On Wednesday, Nov. 1, the University of Dallas Student Government passed a resolution to stand with the student body in advocating for tailgating on campus – specifically, allowing for the consumption of privately provided alcohol by those of legal age at university-approved events.
The tailgating resolution states the following:
“THEREFORE it is Resolved, by the Student Senate of the University of Dallas, as follows:
1. URGES the University of Dallas administration to follow the policy of the university;
2. CALLS ON the University to correct the student handbook to reflect the University of Dallas policy as currently effective;
3. URGES the University to show support for University of Dallas Athletics by promoting greater student body involvement;
4. FURTHER URGES the University Administration to Amend clause G of the Code of Conduct’s section on the prohibited use of alcohol (viii.d) to allow the consumption of privately-provided alcohol for those above the legal age for university tailgating;
5. RECOMMENDS that the University of Dallas make an official public clarification of tailgating policy for the student body.”
Dominic Andrews, junior politics major and senator, Javier Obregon, junior politics and Italian major and senator, and Xavier Piper, freshman senator, were the authors of the resolution. It was co-sponsored by Luke Gonzales, junior senator.
“This is on behalf of the student body and of the athletes,” Andrews said. “We’re here to advocate on their behalf, and we think it aligns with the mission of the university – creating one community.”
Since the beginning of the semester, SG has been dedicated to achieving campus unification. One of the target areas has been seeking to unify the sports and non-sports aspects of campus life.
“The whole project is really to try to drum up interest in student athletics,” said Obregon. “We received a letter from the representatives of the student athletic department, asking us to do more to drum up interest and integrate athletics into the broader student body. The best way that we decided we could do that was passing this resolution.”
The resolution emphasizes the popular nature of the tailgating policy. From the resolution: “Student Government has received a petition with hundreds of signatures, along with many SG on the Mall messages from students urging UDSG to advocate on their behalf on the issue of tailgating […] Student Athlete leaders have written to Student Government asking that Student Government address their concerns about the student body’s lack of support for our University’s athletic teams; The Student Government hoped to encourage attendance of sporting events by bringing back tailgating.”
“The University of Dallas has a very below average rate of people going to home games and cheering on our sports,” Peter Key, junior economics major and SG treasurer, said. “In fact, I would say that it is embarrassing and fails to be properly unifying.”
The resolution stresses that many universities comparable to UD have similar tailgating policies.
From the resolution: “Benedictine College, Ave Maria University, Catholic University of America, Franciscan University at Steubenville, the University of Mary, University of St. Thomas at Houston, St. Edward’s University in Austin, The University of Notre Dame, St. Thomas University at Florida, Walsh University, and many other additional Newman Guide schools and similarly-sized Texas Catholic Universities maintain similar tailgating policies to the one outlined in the 2018 University policy.”
Key stressed that while SG is hopeful for a pro-tailgating decision, there is no intention of deliberately breaking university policies during this process.
“We are doing it in the most civil and reasonable way we can, in line with the Provost’s Office and their authority because we have no intention to do any forms of rebelling or breaking of the security rules or expectations,” said Key.
“The SG presented the petition to the Provost, who is forming a committee to look into this matter,” said Dr. Gregory Roper, dean of students. “Until that time, the Provost’s previous email about the matter is where we are, which is that the Code of Student Conduct continues to be the policy.”
The email Roper refers to is the one sent out by Dr. Matthias Vorwerk, provost, on Friday, Oct. 13, which stated the following: “While the University is reviewing the matter, the provisions of the Student Handbook will supersede the Tailgating Policy, in particular regarding the distribution and consumption of alcohol on campus.”
As the committee makes its determination, SG continues to support the student body.
Luke Posegate, senior economics major and president of SG, said, “I ask for patience from the student body as this process works itself out, but rest assured that the executive council is advocating tirelessly on your behalf.”