Ask anyone who attends college football games about tailgating and they’ll tell you it’s a long standing and much loved tradition, but it’s also a tradition that just might have reached the end of the line.
Arizona State University is cracking down on tailgating and all of the kegs and drinking games that go along with it, and for the first time in history it will join in with other public universities to ban any type of drinking activities in common tailgating areas.
These new rules are part of a public safety initiative by the Arizona Statewide Student Safety Task Force, and they’re being implemented as a way to encourage students to focus on healthy behaviors and activities instead of binge drinking. Arizona has one of the highest number of underage binge drinkers, with 26.5% of teens surveyed reporting having 5 drinks in a row within a few hour time frame as opposed to an average of 21.9% nationwide.
The new rules haven’t been met without opposition. Some ticket holders at a recent Arizona game thought it would decrease enjoyment of the game and keep people at home instead watching instead of coming out.
This change in attitude toward tailgating seems to be a nationwide trend that will soon be the norm and not the exception. Yale banned tailgating and kegs in 2012 after a woman was killed by a U-Haul driven by a student attending a tailgating party, and California Polytechnic State University has now banned hard alcohol and kegs after a student died from alcohol poisoning during a fraternity party in 2008.
Tailgating might be fun for anyone who enjoys the atmosphere of drinking and socializing in parking lots, but in addition to promoting binge drinking, tailgating may also encourage people to drink and drive. It’s all too easy to simply pick up the keys and drive home when you’re hanging out in a parking lot of vehicles, so the trend to ban tailgating may have more benefits than just putting a stop to binge drinking.