A university-wide task force will be implementing new family- and alumni-friendly tailgating zones in front of Bovard Auditorium and in portions of Alumni Park beginning with the USC-Fresno State game on Aug. 30.
The task force was a joint collaboration between various departments including Student Affairs and Residential Life. The new additions serve to provide more memorable game day experiences for families and children according to Vice Provost for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry.
“[University leadership] came up with this idea with the sole purpose of making game day a great place for everyone,” Carry said. “Like convocation and graduation events, we wanted to stage something that could involve everyone outside the stadium before home games.”
Phase 1 of the new additions will be set up directly in front of Bovard Auditorium. All USC-affiliated departments and schools will be able to reserve the two spaces for tailgating.
“The walkway will split this portion into two tailgating areas; departments and schools will be able to reserve the spaces on a first-come, first-serve basis,” Carry said.
Aside from the Bovard addition, the right side of Alumni Park facing Doheny Library will also be converted into two family-friendly tailgating venues. One portion will be dedicated to an outdoor dining space equipped with tables, chairs and a variety of food and drink for purchase. The other will be utilized as a kid- and parent-friendly zone. Inflatables, slides and jump houses will be open to children at no cost, but parents must supervise their children within the zone at all times.
Perhaps the most significant step to creating new family-oriented tailgating spaces is educating all fans about game day safety precautions. According to Carry, tailgating safety will be emphasized this season with the help of the Dept. of Public Safety and University Communications.
“This season, there will be lots of signage all over campus highlighting key fire, alcohol and electrical hazard safety measures that have previously been easily ignored,” Carry said. “[The university has] not done a good enough job of educating about fire hazards and safety in the past … we want to ensure fan safety this season and these signs will help us do that.”
Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing Brenda Maceo will be responsible for the safety signs and other communication pieces that will be widely displayed across campus.
Rini Sampath, USG vice president, said that the new changes will make the tailgating experience more accessible for all USC fans.
“When [USG President Andrew Menard and I] were campaigning, I remember talking to students who come from different backgrounds and religions who don’t consume alcohol,” Sampath said. “A lot of game day is alcohol-centric, so these new additions will really provide more inclusive activities for everyone.”
Changes to McCarthy Quad have not been finalized as USG receives more student input. The goal is to have more alcohol-free tailgating activities developed and implemented by fall 2015.