South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Pride band members say students have thrown booze bottles at them

Zoey Schentzel
The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band performs during an SDSU football game this season. The band has been targeted by some students in the student section who have been throwing empty alcohol bottles at them.

The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band has been experiencing bullying from SDSU’s own student section this semester during football games.  

Some students at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium have been throwing alcohol bottles at the marching band and an instrument. 

Last fall, for the first time ever, alcohol was sold to anyone who is old enough in the stadium, that will allow some students to buy alcohol and drink at the games.  

This year the band has reported some problems related to alcohol sales.  

“Last year, alcohol being allowed, like in the stadium being sold was more of a test also,” said Michael Garofalo, the government affairs chair of the Students’ Association who plays clarinet in The Pride. “This year, it’s common policy going forward, so maybe people are getting used to it and kind of bending the freedoms that allow a little bit, which is disappointing.”  

The game that saw the most problems happened during the SDSU University of North Dakota matchup on Sept. 30.  

Samuel Schauer, who plays an alto saxophone in The Pride, said that one of his friends, who is a tenor saxophonist, turned in a few empty alcohol bottles to the police.  

“From what I was told, from that game alone, there were four instances of stuff being chucked at us,” Schauer said. “My friend picked up three shooter bottles, the little bottles and there was also an actual [bigger] plastic bottle that was chucked at us.”  

Schauer went on to say that some students also vomited over the railing down the line where The Pride had to walk through, and a student poured alcohol into a band member’s sousaphone while they were away.  

After the Sept. 30 game, the university stepped in to combat the issue by adding security officers to the student section for the Hobo Day game on Oct. 14., Trinity Peterson, president of SA said. 

“The athletic department worked with the administration to get some safety officers just kind of in the student section,” Peterson said. “I think that almost entirely eliminated the problem.”

“I will say it was addressed for Hobo Day,” Schauer said. “Dr. (Kevin) Kessler was able to clear things up and we’ve been talking with the university. They’ve all been communicating how we do it, and pretty much, for Hobo Day, I think it went fine.” 

Kessler, director of Athletic Bands, as well as David Reynolds, director of the School of Performing Arts, did not wish to comment for this story. 

Garofalo said that a reason for these events could be because of the No.1- ranked Jackrabbits football success, which generates a lot of energy and causes more students to drink and act more unruly. 

Garofalo said there would be consequences for students who cause more issues during the football games.  

“I think you can certainly get ejected from the stadium for any number of just disorderly conduct things,” Garofalo said. “If things take off again, I would imagine that the band directors and athletics will probably have one or two permanent law enforcement officers posted either in the band section or just near the railing just to keep an eye on things.” 

Schauer said that the recent incidents could be one of the “unforeseen side effects” of alcohol being now allowed in the stadium, but they have gone too far.  

“We’re just here to have fun, here to support the home team, give fun to the crowd of not just the student section but all around,” Schauer said. “We’re a band of 325 so we take pride that we’re one of the biggest bands, so it’s not that we’re asking for respect or anything, we’re just asking just to have a civil game day and not have bottles thrown at us.”  

The next home football game is Nov. 4 where the Jackrabbits play North Dakota State at 2 p.m. 

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    Sdsu JackoffOct 30, 2023 at 2:20 pm

    Keep it up, NDSU needs the penalty yardage!!