SGA recently released their budget for the 2012-13 school year, and a new item has been added: tailgating. SGA allotted $20,000 toward student tailgating for next year.
“When I decided to run for president I really wanted to come up with a platform that really addressed the issues of the students,” SGA President Brent Folan said. “Reflecting on the three football seasons I have been to, one of the biggest things that TCU doesn’t have is tailgating.”
Folan said he knew the university attempted to provide students with tailgating events in the past, but those efforts failed. Students would attend the first few tailgates and then participation would start to dwindle, which he said was due to the many restrictions placed on students.
The student tailgate area used to be a fenced-in section located between Sherley Hall and Waits Hall. Students were required to swipe in with their student I.D.’s. Folan said those types of restrictions led to long lines and made attending the tailgates too tedious, so students stopped going.
SGA Treasurer David Belpedio said Folan worked with various administrators to compromise on what the new tailgate area would look like. Both Belpedio and Folan said they understood why the administration was concerned about safety. But they said they felt too many restrictions would cause students to stay away.
“Why would [students] come to such a highly regulated area when they could just go to a buddy’s house and have a free-for-all,” Belpedio said.
Junior entrepreneurial management major Kaitlyn Reynolds said neither she nor any of her friends have ever been to the student tailgates because there were too many restrictions. They always heard of more interesting events going on. Reynolds said she knew other schools were less strict, and in turn, those tailgates were “insane.”
One of the biggest restrictions Folan said he wanted to stay away from was a fence, because he wanted the area to be more open and inviting for all students.
“I want every student to go out there because I really want to build and promote our TCU community in a place where we can all have fun and experience the game together,” Folan said.
Folan said SGA is not sure exactly how the $20,000 will be spent yet, but he hopes to include items like food, water and tents for free.
Belpedio said a large sum of the money would have to go toward safety, like hiring security guards, because of the administration’s concerns about underage drinking and student safety.
Folan said he did not know if SGA would be charging student organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, to rent out spaces. However, if they do, the money will go right back into the tailgating fund.
The location of the tailgates would be on a large grassy patch between Frog Alley and the freshman parking lot, which Folan called a “primetime location.” He also said it is located right next to a huge stage that will be in Frog Alley during games, so students would have some form of entertainment.
Though the specifics have not been fully worked out yet, Folan said he was excited to work on the tailgating project. He hoped by the time football season started he could have a tailgate ready that exceeded student expectations.
“We are all Horned Frogs, and our main focus on game day is cheering on our football team,” Folan said. “So if we can get all the students in that student location together and having a great time, it’ll be reflected on us cheering for our team and hopefully getting some victories.”