This year’s Homecoming tailgate, which will occur on Saturday, Oct. 19, will include multiple changes to previous years’ events, according to representatives from Alumni Affairs.
This year’s event, according to Lisa McCarthy, who spoke at the Student Government meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, will be fenced off in Lots 4 and 6, and no cars will be permitted in those areas. All attendees will be required to bring proper IDs in order to obtain a wristband, of which there will be one color for those over 21 and another color for those under 21. Bags will also be checked for glass and weapons.
“The common purpose of Homecoming is to celebrate, with pride, the outstanding history and traditions of the College,” said John Castaldo, executive director of Alumni Affairs. “The changes being implemented this year strive to keep the event safe and the atmosphere enjoyable for everyone attending.”
Attendees of the tailgate will also not be permitted to play their own music. A cover band, Drop Dead Sexy, will play prior to the football game and a student DJ will perform afterward. No music will be permitted during the game.
“It did cause a rave-type atmosphere,” McCarthy said during the SG meeting. “The parking lot is not a club. With the music, the actions and the behaviors, it got a little out of control.”
The hours allotted tailgating will also be shortened to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as opposed to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in previous years.
Students did not play a part in the decision-making process, said Tyler Liberty, SG president.
“I think it’s really sad that students weren’t consulted at any point during the process,” he said. “And while I do see the need for a safe and fun environment, I think there were alternate ways around getting to the point where we are now.”
During the SG meeting, Alex Brown, vice president of Governmental Affairs, asked McCarthy about whether student input was considered during the decision-making process.
“There hasn’t been,” McCarthy said. “Just never thought to, quite honestly, because there’s never changes like this happening. It just kept growing and changing.”
Some students have expressed their opinions on the changes via social media while others have consulted the SG president with their concerns.
“I think students by and large are upset,” Liberty said. “This is an event that the large majority of undergraduate students go to, and the fact that changes were made without their input is saddening. People have come to me saying that the changes were outrageous. And while I don’t think it’s that extreme, I think that a large majority of students aren’t happy with what’s happening.”
Alumni Affairs plans to take student input into consideration for decisions regarding the College’s Homecoming festivities in fall 2014.
“Alumni Affairs has heard some concerns from alumni and students and are working with representatives from both groups to communicate the changes, receive feedback and address concerns,” Castaldo said. “Alumni Affairs will be actively seeking to involve students in the process of planning for next year’s event.”