ASG will host tailgate for last home game

Sammy Caiola

Associated Student Government will host a campus-wide tailgate this Saturday before the final home football game against University of Iowa.

The tailgate will be held in the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary parking lot from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with a barbecue and free NU merchandise, some of it autographed by Coach Pat Fitzgerald, provided by ASG and the Wildside.

Former ASG clerk Brooke Stanislawski first conceived the event last year, after she tried to hold a campus-wide tailgate outside Ryan Field but only managed to attract about 150 people. Current ASG clerk Niabi Schmaltz took the event under her wing this year, determined to make it a success.

“There’s something really special about gathering thousands of people from the school and the larger community,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “You’re a part of it. You feel something special, because it really is a celebration of your school. Partying with your frat is just not the same spirit.”

The event is funded by a special tailgate fund from ASG, as well as donations from local businesses. In exchange for donations, businesses can place ads on the ASG website or advertise at the tailgate.

ASG had to request the location through the outdoor event approval process and was approved without obstacle, said Amy White, associate director of events management for Norris University Center.

Schmaltz said that she chose to hold the event at Garrett because that is the proposed location for the new student center, and because the tailgate is a “community-building event.”

“If we can show an event that takes place in this central location, it bodes well with having a new possibility of student center,” she said.

Matt Bellassai, public relations vice president for ASG, said he tried to “take it to the next level” this year and get a lot of students involved. He also said that the presence of smaller tailgates around campus will not interfere with the tailgate.

“You can go to your individual tailgates and pregame where you want, but you should end up here,” Bellasai said. “We’re hoping people will stop by on their way up. We have incorporated the fact that people are going to individual parties beforehand.”

Some athletes said a large event could draw in more students and affect the outcome of Saturday’s game.

“It gets more student involvement, and maybe more will come to the game,” said James Hall, a SESP freshman and football player. “If there’s free food and it looks good, I think kids will come. It’s a little quieter here than at other Big Ten stadiums, but if we have more students in the stands I think it could help us.”

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