Safety Key in Tailgating Festivities
Safety officials prepared for the first home football game this Saturday by creating a tailgating policy, but they need the cooperation of students and spectators for everything to go as planned during the festivities.
One-hundred, tailgaiting reservations are made, and several are for multiple spaces and RVs, according to Robert Zavada, Associate Director of Campus Safety.
The tailgaiting committee, which is a spin-off of the homecoming committee, created guidelines before spots could be reserved. Members based the guidelines on those of other local universities and colleges that permit tailgating. “We looked to see what areas are doing. Some were far more restrictive than ours. Others were far less. We came to an agreement on where Misericordia needed to be based on our mission and charisms,” said Zavada.
The committee’s policy states that alcohol may only be consumed by those of legal drinking age, no paraphernalia or drinking games are allowed and that those who consume alcohol will be subject to identification. The policy also states that tailgating may begin no earlier than three hours prior to the start of competition for all fans and that all tailgating must end by kickoff. No drinking
is allowed post-game, but those who have reserved parking spaces can stay for up to one hour.
Attendees do not have to reserve a spot or be 21 to enter the tailgating area. All are welcome to mingle in the area but, according to law, only those who are 21 or older may drink. Zavada is aware that this means people under the age of 21 will be in the area and around alcohol during the tailgating time. Safety officers and Dallas Township police will check IDs and ensuring that policies are followed. “On this campus we have an extra benefit, that many of our officers know the students and know who is 21 and who is not. Many officers even know the students by name or would be able to figure out who they are,” Zavada said.
Spectators are also allowed to tailgate outside of the designated area, but they may not consume or possess alcohol, according to Zavada.
John Jorda, field supervisor for Campus Safety, feels if everyone cooperates and follows the rule, the plan will run smoothly. Jorda’s concern is parking. Many students who live on campus park their cars in the North Gate and Science lots, the same areas that are being reserved for parking and tailgating during the game Saturday. Set-up for tailgating and parking for football attendees will begin between 6 and 7 a.m. Saturday morning.
“We know this will be a bit of an inconvenience, but we really ask that students will cooperate and move their cars by late Friday, early Saturday,” said Jorda. The lots behind Alumnae/McGowan, Banks, Gildea and McHale Halls and in front of Anderson will be available for students to park in. Students who cannot find a parking space on the main campus can park in the Passan Hall lots.
Zavada hopes to have a better idea of how to approach the homecoming weekend game once this weekend trial run is over. “We will know if we need to make any changes or keep things the same,” said Zavada.
Officials are expecting the 1,500 seats on the bleachers at Manglesdorf Field to be filled and are e
xpecting a lot of people standing to see the game. Zavada joked that a good plan may be to bring a lawn chair
For the official tailgating policy and the parking space reservation form see the MU Athletics page.