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Western approves tailgating policy

Missouri Western Board of Governors has approved a tailgating policy that will allow people 21 and over to drink before sporting events.

Prior to the new tailgating policy, passed Sept. 5, alcohol was prohibited during pregame tailgating. Shana Meyer, the vice president of Student Affairs, drafted the policy which allows tailgating in parking lots I, J and K.

“The impudence for it came from a number of schools in the area allowing alcohol at tailgating,” Meyer said. “We did not have a policy in place and we started looking at other schools. We discovered a large amount of schools in the MIAA did allow alcohol at their tailgates and we thought we would pursue it.”

While alcohol is now allowed at tailgating events, there are restrictions outlined. The policy prohibits the use of glass bottles, kegs or bulk containers, and drinking games.

Those consuming alcohol must have a valid ID, and tailgating and drinking must end 30 minutes after the game starts, with the exception of the Stadium Club.

“We worked with both (students and administration) but we primarily worked with Administration,” Meyer said. “We really looked at Northwest’s policy because they just drafted theirs within the last few years.”

The tailgating policy, and alcohol, approval comes just two months after Western went tobacco free. Even though some might think that prohibiting smoking and allowing alcohol sends a mixed message about the healthy lifestyle choices, Meyer thinks that the policy doesn’t endorse an unhealthy lifestyle choice.

“We did put specific language in the policy about responsible drinking,” Meyer said. “We will not allow things like bongs or beer pong or those kinds of things at tailgating. So we’re certainly not trying to promote a binge culture.”

Meyer maintained that the new policy was better than the previous alcohol-free policy, because now she feels the administration won’t be turning a blind eye.

“It’s better to me to have a policy then the hypocrisy of looking the other way when alcohol is already available,” Meyer said.

Meyer went on to explain that the tailgating policy offers Western and the St. Joseph community the chance to come together to celebrate game days.

“This is, however, an opportunity for people from the community to come on campus and see the vibrant energy that exists at Missouri Western,” Meyer said. “I think that sometimes we miss out on that. People don’t look at this campus as having energy or that youthfulness and the excitement that they might find at other institutions.”

For clarification or questions on the tailgating policy, call the MWSU Police Department service line at 271-4438.

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