EDITORIAL: A sobering but logical change to tailgate
Or, at least we think so.
Last week, athletics department brass rolled out a new tailgating policy in a meeting with the Central Michigan Life Editorial Board. While differences in the new policy may not be obvious on the surface, the new rules — effectively “treating everyone the same,” officials say — appear to be a step in the right direction.
The rule changes come a few years and several dead pre-game tailgates too late, but the department and new Student Government Association president Justin Gawronski deserve credit for working together, acknowledging the mistakes made in the old policy and adjusting it where necessary to make tailgate at Kelly/Shorts Stadium exciting but safe for students, faculty and fans alike.
While certain rules and regulations like a ban on glass bottles and kegs for mass alcohol distribution are common sense, the old policy was a knee-jerk reaction and overreached. It treated students as if they were children unable to make responsible decisions on their own, and that, combined with a more than lackluster product on the football field, made the game day scene in Mount Pleasant a shadow of what it used to be.
With seven home games this year, including a sold-out game against Michigan State and one against arch-rival Western Michigan, now is the time for a change in policy. If the football team becomes as competitive as head coach Dan Enos expects it to be and, for his own sake, needs it to be, a rejuvenated tailgate outside the stadium could make Chippewa football must-see for the student body once again this season.
Gawronski in particular deserves credit for making the changes happen. By working closely with the athletics department on tailgate policy, he is sending a clear and refreshing signal to all that the SGA under his watch is there to make true, meaningful changes on behalf of the student body.
Hopefully, his work with the athletics department ushers in a new era of cooperation between the SGA, athletics and university officials to address various issues in a balanced way.
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