September 18, 2012 12:00AM
Pittsburg State University officials today announced revisions to the school’s tailgating policies. The changes come after a parking lot altercation during the home-opening football game and are designed to improve the game-day experience for Gorilla fans and guests.
“We’ve spent a great deal of time over the past week analyzing security video, reviewing tailgating policies of college and professional teams, and gathering input from our students and fans,” said President Steve Scott. “What we learned is our policies haven’t kept pace with those of other universities and with the growing scale of Pitt State tailgating. In addition, we learned that our enforcement should begin earlier in the day and it should be more stringent.”
During their policy review, officials found that many universities prohibit alcohol consumption at a pre-determined period prior to the game.
“Although there were some differences, the vast majority of schools do employ some type of time limit on the presence of alcohol in their tailgating areas,” said Scott. “We believe it is time for Pittsburg State University to follow suit, which is why we’re adding this provision to our policy.”
Under the new provision, alcohol consumption will not be allowed after the scheduled kick-off time of games.
“We want Pittsburg State University to continue to provide its fans and guests with the very best game-day environment,” said Steve Erwin, associate vice president for campus life and auxiliary services. “Tailgating is an important part of the pre-game festivities but it is just that, a pre-game festivity. The focus of the day should be supporting the Gorilla football team.”
Although university officials considered many options, including the elimination of alcohol, a reduction of tailgating time and not allowing fans who leave the game to re-enter the stadium, officials felt a limited change was best at this time.
“We recognize that the vast majority of people enjoy tailgating in a responsible manner,” said Erwin. “That’s one of the reasons why we believe a revision is necessary. This will allow our fans to enjoy time with family and friends and still be able to cheer on the Gorillas in Carnie Smith Stadium.”
In preparation for this weekend’s game, university officials are planning to provide additional enforcement throughout tailgating areas.
“We will consistently enforce our tailgating policies in all areas throughout the day,” said Director of University Police, Mike McCracken. “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. We want to make certain anyone who is consuming alcohol is of legal age, and that they are doing so responsibly.”
In addition, Pittsburg State will make its guest service texting service available three hours prior to kick-off for all fans taking part in pre-game festivities.
Upon entry, all tailgaters will be provided a current list of policies and additional bags into which they can place aluminum cans and litter. A full list of tailgating rules is available at www.pittstate.edu/tailgate.
University officials say they will continue to review tailgating policies throughout the year to ensure that they are meeting expectations and that the game-day environment remains the best in the nation.