Drinking regulations at tailgate ineffective

A tailgate should be something to enjoy, not an occasion to fear. Tailgating should feel spontaneous, so efforts to control it only make students hesitant to partake in the festivities. If the administration wants to raise attendance at the student tailgate, it should encourage students to conduct their tailgates the way they please. There’s no need for overly strict rules and regulations.

One concern is underage drinking and, so far, the efforts have been ineffective.

Checking driver’s licenses and distributing wristbands failed to meet administrators’ expectations to regulate underage drinking. Although Trevor Heaney, president of the Student Government Association, said wristbands were handled by hired professionals, Matt Schoolfield, a junior accounting major, said underage drinking at the student tailgate was absolutely ridiculous.

“It was fairly easy to receive a wristband if you had some sort of ID, whether it was valid or not,” he said.

Southern Methodist University has a similar student tailgate but with stricter regulations.

Wristbands are distributed to SMU students at the student tailgate only if the birth dates on driver’s licenses match the birth dates listed on a print out of official student information from the registrar’s office, said Jim Caswell, vice president of SMU Student Affairs. SMU also allows undercover police to regulate the student tailgate.

Heaney said TCU doesn’t hire undercover police to supervise drinking, but officers from the Fort Worth Police Department and TCU Police were at the student tailgate Saturday.

However, Schoolfield said, the police present at the tailgate were extremely lax about underage drinking.

If administrators want a successful tailgate, they should forget the notion of checking IDs and passing out wristbands, and allow Fort Worth Police Department and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to enforce drinking laws as necessary.

– Associate editor Leslie Honey for the editorial board