Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Tailgating Project gears up for season opener Saturday

September 6, 2001

The football players are gearing up to take on Central Michigan on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. But they’re not the only ones preparing for the game.

As usual, tailgaters are getting fired up, and this year, members of the recently formed Tailgating Project are ready for them.

The project, which was formed in May by university administrators, will be evaluating the activities that go on during tailgating.

“This project gives us a snapshot of what is really happening at tailgates,” said Pat Enos, assistant to the vice president for student affairs and a member of the committee.

The committee wants to make sure tailgating continues to be enjoyable, she said.

“Tailgating is an important part of MSU,” Enos said. “It’s a tradition, and we honor that.”

There are 36 volunteer members on the committee, which is made up of administrators and students.

The group is going to review current tailgating activities, then determine what can be done to improve them.

The committee plans to look at the whole campus, not just popular tailgating locations, Straney said.

“We want to attempt to look at the whole range of the activities that go on during tailgating on campus,” said Donald Straney, assistant to the provost for faculty development and a committee member.

The committee hopes to receive input from the tailgaters.

“This is the first time any university has taken a close look across the board at what’s really going on at tailgates,” he said. “This is the opportunity for tailgaters to be heard.”

Tailgating will be a little bit different this year because of the home football schedule, which starts with two home games followed by four away games.

However, committee members aren’t concerned with downtime between games.

“Every game is unique - the condition of the field and the weather. You never know what will happen every Saturday,” Straney said.

The group also hopes to evaluate tailgating for “The Cold War,” a hockey game against the University of Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 6. at Spartan Stadium, in hopes of getting a different kind of crowd.

The committee will also go to another university to see what tailgating is like there.

“The goal or ideal is for tailgaters to see this campus as their home and respect it that way, but at the same time have a good time,” Enos said.

Psychology senior Dave Miller plans to tailgate on Saturday with his Delta Chi fraternity brothers at the rock on Farm Lane.

“The best part about tailgating is the chance to hang out with your friends and cook out,” he said.

Miller said he thinks the project might be beneficial.

“I think its a good idea to get input from tailgaters and to help out student life,” he said.

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