By Ali Schultz
Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade all of that from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies (the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno) that they may try to take away our fun during Beat UNLV week, but they’ll never take our fun at tailgatesssssssss.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the infamous Braveheart speech goes something like that, right?
Recently, The University of Nevada implemented a new rule stating that student tailgates will become an alcohol-free zone from now on. This new rule really rustled my jimmies. This change is likely administration’s attempt to create a safer, calmer tailgate. But despite these good intentions, sober tailgates are actually problematic in more ways than one.
Of course there is the obvious: the aspect of fun being taken away right before our own eyes! Where else am I going to be able to beat frat boys in cornhole while proclaiming my uncanny love for the Pack?! Let’s be honest folks, football isn’t everyone’s favorite pastime and despite my love for the Pack, they kind of suck.
If I have to sit through my team losing to teams like UNLV you bet your ass I am going to need a few brewskies in me. Let’s not forget to mention, cold weather is rolling in, which means we are going to need a beer coat. Listen, I am not turning a blind eye to the problems alcohol can cause at tailgates, I am just being a realist. Underage drinking in college isn’t going to stop, so we might as well bring it back to supervised tailgates!
Ultimately, the unfortunate truth of the matter is with drinking banned at tailgates, a hefty majority of regular student tailgaters will no longer show up. The most recent home tailgate, when the Pack took on New Mexico looked like a barren ghost town. There were no students to be seen, which had a direct effect on attendance for the football game itself. The only word that comes to mind to describe our Wolf Pack attendance would be pathetic. It seems the sober tailgates bring down the entire gameday morale. We need to gear up and put on our favorite pair of beer goggles in hopes that through these lenses the Pack will look like they aren’t falling apart.
College students just want to be able to hang with their peers and throw a few back before the big game. Tailgating was one of the only events at our university that drew some organizations together. During school spirit weeks such as Homecoming or Greek Week, the lingering sense of competition is at an all-time high. Greeks are ready to rip each others’ throats out to be crowned champion. However, events like student tailgates bring us all together to hang out and remind ourselves despite dividing organizational lines, we are one big proud Pack.
That aside, administration must realize the problematic effects of sober tailgating. The reality is college students are never going to stop drinking, that is just a ridiculous notion. Drinking in college is part of the culture and it would take a hell of a lot for that to ever change. At least when students were able to drink at the tailgates they were monitored by police officers patrolling the tailgate.
Since I was a freshman, I have never been to a tailgate without the police nearby. This was reassuring for student’s safety when attending the student tailgate.
Instead, students are going to feel pressured into being sneaky with alcohol, which is dangerous. It’s like the administration is that overbearing set of parents who don’t give their kids a little slack in their leash. The kids (us the students) when out of their parents’ sight are just going to go buck wild. This isn’t ASU people, we don’t want that.
However, in all seriousness, what I find the most scary about the startup of sober tailgates is that they will potentially be a cause for some students to drink and drive. Before the implementation of dry tailgates, it was common for students to soberly drive to the tailgate, drink there then attend the game or walk home. The time spent at the game allowed students to sober up before entering their vehicles and risking their own lives and the lives of others on the road.
The new regulations at the tailgates will not cease drinking before the games; however, it seems obvious to me that students will want to drink prior to even heading to the game. This means it is more than likely for some students to pregame, then get in their cars to drive over to Mackay Stadium. That is an enormous risk, I would not be willing to take.
Now entering the dawn of Homecoming Week, there is so much excitement surrounding this school spirit week. Usually we kick off the week with the Undie Run for all of the freshmen to show off their pre-beer-bellied bodies before the DC ruins them entirely. Then of course, the beloved talent show for the Greeks to display their boy-band moves. And, the famous March to the Arch and so many other spirited events. However, typically, the most anticipated event of the week is the Homecoming football game. But if the attendance is anything like New Mexico’s game, Homecoming is sure to be a flop.
It is up to us, the students of The University of Nevada, to band together and rightfully regain our objective. We must take back the forsaken land of the student tailgate spot!