Undergraduate Student Senate announces approval of tailgating at KSU football games

Breanne George

Kent State students will now be permitted to tailgate prior to home games, Undergraduate Student Senator John McConnell announced at yesterday’s USS meeting.

McConnell, senator for governmental affairs, said he has worked hard to get the university to approve tailgating as the senate representative on the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee.

“This has been a goal for a long time since Kent State is a Division I sports team,” he said. “Kent State’s football coach (Doug Martin) has wanted more support at home games.”

McConnell said he believes tailgating will increase attendance of students and community members at home games.

“It will make the experience more exciting for students,” he said. “It will be like a big pep rally before the game.”

Tailgating will be allowed at the west end of the stadium parking lot. The area will consist of tents and grills for students to cook hamburgers and hot dogs.

Preston Mitchum, senator for student advancement, said he agrees that tailgating is important in order to attract students to homes games, which have been poorly attended in the past.

“If you’re not a hard-core football fan, there isn’t much to do at the game,” Mitchum said. “A lot of people think its boring because there isn’t any entertainment.”

The main problem the university had in the past is the need for increased security from university and city police to ensure the crowd does not get out of hand.

“The police put pressure on the university because they didn’t want to deal with it,” said Ross Miltner, senator for community affairs. “They will have to monitor the event and card people to prevent underage drinking.”

Another issue discussed at the meeting is the changed noise ordinance in the city of Kent. Miltner said city council made changes, which gives police a greater scope on what they can monitor.

Originally, police could only monitor noise on private residences. The amended ordinance gives police the ability to ticket people if they are on public property.

“A group of students making a lot of noise on the sidewalk or outside the bars can get a ticket,” he said. “Tickets aren’t cheap either; they are usually around $100.”

Miltner said many students are not aware that noise ordinance tickets are easy to appeal since Kent police do not use a decibel measuring device.

“Students have a 50/50 chance to win an appeal,” he said. “Ticketing is at the discretion of the police officer so there’s this gray area.”

Contact student politics reporter Breanne George at [email protected].