University of Louisiana at Lafayette Clarifies Student Tailgating Policies Amidst Rumors and Backlash
Following a series of rumors and some backlash among students and alumni, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette issued a statement to the media to clarify its tailgating policies for student organizations.
Earlier this week, an email was sent to student organizations, sparking unfounded rumors that new tailgating policies were being imposed. This led to speculation about possible restrictions or even cancellations of student tailgating experiences.
Eric B. Maron, Senior Communications Representative for the university, stated, "We encourage all students to join alumni, friends, supporters and guests for tailgating. The email sent earlier this week does not reflect new policy; rather, it served as a reminder of existing regulations."
The statement from the university makes it clear that the tailgating policies have been in place for years and will continue as usual. In addition, no additional patrols or stricter enforcement measures are being applied to student tailgating experiences.
Rumors had even spread that Greek organizations were being prohibited from attending their fraternity houses on game day. After we looked into it, it was confirmed that the only standing policy in this regard is that “no organization can have an on-campus event with alcohol on game days because there are not enough officers to work that and a football game,” another rule that has been in place for years.
The email that incited the rumors was meant to remind students of existing regulations, such as "NO Drinking games," "NO Glass containers," and other rules related to student tailgating. The university’s Drug and Alcohol Policy, revised in 2012, was cited as the governing document.
Maron concluded, "We strive to make tailgating a fun, friendly, and safe environment for all. See you at the game!"
With this clarification, the university hopes to put to rest any speculations and encourage a responsible yet enjoyable game day experience for all students and supporters of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.
Student Tailgating Policies Fall 2023
- ALL student tailgating must take place in the outdoor practice field adjacent to Cajun Field. Emergency vehicle paths will be lined on the grass. Tailgating tents may be set up anywhere outside of these emergency vehicle lines. Tailgating spaces will not be individually lined. Space is first come first served.
- Registering to tailgate in the student area is REQUIRED. All students participating in this event are required to have knowledge of and follow all laws, university policies, and the Student Code of Conduct. These can be found here and here and here.
- Drinking games and common sources of alcohol are prohibited per the University Alcohol Policy.
- All groups/students registering must display a Student Tailgate Pass on their tent or something above crowd level (easily seen by a passerby). One designee (who will be present at the tailgate) must pick up and sign for the Pass each Thursday before game day, no later than 5 p.m. (We will give you the unique pass for that game) This process will be repeated for each home game.
- No vehicles are permitted to drive on the grass at the outdoor practice field. Your organization may request to bring very large grills/BBQ pits into the area for DROP-OFF ONLY. Requests should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday of game week. Once approved, a designated delivery time and a special permit will be required. If you have a large BBQ pit or grill you’d like to have at your tailgate space, you must back it up to the gate and walk it in on the grass.
- A representative who signed up for the Tailgating Spot must be available at the designated tailgate spot during the duration of the tailgate.
- Space may be claimed to begin at 12 p.m. the day prior to game day on a first-come, first-served basis. We will not assign each individual spaces this year.
- The tents that you provide cannot be staked into the ground. They must be secured with sandbags or water barrels. Student organizations and/or groups of students who register to tailgate may request one 10x10 at no charge. These tents will be set up when you get to the field on game day and will not be able to be moved.
- If you request a tent and do not show up, your org or the person registering will be billed a $100 no-show fee.
- All participants will provide their own tailgating supplies including music, refreshments, tables, and seating (NO INDOOR FURNITURE, COUCHES, ETC.). Items must be walked in or brought in with a wagon, dolly, etc. If you use a golf cart to load in, the cart has to be parked in another location until time to load out.
- All students must be gone from the area no later than the end of the first quarter of the game. Tents, chairs, and other items must be removed no later than 10 a.m. the following day (Sunday).
- You are responsible for the behavior and actions of your members and guests.
- The University reserves the right to revoke the use of a Tailgating spot at any time.
I can only speak from my personal experience but from everything I’ve witnessed as a partner of UL and UL Athletics and the official Ragin’ Cajuns station, the university has poured a lot of energy into the gameday experience in recent years—specifically when it comes to student tailgating.
My suggestion would be to tailgate as you always have, be smart, have fun, and support this team. From the office to the field, these athletic organizations (completely separate from those who wrote most of these decades-old policies) work too hard to be punished—especially over misinterpreted emails.
For the complete list of policies, students can visit the University’s official websites provided in the copy of the email above.
Hopefully, this lays to rest any rumors of a potential student boycott over changes in game day experiences, allowing the focus to shift back to what really matters: the game itself and the sense of community it fosters.