Previous tailgate rules revoked, location moved
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Previous tailgate rules revoked, location moved

In addition to a new location, recent rules made by administration regarding student tailgate have been revoked.

The tailgate has been moved to the grassy area just south of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center between Coyote Village and Dakota Street.

USD President James Abbott called for a task force to decide how to address safety concerns regarding student tailgate. Previous home game tailgates saw injuries and damaged vehicles.

Students were invited to the meeting to give their opinions, Doug Wagner, director of the Muenster University Center and student programming, said.

After the Dakota Days game, temporary changes were made to student tailgate, including the banning of trucks. 

“Administration kind of highlighted the problems that existed with tailgate and then we kind of said, ‘So what can we do to fix it?’ Obviously banning trucks isn’t going to work, but we also need to kind of reduce liability and the risk to students who go to tailgate,” Wagner said.

Wagner said all previous tailgate policies will return to normal: wristbands will still be distributed to students over 21, trucks will be allowed again and bags are subject to being searched.

Teagan McNary and Josh Anderson, Student Government Association president and vice president, were among the students at the task force meeting last Thursday.

“The students were probably the most vocal components of the community, and it was really a very productive meeting,” McNary said.

Students were informed of the tailgate’s new location in an email on Oct. 23.

At the SGA meeting Tuesday, Wagner said sound systems will now be prohibited and student services will provide a DJ for music.

“If you look at just space, one of the things that students brought up is that the space that we were previously using, kind of lent itself to that sort of big mob mentality as far as the previous way tailgate had been run,” Wagner said.

Wagner said 3,500 students older than 21 attended the Dakota Days tailgate. The previous location was only half an acre, and the new location is an acre and a half, he said.

“I think that just a space perspective, each individual stall for tailgate is 24 feet by 20 feet and so it’s a lot more space for people to tailgate in,” Wagner said. “So you can fit a truck, you can fit a tent, if I’m a student and I want to play cornhole or I want to play bags or something like that, I can bring that stuff with me and I have the space to actually do it without being trampled.”

Anderson said he thinks the new space will allow for more of a “true tailgate experience.”

“When you think of a true tailgate, you’re thinking of more so games, people playing bags or people offering food, I think we now have the opportunity to do that,” he said.

The new location will be a safer environment for students, McNary said.

Wagner said the new location will bring procedural changes in terms of how people enter and exit the tailgate. There will also be an emergency access lane.

“One of the things that is in addition to the new space is we’re going to fence it in,” Wagner said. “So students will have to go through the only entrance that is available in order to be able to get their wristbands.”

The biggest change towards student tailgate is just the location, Wagner said.

“It’s exactly the same experience, just in a different location with more room, is kind of what we’re hoping for,” Wagner said.