Students reflect on tailgating location change

Senior Corey Graham and junior Josh Rickert play beer pong on south lawn during tailgating before WKU’s homecoming game on October 14.

Olivia Eiler

WKU’s Student Activities is hosting a tailgating forum at 7 p.m. tonight in Downing Student Union room 2123.

Director of student activities Charley Pride said the event will be a “discussion about last year’s tailgating by Zacharias and Meredith [halls], feedback and what we do next.”

Pride said he hopes to hear students’ opinions on what worked and what didn’t in the transition from the Valley to the Pearce-Ford Tower lot. Tailgating was relocated because of the new Hilltopper Hall.

“This meeting is the start of a process to see what we do next with student tailgating,” Pride said.

The forum will also include information about behavior expectations during tailgating.

Sigma Phi Epsilon member Anthony Graham said he felt WKU was unprepared for relocating the Greek tailgating last year.

“They had decided, ‘Oh, we’re making this building, and we don’t have an action plan for moving Greek life,’” Graham said. “So they said, ‘Find an open space besides South Lawn and stick them there.’ It felt like we were shoved in there, like we didn’t really have an option.”

Graham said he thinks members of Greek organizations should meet with WKU to compromise on the best location for tailgating instead of the university making the final decision.

Other students said the location of the PFT parking lot was a problem.

Zac Chavez said it is more difficult for fraternity members to get from their houses on or near College Street to the new tailgating location. He said it is a far walk for people who live off campus or on the other side of the Hill.

“If they could find another location, kind of in the center of campus, I would start with that,” Chavez said.

Brandon Mosely said it was easier to get to the Houchens-Smith Stadium when tailgating was in the Valley.

“It’s not awful; it’s just kind of inconvenient,” Mosely said. “Getting from point A to point B is just a lot more difficult because of the distance.”

Mosely said the atmosphere in the tailgating area could be improved by making it “more of a close-knit thing.” He said the students are separated from the people who tailgate on South Lawn and from the stadium itself.

“You’re so separated from everyone else, and you’re separated from the game physically,” Mosely said. “If people were able to be at least in sight of the field, I think that would help a lot.”

Zacharias Hall resident Sam Yaw said he believes the transition went smoothly.

“The only problem with it is that I just have to make sure that I’m not parked in the area where it’s at,” Yaw said. “They do call you and ask you to move your car before they tow it, so that was nice.”

All students are invited to attend the forum tonight to offer their own feedback and suggestions.

News reporter Olivia Eiler can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Olivia on Twitter at @oliviaeiler16.