Olivia Plinio, '17, Erik Thomas, '17, and Emilio Arellano, '18, tailgate before the home football game against Bucknell on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. Students wear crazy costumes to participate in morning cocktails, which take place before the game. (Gracie Chavers/B&W Staff)

IFC and Panhel encourage tailgates, attempt to shift away from MoCos

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The Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council hope to expand student attendance at tailgates and ultimately encourage students to attend football games. They want students to take part in tailgates rather than in morning cocktails, referred to as MoCos.

“Basically, we’re trying to start a movement to rekindle the school pride here at Lehigh and give our athletic programs some support,” wrote Kyle Durics, the president of IFC, in an email. 

Durics said MoCos tend to interfere with athletic events, and it is important for students to see their peers compete.

Margaret Burnett, ’17, the president of Panhel, said she has only received positive feedback about tailgates.

Raquel De Jesus Castillo, ’18, said MoCos can be unnecessarily extravagant.

“The whole idea of MoCos is excessive, especially drinking so early,” De Jesus Castillo said.

Panhel and IFC are pushing for a policy that would only allow students to participate in MoCos on Saturdays when there are no home games. This has sparked a response from certain members of the student body.

Perri Rubenstein, ’18, created hats with the slogan “Make MoCos Great Again.” Rubenstein posted advertisements for the hats on the Lehigh class of 2018 Facebook page. She said there weren’t as many sales as she had hoped for, but students liked the idea.

Rubenstein supports the movement toward tailgates but recognizes that students enjoy MoCos as well. Students are trying to find a way to attend both tailgates and MoCos, she said. 

There has been an increase in student attendance at sporting events as more students participate in tailgates. Rubenstein believes this is because people are more inclined to go to games if they are already in the vicinity for tailgates. 

Rubenstein said it doesn’t matter what attire students wear to the games, as long as they’re actually present.

“Crazy dress-up for MoCos is a tradition and I don’t think it’s negative,” Rubenstein said.

Castillo emphasized the importance of students wearing Lehigh’s school colors to games.

“I wear brown and white to look unified and show school spirit,” De Jesus Castillo said. “We lack school spirit when (we’re) dressed in all rainbow colors.”

Shanice Marrow, ’18, noticed students are getting creative with Lehigh apparel to make tailgates more fun. Marrow bought her own pair of customized Lehigh shoes and said students are buying customized Lehigh shirts to wear to the games.

NaVette Smith, ’19, has attended every home game so far and prefers tailgates over MoCos because it gives students the chance to interact with family, alumni and peers.

Others have said MoCos start too early, and they would prefer to attend something later in the afternoon. Morrow said, however, tailgates end at 1 p.m. and security then forces students to go to the sports games.

“Separating MoCos and tailgates will be successful, but no one is going to a tailgate at 8 o’clock in the morning,” Marrow said. “Kicking students out at 1 o’clock is going about it the wrong way.”

Rubenstein does not believe MoCos will come to an end simply because they have been a tradition for so long.

“It’s foolish for the school to eradicate (MoCos) because it’s something students get excited about,” Rubenstein said.

Even if IFC and Panhel do succeed in limiting MoCos to Saturdays when there are no home games, some students, including Coral Garcia, ’16, question if the move will be beneficial.

“Students in Greek life especially will fight for the return of MoCos because it’s a tradition,” Garcia said. 

Garcia said some students prioritize MoCos and do not even attend the games.

“It’s possible that MoCos (will) come to a close because Lehigh is pushing hard for more tailgates and increased school spirit,” Smith said.

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3 Comments

  1. Hey everyone! Stop having so much fun on Saturday! We demand that you come to this event where we force your UNPAID peers to smash into each other until they can’t remember their own names!

    I don’t disagree with student attendance at football games; I always stopped by for some food and a quarter of football. But I can’t imagine that making it almost mandatory by derailing other activities is actually going to increase attendance in a healthy, productive manner.

    Bottom line, Patriot League is not the SEC; you can’t possibly expect the same kind of ferocious support for a sub-par product.

  2. Author is making a point that this is a tradition but it has really become a new tradition. I graduated less than 10 years ago and sure we had some MoCos but most of us still went over the hill. Also no one was dressing like the students do now. There is nothing wrong with a new tradition but I agree it takes away from the “Lehigh” aspect of it. You can drink any Saturday morning you’d like. The excuse is the football game so at least show up and see Goodman Stadium.

  3. What has made Lehigh special is the unique bond that is created throughout the student body AND with the Alumni. That can only happen when we are together. A full west stands, lots of connections at the tailgates leads to a lot of good memories and potential futures. “Being Lehigh” is more than getting trashed on a Saturday morning. It is being there and sharing the experience as family. The PL aint the SEC and we should be thankful. You should be proud that the players are real students playing just as hard to win as any semi-pro athlete in the SEC.

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