Tailgate policy inefficient in curbing underage drinking

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    Oh, the glorious memory of tailgates. Greeks chillin’ and hot dogs grillin’ makes one reminisce about times when students actually came together in one central location to support their school in what I believe is called “school spirit.”

    The advent of the 2008 football season with a new designated tailgate location and a ban on alcohol consumption marked the end of student tailgating as we knew it.

    Most current students won’t remember, but the administration should recall that six years ago, according to TCU Magazine, “SGA organized the first student tailgate on the Morris Practice Fields. But grilling was not allowed and students could only bring a six-pack or less. It flopped. In 2006, Student Affairs moved the tailgate to a lot north of Brachman Hall with more relaxed rules for food and beverage.”

    Our core curriculum requires every student to obtain a historical traditions credit for a reason: to learn from the past. History repeats itself. If the tailgate restrictions in 2003 discouraged student attendance then, what makes the administration think this time is any different?

    Underage drinking is obviously a liability issue, but serious precautions were always taken to ensure it did not occur. Event staff checked IDs and stamped hands of students who were of drinking age, while the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission patrolled for violators.

    With the alcohol ban, Yvonne Giovanis, assistant director of the Alcohol and Drug Education Center said in a Sept. 3 Skiff article that she hopes students who go elsewhere to drink do so responsibly. “We are concerned about students’ safety, but we cannot police personal, individual behavior,” Giovanis told the Skiff.

    Ridding student tailgates of alcohol has not and will not address the problem of underage drinking. If anything, it exacerbates the dangers by relocating the action to off-campus locations. Having a centralized tailgate enables monitoring by officials and is much more effective than a fruitless attempt to prevent students from drinking while simultaneously destroying a Horned Frog tradition.

    The university cannot “educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community,” when they prevent us from thinking and acting for ourselves so we can develop into responsible adults.

    Lauren Farrelly is a sophomore international finance major from Fort Worth.