MSA plans new student tailgating space

The organization will reserve the lot between Cornell Hall and Stankowski Field for home football games.
MU graduates Eric Durban and Shawn Garrison reply to an "M-I-Z" call outside of the Edward Jones Dome while tailgating before the Missouri-Illinois football game in St. Louis, Mo on Sept. 5, 2009. The Missouri Students Association plans to reserve the parking lot between Cornell Hall and Stankowski Field for student tailgating this fall. Maneater File Photo

The Missouri Students Association is planning on reserving student tailgating space in the parking lot between Stankowski Field and Cornell Hall to replace previously popular tailgate sites shut down in recent years.

“The only difference is you bring your own (drinks) and no cars allowed,” MSA President Tim Noce said. “Anyone can come. We will have special rules and regulations set up for this tailgate by the end of the summer.”

Tentatively, MSA plans to have the tailgating space at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Rollins Street available for every home football game but will reassess the plan after the first couple home games.

“Right now we are having a pilot event for the first few games to see how it turns out,” said Ben Hansen, MSA Department of Student Activities director. “As with any vision, it will change as it actually happens.”

Reactor Field and Frat Pit, two former tailgating spaces, were shut down by the university due to problems with students’ behavior, Hansen said.

“I think one of the biggest reasons was that there was binge drinking,” Hansen said. “Some people were drinking a lot and then they weren’t even going to the game, they were just staying there the whole time. Other reasons were fights were breaking out and under aged drinking.”

MSA is setting certain restrictions to the new tailgating space to prevent the same problems that plagued Frat Pit and Reactor.

“Just like anything else, any other tailgate on campus, you are going to run into the problems that you have any time you have alcohol,” Noce said. “We are looking to do that by making it no cars allowed, so people can only bring what they can carry. The tailgate will be shut down at kickoff, enticing people to go to the game and not party throughout.”

Organizations will be able to set up in the parking lot for a fee, Hansen said.

“The spaces inside the parking lot will be reserved for student organizations, so the only people that are going to attend the event will be MU students and their friends,” Hansen said.

Beyond the areas set up by specific organizations, there will also be activities provided, Hansen said. Activities will include sports and hopefully music.

“The idea is to borrow stuff from the Rec that student orgs can check out from MSA,” Hansen said. “There will be washers and the ropes and ladders game, and then there might be the one with the sand bags where you throw them into the holes.”

MSA has already coordinated with administration to make the student tailgate possible and will have to comply with police requirements and other regulations set by MU.

“The students approached us about the possibility of a tailgate area,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs said. “Our effort has been to help support the students to get an area for students who want to get together before the game and enjoy each others company.”

Noce said MSA is hoping the tailgate will become a tradition like the Grove at Ole Miss or the Vanderbilt student tailgate.

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