Students and alumni celebrate annual Homecoming tailgate

By Kristen Frohlich
Staff Writer

Students, families and alumni garbed in blue and gold swarmed the campus on Saturday, Oct. 21 to partake in the College’s annual Homecoming tailgate.

“As with every year, the football game will be the highlight of Homecoming, complemented by the other sporting events, stage performances and activities guests,” said a campus-wide message from Elizabeth Bapasola and John Castaldo, co-chairs of the Homecoming Steering Committee.

Aside from the football game, many students, families, friends and alumni look forward to the tailgate that takes place in Lots 3 and 4.

“I enjoy going to the tailgate, for I am able to meet and talk to alumni in my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, about their experiences from TCNJ,” said sophomore finance major Stephen Stockton. “It is a lot of fun to see students and alumni come over to my fraternity’s tent to grab food and have good conversation.”

A large turnout for the Homecoming Tailgate enhanced the social experience for students.

“It’s fun to be able to attend an event like this on campus because it is a large portion of the school all at once, socializing together,” said Ben Villari, a junior health and exercise science major.

The Homecoming tailgate draws many alumni back to visit the College and provides a chance for graduates to reunite with each other.

“The TCNJ Homecoming Tailgate is an excuse for alumni to come together and reminisce on their days at TCNJ or if they’re old enough, it’s Trenton State for them,” said sophomore sociology major Jessa Feinberg.

Feinberg played an important role during the tailgate, as she was Roscoe’s handler for the day. The new mascot design was debuted during the Homecoming football game.

“Being Roscoe’s handler was a great experience for so many people wanted pictures with the famed new mascot,” Feinberg said. “It was fun to take part in the school spirit. I normally don’t attend school events, but going to the tailgate and being Roscoe’s handler made it a great day to be a lion.”

Consumption of alcohol during the tailgate remains a point of campus controversy. Attendees who are 21 years of age and over are not allowed to bring in outside alcoholic beverages.

“A third-party vendor has been retained to sell alcohol (beer and wine only) and monitor consumption. No off site alcohol will be permitted,” Bapasola and Castaldo wrote.

While this policy aims to ensure the health and safety of all attendees, it also frustrated some tailgate goers.

“The tailgate was not as satisfying as I thought it would be. As someone who can legally drink, it is frustrating that I cannot bring in my own alcohol and have to pay for it,” Villari said.

With protection provided by Campus Police and Lions EMS, the Homecoming tailgate ran smoothly.

“I think campus police did a great job at risk management, making sure everyone is having a good time by having a safe time,” Feinberg said. “I can tell how campus security has buckled down on the tailgate policies as to ensure that everything runs smoothly with as little incidents as possible. The entire Lions EMS team was on duty and near by in case anyone needed help.”

At the end of the tailgate, students were happy that they attended the annual Homecoming tradition.

“At this tailgate, I was hoping to make lasting memories with my friends, and I felt like I did that,” Stockton said.