University, Wildside roll out stricter tailgating policies for Fitzerland


Daily file photo by Susan Du

Students congregate by the grill at Fitzerland, the student tailgate area, before the 2013 football game against Maine.

Olivia Exstrum, Assistant Campus Editor

University-sanctioned tailgating at Fitzerland is now for Northwestern students only.

New policies announced Wednesday by the Division of Student Affairs and Wildside require students to show their WildCARDs to access the official student tailgating area outside Ryan Field.

Under the new regulations, students must also provide photo identification if they are bringing alcohol. Groups renting grills at Fitzerland are now required to provide a “Tailgate Monitor,” who must attend a training session and supervise guests.

This is the second policy change for Fitzerland, which began Fall Quarter 2013 as a universal space for all NU students to tailgate. In November, the University required all students consuming alcohol to show identification and wear a wristband after an intoxicated prospective student was taken to the hospital before a football game.

Under the November policy change, anyone with a valid college ID could enter Fitzerland. Now a WildCARD is required.

Ryan Chenault, assistant athletic director of marketing for the athletic department, said the latest changes were made to create a space just for NU students. He said he believes the changes will not affect student attendance at the tailgate.

“It’s our hope that they will continue to utilize it,” Chenault said. “The changes were made to ensure that the students have first and foremost access. We didn’t want outside groups coming in, and hopefully they embrace it.”

Monitors will be required to attend a training session the week of the game and are “responsible for managing guests and ensuring a clean, safe and welcoming environment,” according to the policy. Each group must have one monitor for every 20 students, and the monitor must sober for the whole event. One monitor per group should be Red Watch Band trained.

Only groups renting grills are required to have a monitor, though Wildside and the Associated Student Government will provide extra monitors to oversee groups not renting grills, Wildside president Gram Bowsher said.

Bowsher, a SESP senior, said those involved in the changes decided there was a need for a more formal monitoring system than last year. He said he hoped the new policies would put more onus on students and less on University Police and the administration.

“The policies in place are very generous of the University,” he said. “We can’t control how the team performs, but we can control what students’ game day experience looks like, and as long as we can make that the best experience possible, we’ve done our job.”

Dean of students Todd Adams said Student Affairs worked in conjunction with the athletic department, Wildside and ASG to review last year’s policies and discuss any additions.

“Students were principal in driving the conversations,” Adams said. “Students want an opportunity to tailgate, and Wildside and ASG were instrumental in putting together everything, including procedures and expectations.”

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Previous stories on this topic:

    Northwestern launches new ID policy at Fitzerland tailgate
    Wildside brings students together with tailgating area Fitzerland