University enforces new tailgating rules for game day

Soapbox: Is the current state of a tailgating on campus a problem?

The university has established additional tailgating regulations in response to an increase of alcohol-related incidents this semester, university officials said.

Party foul · Students tailgate on McCarthy Quad on game day. The university has instituted new tailgating policies concerning drinking. - Heather Lee | Daily Trojan

Since Oct. 1, the office of the senior vice president of administration issued a document containing new and existing rules that all students, alumni and visitors must abide by on campus on game day, said Capt. David Carlisle of the Department of Public Safety.

“What is driving this issue is this semester. We’ve had a record number of alcohol-related incidents and transports to hospitals,” Carlisle said. “We want people to be responsible.”

One of the primary new regulations this semester, Carlisle said, is the prohibition of drinking games, including activities, such as beer pong and “beer jeopardy.”

“The drinking games just lead to drinking too much and if you’ve got all day to drink, it could be a problem,” said Todd Dickey, senior vice president of administration, who said evening games create increased opportunities for people to consume more alcohol, which leads to problems.

Another main provision that will change tailgating on campus is a ban on loud music after receiving complaints from tailgaters and visitors, Dickey said.

“We’ve seen some very large DJ booths turn out with very loud, amplified sounds,” Dickey said. “We think having music at your tailgate is fine, and having TVs at your tailgate is perfectly fine, but having music that you can hear from a block away is not OK.”

DPS will be responsible for enforcing tailgating rules on campus; however, public safety officers plan to maintain a low profile this year since many people are unaware of the new rules, Carlisle said.

“It’s going to take a few games for people to understand what the rules are,” Carlisle said.

DPS officers began to inform tailgaters of the new rules during the  Oct. 2 University of Washington game by walking around campus handing out yellow fliers to tailgaters who were not obeying rules, Carlisle said.

“We let them know that this is now going to be against USC campus rules,” Carlisle said. “Generally they were understanding and cooperative, but there were a few who weren’t happy … the change is for the benefit of everyone.”

Dickey said he believes there won’t be any problems this weekend because of the early game time of 12:30 p.m. for Saturday’s game.

“We want [campus] to be a family-oriented tailgating experience,” Dickey said. “It’s not going to be heavy-handed implementation. It’s going to be reminding people that we want tailgating to be a good experience for everyone.”

If tailgaters do not follow the rules once informed by DPS officers, students might be cited and referred to Student Judicial Affairs and visitors to campus might be asked to leave campus, which is allowed because the university is private property, Carlisle said.

“We’re all Trojans,” Carlisle said. “In order to maintain an atmosphere that everyone can enjoy, there have got to be some rules imposed.”

And yet, Carlisle said he is pleased to see so few incidents for the large number of people on campus on game days.

“For the number of people we have on campus — students, visitors — overall, people are generally really well-behaved, but there’s always that small group who overindulge,” Carlisle said. “When you drink alcohol, you do foolish things, and when you do foolish things, you get yourself hurt.”

Prohibiting beer games and amplified music are the newest regulations the university will focus on enforcing, Carlisle said, other rules against prohibited activities — failing to discard trash  properly in receptacles, disruptive behavior, using open flame without having a fire extinguisher nearby, driving tent poles or stakes into the ground — must still be followed.

“These kinds of rules have always been in place,” Dickey said. “It’s just nice to have a policy that we can point to … people are usually really good if you just go up to them and remind them; they’re always cooperative.”

35 replies
  1. Tom
    Tom says:

    What about those guys in the costumes that go around playing instruments? There must be hundreds of them! Has someone talked to them? I can’t hear my Dean Martin records when they come by. And what about after November 2nd? I suppose the university is going to ban Pot Pong then!

