Drinking prohibited after kickoff (WITH NEW VIDEO)
Val Vita | Managing Editor
The fights during tailgating at the first home football game on Sept. 8 led the University administration at PSU to change their drinking policy permanently. From now on, nobody is allowed to drink in the parking lot after the game starts.
Steve Erwin, associate vice president of campus life and auxiliary services, says the possession and consumption of alcohol shall cease no later than scheduled kickoff.
“About 30 minutes in advance we’ll begin to make announcements reminding people about that,” Erwin said. “Nobody needs to leave, but they need to stop consumption at this time.”
Since the Gorillas start playing at 7 p.m. this Saturday, Erwin says that whoever continues drinking after this time will be subject to citation.
“And people who demonstrate signs of intoxication during the tailgate will be subjects to citation, too,” Erwin said.
Erwin says university officials considered many options, like eliminating alcohol, reducing the time available to tailgate and even forbidding fans who leave the game from re-entering the stadium. Besides the changes on drinking policies, university officials are planning to provide additional enforcement throughout tailgating areas.
“We will have significantly more officers working,” Erwin said. “The average age of our students is not 21, and we have concerns about them drinking, so this will be brought into control with this reinforcement.”
Mike McCracken, director of university police and parking services, says they will make sure that people consuming alcohol are of legal age.
“We’ve also made arrangements with our partners in the county and city, as well as with the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control, to help us maximize our efforts,” McCracken said.
In the press release that PSU sent to all students on Tuesday, Sept. 18, president Steve Scott says the university officials spent a great deal of time over the last week analyzing the security video and reviewing tailgating policies of college and professional teams.
“What we learned is that our policies haven’t kept pace with those of other universities and with the growing scale of Pitt State tailgating,” Scott said. “In addition, we learned that our enforcement should begin earlier in the day and it should be more stringent.”
Some students, like Brandon Davis, believe the changes are not going to prevent fights like the ones that happened at the last game.
“Those fights were just excitement for the first game,” said Davis, junior in communications.
Jesse Lopez says he doesn’t agree with the new policy, and he would rather keep it the way it was.
“People are going to get drunk before the game regardless,” said Lopez, junior in psychology. “If people want to drink, they’ll drink.”
Isabella Ononye, junior in international studies, agrees. She says people are probably going to start drinking earlier because of the new rule.
“People are old enough to be allowed to do what they want and they need to be responsible enough to know how to handle themselves, and also, to know when to stop,” Ononye said. “I don’t tailgate because it’s too much for me.”
According to Ryan Beerbower, people should have the ability to make their own decisions.
“If you want to drink in your designated area you should be able too, even during the game,” said Beerbower, senior in computer science. “I don’t see a strict stringent policy working because everyone will find loopholes around it. However, if it somehow keeps drunk fights from happening, it might possibly make things easier for the cops.”