July 20, 2016 10:45AM
Pittsburg State University officials today unveiled new tailgating policies they believe will help fans of all ages better enjoy pre-game festivities outside of Carnie Smith Stadium.
“After reviewing last year’s changes we found that our policies had simply become too complicated. I regret that,” said Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott. “The new rules return us to the basics. They provide tailgaters with clear guidance on how to enjoy the day safely and responsibly.”
The university implemented new policies mid-way through the 2015 season in response to incidents involving unruly behavior. The changes led to frustration on the part of some tailgaters who took to social media to vent their frustration. A task force was created after the end of last year’s football season to thoroughly review the university’s policies and game-day atmosphere.
“The task force found that part of the problem was the fact that we changed the rules in the middle of the season,” said Steve Erwin, vice president for student life. “It led to confusion and hard feelings among our students and fans. That’s why we’re releasing these changes today. We want to give people plenty of time to understand our expectations and to ask questions.”
The new policies focus on personal responsibility and provide clear expectations for those involved in pre-game festivities. Alcohol consumption will be allowed in designated tailgate areas from the time the parking lots open until kickoff. This is a change from last year when consumption was restricted to a three-and-a-half-hour period before the game.
“After reviewing the matter, we decided to simplify our rules,” said Erwin. “We expect Gorillas and their guests to act responsibly and have fun on game days. At the same time we want everyone to remember that underage drinking is never permissible. It’s not just our policy, it’s the law.”
Other changes include the removal of restrictions on containers used to transport alcohol into designated tailgating areas, sitting in truck beds, and the ability to bring dogs into designated tailgate areas. To help ensure safety, stadium security professionals will be used in all designated tailgate areas.
“Gorilla game days are special to our campus and community,” said Erwin. “While law enforcement will be present, these rules place the emphasis on personal responsibility. We want our fans to have a safe and fun time during tailgating and to be in the stadium cheering on the Gorillas at kick-off.”
In addition to the new rules, officials are finalizing details on new tailgating areas.
“We’re working to provide more space for tailgating,” said Erwin. “It’s another suggestion we received from the task force and we believe it’s a good one. We have a number of exciting changes in mind and will release additional details in the coming weeks.”
A full listing of rules and FAQs is available at www.pittstate.edu/GameDay.