  2. Al
    Al says:

    Interesting Reading…
    This started at the coliseum last year. They handed out memos with a list of restrictions…
    No DJ equipment, works for me. I don’t have a DJ. The music was loud but I never complain.
    The excessive drunkedness is not really necessary. Banning games is probably not the solution.
    No private Port-A-Potties. Why NOT? We take our families and I don’t want my kids stepping on a pile of crap each time.
    Someone that Tailgates regularly should offer to sit in on these regulation panels… That way, it makes sense.
    The last game was pretty empty at the coliseum. Is that what SC wants? Less fans coming to the games?
    Lets just hope for a good season and Party On!!!

  3. Controlling
    Controlling says:

    I seriously doubt there was a rise in alcohol related incidents because the attendance at tailgates and games has been paltry compared to previous years. The quality of the team might be the reason for excessive drinking instead of drinking games. Can we ban a bad football team DPS?

    Noise abatement is understandable, but really, how do other people drinking a lot really affect me? Some people are jerks sober, so are we going to ban them from campus as well because tangentially it might affect my experience?

  4. USC Tailgate Fan
    USC Tailgate Fan says:

    I’ve been tailgating at USC for a number years now. I have walked over to campus and have first hand seen and heard the loud music along with the drinking games. I agree with the decision to ban drinking games. There are enough Alumni, students and fans drinking already do we really need to encourage drinking games too?? USC is only looking out for the safety of the fans and students. Football tailgates should be about supporting your team not getting drunk. All to many times I’ve seen people passed out, sick or being taken to hospital by medical services. If students are not careful drinking will be prohibited altogether. Explain to me why you need to be drunk to see the game?? I can understand having a few drinks with friends and bbq. But the purpose of drinking games is to get drunk in a short amount of time. I think some need to reevaluate the reasons why they attend tailgates in the first place. Are you coming to get drunk or are you coming to celebrate and support your team??

    Don’t get me wrong I’ve packed the cooler with beer and gone to the games. BUT I have never gotten so drunk that I don’t remember or passed out at the games. I think we all just need to calm down and be thankful tailgating hasn’t been prohibited. Students should remember they are their for an education not to be playing drinking games.

  5. CVjuan
    CVjuan says:

    Ok, gang complain if you will but this is the warning… I’ve been to many campus pregames where no alcohol is allowed unless confined to some cage, (Uof A)…I guarantee one and all,,,if this friendly reminder isn’t noticed,,, the fun lamp really will be put out…. Case in point… in San Diego…’cause a bunch of drunk idiots caused a small tussle on the beach… a beach booze ban is now in effect from the border to parts unknown somewhere to the north… why, ’cause a bunch of jerks couldn’t control themselves.. now,,,nothing but tea and crumpets…

  6. A current student who doesn't even drink
    A current student who doesn't even drink says:

    So instead of people’s drinking being prolonged over the day while playing drinking games, people will just.. be drinking.. all day. Your logic escapes me, USC.

    • Cesario
      Cesario says:

      WHAT? People have to be less-drunk/sober during the game?? We’re all doomed! I don’t go to games for the spirit or the team. I go to get my drink on beforehand which I obviously cannot do at other events, at the bar, or with my friends. Everything I do, every event I attend must have alcohol present, and I must consume it excessively. DESPAIRRRRR.

  7. A Fan
    A Fan says:

    Now they forgot to mention that public safety was only bothering certain people. Now they are banning port o potties. What they failed to figure out was alot of fellows are going to be urinatinating all over the place as they do not provide enough portopotties. What is going to happen is the coliseum is going to start smelling like pee-pee & doo-doo

  8. Desi*Lu
    Desi*Lu says:

    They forgot to mention that we aren’t allowed to rent our personal porta potties any more. They expect us to use the very few they have in various locations (gross). We should ask the DPS officers to use them @ 6:00 clock on a 7:30 game day.

  9. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Uhoh. Supposedly, people have been getting hurt playing this “football” thing I’ve heard so much about. Better ban it…just to be safe.

