University students have expressed frustration with the new tailgating regulations prohibiting Greek tailgates both at the Greek houses and on the Parade Ground.Students view tailgating on the Parade Ground as a time-honored ritual that should be reestablished to provide a sense of community and promote safety among students.
LSU Director of Greek Life Angela Guillory notified students on Oct. 2 that Greek Life and student organizations would be restricted from tailgating on both the Parade Ground and the fraternity houses for the remainder of the 2018 football season. The policy change was due to Lofton Security Service being unable to provide security on game days.
On Oct. 5, it was announced that students can register tailgates at locations other than the fraternity houses and the Parade Ground with University officials five days in advance. Any alcohol present must comply with the University’s alcohol policies, and tailgates will be supervised by LSUPD. However, students may not be satisfied with this option.
Psychology freshman Gabie Dufrene said it is a safety issue.
“I think the Parade Ground is the safest because everybody’s together in the same place,” Degrene said. “Now that we’re spread out all over the place it’s more dangerous.”
Dufrene is a new member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She also said she feels as if the University was being unfairly biased against Greek organizations.
Political science senior Kaleb Harmon said the new regulations lead to more unsafe alternatives.
“These new tailgating restrictions are just going to make things more dangerous for LSU students,” Harmon said. “It’s not going to stop drinking or partying. It’s just going to push things underground and cause them to use hard liquor or hard substances to make up for it.”
Students sometimes elect to go to Tigerland instead of tailgating due to the restrictions. This creates a new issue of students being separated and scrambling to find transportation back to campus.
Biology sophomore Mackenzie Gardiner is not affiliated with a Greek organization but still felt strongly about the new policies and agreed that students will ultimately put themselves in more danger by trying to get around the new rules.
“To completely take away tailgating is extreme,” Gardiner said. “Students are going to find a way to tailgate regardless. Why not let it be on campus so no one is worried about driving or finding a ride back to campus for the game?”
Gardiner also defended tailgating as a longstanding tradition that enhances the Gameday experience.
“Tailgating provides students with opportunities to find new friends by having so many people come together,” Gardiner said. “I don’t understand why they can’t let us have the Parade Ground still and just don’t allow hard alcohol.”
Students like Gardiner show that tailgating regulations affect the entire Gameday atmosphere and not just Greek Life. Students who have attended the University for many years or remember seeing the tailgates on the Parade Ground when they came to games during their childhood feel like they are missing an essential element of campus culture. They may also feel excluded from something that students in previous years were able to experience.
Accounting freshman Logan Levatino said tailgating was one of the reasons he was most excited about coming to the University.
“When coming to LSU, I was very excited about tailgating,” Levatino said. “Now that it’s not a thing, I feel lied to. It’s a tradition that’s been a part of this school for a long time. They shouldn’t be taking it away from us now.”
Editor's Note: A previous story said Kaleb Harmon was the president of Delta Chi fraternity. He is no longer the president and is no longer involved with the fraternity.