MSA proposes tailgating alternatives to Reactor

Two possible tailgating solutions were proposed to Scroggs.

Thursday marked the silent "Rally for Reactor" in which students wore neon T-shirts in support of gaining an area to tailgate.

"Wherever you were on campus today, you could see students wearing neon yellow shirts under their jackets," Student Communications Director Tim Noce said.

Noce said the campaign was successful even with the daunting weather because the school is moving toward a solution to tailgating.

"I wore the T-shirt today because I felt like Reactor was a fun place for student to get together before the game and I feel like we should have that opportunity," junior Julie Willbrand said. "I'll probably be tailgating at a friend's house tonight."

The closing of Reactor Field earlier this year eliminated 800 parking spots. Missouri Students Association President Jordan Paul and Noce worked together to develop two proposals for solutions to tailgating for discussion with the administration.

The proposals were submitted Monday.

"I've looked over them briefly, but I really haven't had a chance to read the proposals yet," Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs said. "We have to get through the Nebraska game today and then we'll begin working with the proposals."

The proposals submitted by Paul and Noce emphasized creating a tailgating culture more closely associated with MU.

The ideas for reformed tailgating mirror the traditions of other schools, most specifically The Grove at the University of Mississippi.

The proposals cite increased safety, more closely monitored drinking and higher game attendance as benefits in making tailgating an event.

"We're getting the group of administrators and students that we have met with previously together again to go over the finer details of the proposals," Paul said. "Hopefully we will be able to schedule this meeting in the near future."

The proposal written by Noce suggests tailgating should be spread out through a few lots on campus to equate the quantity of spaces that were lost with Reactor Field.

"Students are going to find a way to tailgate and if they're not channeled to a good place, they're going to end up where people may not want them to be," Noce said. "MU can improve upon giving students a place to tailgate instead of giving them leftover parking lots."

The proposal suggests being closer together increases accountability between tailgaters.

"I think giving them a place that's nice, close to the stadium and big enough for many social circles to come together will increase the feeling of ownership, and therefore, pride in that area," Noce said.

Paul's proposal suggests a tailgating tradition like that of The Grove.

It gives a detailed outline of how The Grove tailgating functions from yearly landscaping rituals to the distribution and recollection of trash cans.

The suggested space for tailgating is the Carnahan Quadrangle because it is not regularly used by any groups and could therefore withstand use by tailgaters. It is also more accessible because of nearby parking garages.

"The Grove is one of the most successful tailgating places in the country," Paul said. "We tried to think about what the differences would be and we made adjustments within the plan. I think we have an analogous situation here."

Support among the student body has been increasing over the past weeks. There have been 2,549 signatures accumulated on the online petition and 4,271 people have joined the Facebook group supporting a solution.

"We'd like to try a sort of pilot even if we couldn't make it into a major event," Paul said. "I think we have a valuable opportunity to try something this season."

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