Students who attended the student tailgate party before Thursday night’s football game against Utah say the new tradition shows great potential to become a huge success. An estimated 400 students participated in the first university sponsored student tailgate, according to the TCU Police.
Students began gathering on the turf practice field two hours before kickoff, and were provided with free food, nonalcoholic drinks and entertainment.
In previous years, students have tailgated throughout the parking lots before and during games. TCU Assistant Police Chief J.C. Williams said the old way of tailgating caused problems with traffic flow and underage drinking. This year, students were encouraged to come together and tailgate as a campus community to help eliminate those problems and unite the student body. Students are not prohibited from tailgating in parking lots, though.
“It is an awesome idea,” said Jamie Hayes, a junior fashion merchandising and advertising/public relations major. “It just needs some improvements before the next home game.”
Hayes suggested opening more than one entrance so the party is easier to access and offering more publicity for the event to increase attendance.
“There needs to be much more involvement,” Hayes said. “It would be really fun if they could get more Greek organizations to participate.”
Matt Schmitt, a junior finance major and a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, said he decided to have a tailgate party at his house instead of attending the new student tailgate.
“I didn’t go because I was unsure if a lot of people would be there,” Schmitt said. “If it gets a little more organized like SMU’s tailgates were, I will probably check it out in the future.”
Kennedy Shuler, senior psychology major and former Hyperfrogs president, said she loved the party. The students really enjoyed the all-student atmosphere, she said.
Shuler said the tailgate will probably improve as the season continues. She has not heard any complaints yet, but Hyperfrogs will address any improvements that need to be made, she said.
Williams said the TCU Police were satisfied with the event.
“I think it is simply a better venue for everyone.” Williams said. “The students seemed happy and it really helped with the traffic situation.”
Williams also said there were fewer tickets for underage drinking given than at past games.