    • A Fan
      A Fan says:

      I agree, What is going to happen is the fellows are going to start urinating & some all over the place and and the coliseum is going to start smelling like pee-pee & doo-doo, Great job L.A. The DPS officers made them be removed last game but yet they used them before they were loaded on the truck. I think a class action suit is in order as removing them is just inhuman.

  10. Jones
    Jones says:

    Does this mean they are going to cancel drinking games at Traddies as well? Or does the “New” Traddies not allow that kind of barbaric fun?

  11. Will
    Will says:

    Can’t take credit for this but @BigSoCalRay had a great idea on Twitter: “Every time a patrol comes by, we all take a shot!”

  12. Student
    Student says:

    There are no transports from tailgating… The reasoning from the university does not make sense at all. All that “beer games” do is get people excited about the game.

  13. Student
    Student says:

    Although I can see where they’re coming from with the accidents, it doesn’t make sense to remove all drinking games. What do students do at tailgates? Eat, Drink, and Play Games. Tailgating is all about getting excited for the game… they have an hour or two before the game to enjoy getting amped and have fun. The campus is a safe and controlled environment to do these things, now you’re just forcing people to drink outside and then make their way to the stadium which includes crossing many roads (or even driving) and dramatically increases the potential amount of accidents…

    Don’t think they thought it through and just want to have an illusion of security for anyone visiting the campus.

  14. Will
    Will says:

    As with all of these “campus restrictions” there will be loopholes galore. Anyone up for some water pong with a beer in their hand?

  15. Adam
    Adam says:

    Well I think stopping drinking games isn’t really going to fix too much. Though thank you for stepping up for the loud and annoying music! That was getting quite agitating.

  16. Brittany T.
    Brittany T. says:

    This is ridiculous. The alcohol related incidents that have happened this year were not at all related to tailgating. I have never heard anybody complain about the atmosphere on campus during game day tailgates. If anything, that’s the majority of current students’ and alumnae’s favorite part of game day. These rules, although from my understanding of the article are not supposed to be heavily mandated, are a complete damper on the Trojan spirit that so many have come to this school for and learned to love.

  17. Current Student
    Current Student says:

    Drinking on campus keeps people in check much more so than pre-gaming off-campus. It is not “unclassy” to play drinking games. This is will ruin the campus atmosphere for many people, both students and alumni, and I’m sure USC will see a decline in both football attendance and the number of people tailgating on campus.

    There really seems to be no basis for these rules. In one part of the article, Carlisle said that “We’ve had a record number of alcohol-related incidents and transports to hospitals.” In another part, he states that “he is pleased to see so few incidents for the large number of people on campus on game days.” So we’re being punished for a few isolated incidents? And when were the transports? If they’re referring to the recent problems on Greek Row, that is completely separate from tailgates on campus.

    • Alumnus
      Alumnus says:

      Thank you for pointing out this blatant contradiction — “a record number of alcohol related incidents” and “so few incidents for the large number of people on campus” . Though I wonder if the author brings up this contradiction unwittingly, without consideration of the message the article seems to convey, or if the author is purposefully bringing to light how misguided this endeavor really is. To sacrifice an entire avenue of entertainment to spite “that small group who overindulge(s)” is by no means a fair or just course of action. Katharine
      Harrington, Senior Vice President of Administration, I understand your stance, and appreciate your consideration for your student body’s well being, but this blanketed reaction is not the end-all solution.

  18. Alumna
    Alumna says:

    I think these rules are absolutely reasonable. They aren’t banning alcohol all together. Keep it classy ‘SC.

  19. JHC
    JHC says:

    Alex Frank and Alumni,

    Are you really concerned that you won’t be able to play Beer Pong or pretend to be a club DJ? Get a life, these are completely reasonable restrictions.

  20. Alumni
    Alumni says:

    The university already sucked the fun out of the coliseum, now tailgating! What next? “They took the bar! The whole f*€#ing bar!”

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