be consumed at student tailgating with a valid ID. It is their goal to provide a comforting environment for students. 

“[The goal is to] provide students a safe place if they are consuming alcohol and not drive to the stadium,” Blake Pulse, president of the Students’ Association, said.

State A Thon, an organization on campus, hosted the first student tailgating Sept. 10. It was a successful turnout with a lot of student engagement, Gabby Helget, overall coordinator of State A Thon, said.

State A Thon’s student tailgating had a mechanical bull, yard games and music. They provided complimentary snacks as well. Helget said very few people were consuming alcohol.

“It is a really fun time and a great way to get pumped up for the game,” Helget said.

According to Pulse, almost 450 students went to the first student tailgating.

The Sept. 17 home game featured Little International as the tailgating hosts.

Ty Skartvedt, an animal science major, attended the student tailgating this past weekend. He enjoyed the grill out hosted by Little International and hopes to see more in the future from other organizations.

Skartvedt added he enjoyed “the people and interacting with them.”

Kylie Harriman, a student double majoring in agriculture communications and journalism, attended her first student tailgate this past weekend. She said she enjoyed “networking with other students outside of my normal group.”

Both students said they would attend another student tailgate. The next student tailgating will be held Oct. 1 by the Students’ Association.