Lady Gaga and Superman were among the star-studded and beer-drenched Tailgate crowd Saturday.
As per tradition, hundreds of students dressed in ridiculous costumes and spent the afternoon at the popular pregame revelry. This year, however, Duke Student Government established a new set of guidelines for the event, aiming to reduce alcohol waste and abuse, encourage student safety and promote Duke Football.
Duke students received several e-mails detailing the new guidelines during the week leading up to Saturday’s event, which took place in the Blue Zone. The new regulations placed limits on the quantity of alcohol students and groups could bring and created a Tailgate Team consisting of DSG staff and group representatives which, like party monitors, facilitated enforcement of Tailgate rules.
Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek said the event went better than previous years, thanks to the work of DSG and the Interfraternity Council.
“The groups respected the rules and regulations. The litter also appeared to have improved,” she said. “However, the throwing of beer cans needs to stop.”
Emergency Medical Services transported one student from the event due to alcohol poisoning, according to Duke University Police Chief John Dailey. Wasiolek added that multiple students reported cuts from the crushed beer cans that carpeted the Blue Zone’s asphalt.
Although there were no major incidents at the event, an error in DSG’s e-mail to the student body initially led to confusion concerning how students were supposed to bring alcohol into the event. In an e-mail to the student body Aug. 30, DSG set a limit of 30 cases of beer per vehicle. But Wasiolek said the original e-mail was intended to say 30 cases per group—not per car.
In a later e-mail to students, Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta clarified that N.C. state law only allows the transporting of 80 liters of beer—equaling approximately nine cases and nine 12-oz cans. Tailgate Team members were instructed to allow three cars per group to transport alcohol in order to avoid violations.
An additional new policy also mandated that individual students could only carry in up to six cans of beer and had to show proper identification.
Chris Brown, DSG vice president for athletics and campus services who was in charge of Tailgate festivities, saw the event as a great success.
“Tailgate was hugely attended, the administration was pleased and students were satisfied,” Brown said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better Saturday.”
Students had the most trouble following the old rules, not the new ones, Brown added. Dancing on cars and the throwing of beer cans, which are prohibited, were major areas of concern.
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Brown also acknowledged that the move-in process was rushed and that the procedure will likely be changed before the next Tailgate. Students were not allowed to move cars into the Blue Zone until 2:45 p.m., just 30 minutes before the student body was permitted to walk in.
“We just didn’t have enough time, and that’s something we’re addressing,” Brown said.
But many students agreed that the event was a success.
“I thought college was only like this in the movies,” said freshman Jacob Tobia, who wore an umbrella hat to stay dry.