SU to host second tailgate of the year
Student Union will host the second tailgate of the year before Washington University plays Illinois Wesleyan University in football Saturday, Oct. 20.
The tailgate will begin at 4:30 p.m. and end with kickoff at p.m. Given a larger-than-expected turnout at the last tailgate on Sept. 1, Student Union has decided to move the event from outside the Danforth University Center to a new, to be determined location with larger capacity.
SU Vice President of Programming Charlotte Pohl hopes that the event can build a sense of community by providing a common experience for all students.
“The way that I see Game Day is as an event that can engage all students from anywhere on campus,” Pohl said. “Compared to other large-scale events that we have at Wash. U., it is a lot more cost effective—and the cost is a lot lower per person than other events. So, I think this is a great way to bring together all undergraduate students.”
Students have expressed complaints over the food shortages and cramped space at September’s tailgate.
“Having food is obviously what attracts most students to events like that; so, obviously, when they ran out very quickly, it was really frustrating,” sophomore Keishi Foecke said. “I also think the first tailgate [in 2017] was in a better location [at Simon lot] than the last one. The second one felt really cramped.”
Another issue at past tailgates has been encouraging students to attend the following athletic events.
“I think we definitely saw a struggle in retention from the tailgate to the actual game last time, and so a focus of ours when planning this one is how can we first get people to go to the tailgate and then second get them to stay for the game as well,” SU Senator, member of the Game Day Committee and junior Jeff Gurley said.
Pohl and the newly established SU Game Day Committee are working to address those concerns at Saturday’s tailgate.
“We are kind of looking into having more forms of entertainment during the event because last time it was just food and hanging out,” Pohl said. “We are looking into getting more food and a bigger speaker setup so there is more sound. We were allocated for one inflatable, but we are looking for ways to get other ones.”
If student turnout continues to grow, the Game Day Committee is considering hosting more similar events.
“We have definitely talked about perhaps moving the Game Day forward into the basketball season and even baseball season,” Gurley said. “Just continuing to bring people together around the school is our main focus.”
Despite the flaws of previous tailgates, Foecke remains confident that SU tailgates can help build the school community.
“I think our school spirit is definitely there. It just needs to be tapped into a little bit,” Foecke said. “I think the idea is really enticing for Wash. U. students who really miss that aspect of school spirit; so, I think as long as SU keeps trying, Wash. U. students will keep going until they get it right.”