This year, the Inferno hopes to bring more fire to Football Gameday.
After bringing a revised tailgate back to the Duke Football experience in 2011, Duke Student Government is handing the event over to the Inferno—the official student organization of Duke athletics. Although concerns persist, administrators and student groups alike are looking forward to the new pre-game ritual.
“The Inferno is the best group to throw it,” said senior Leilani Doktor, vice president of social culture. “DSG is the governing body, and Inferno will do the best job in registering groups and making sure that there is sufficient enthusiasm for football games—it’s just what they do.”
She added that, unlike DSG, the Inferno is able to give out free shirts and prizes at games, which may increase enthusiasm for the event.
As students may have noticed, however, the new Inferno tailgate was not held before the first football game Saturday.
“We didn’t have [tailgate at] the first game of last year, and we’re just keeping up with that,” Doktor said. “The first weekend is all UCAE events, so the Inferno and DSG-sponsored Inferno tailgating will definitely begin this upcoming game, and of course in the coming weeks as well.”
The original Tailgate was canceled in 2010 after a minor, who was a guest of a Duke student, was found unconscious in a Porta Potty after consuming alcohol. The incident prompted Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta to cancel Tailgate, and to work toward establishing a new version.
“What I don’t want it to be is what it was,” Moneta said. “I wanted it to be a great celebration that is laser-focused on the football program.”
This year’s Football Gameday will aim to build off the successes of last year’s group-oriented event, Doktor said. To do so, the Inferno will introduce a barbecue on the Clocktower quadrangle.
Senior Sam Marks, president of the Inferno, said Football Gameday should be “a positive aspect of a positive game day experience.”
Moneta, however, maintained that some safety concerns persist.
“Alcohol will always be a concern—it’s just a reality of American youth,” Moneta said. “We’re always going to have to be vigilant in attending to that subset, who tends to destroy the experience for everyone else.”
He added that other than alcohol, there is not much else to worry about.
“I don’t think we’ll have dangerous barbecuing, or that the choice of music is going to cause controversy. I don’t think we’re going to have tailgate ‘twerking’ messing everything up,” Moneta said. “It’s pretty clear what the predominant concerns are going to be.”