Lehigh has taken steps to steer students away from MoCos and toward tailgates to create a more unified, spirited campus.
Back in early September, President John Simon hosted the President’s Pregame before a home football game to give students the opportunity to socialize in a different environment.
Student Senate, the Interfraternity Council and University Productions have joined forces to provide more opportunities for students to support the football team. Students from various clubs on campus will be encouraged to attend tailgates on Nov. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The large majority of tailgates attendess are usually Greek students, since fraternities and sororities are the organizations that usually host them. This time, more organizations are being encouraged to host their own tailgates.
“Student Senate, in collaboration with UP, IFC and a plethora of organizations around campus, including the (Multicultural Greek Council), the (Residence Hall Association) and even the beekeeping club have all teamed up to help run a really cool event in which we hope to accomplish a couple of goals,” Student Senate treasurer Matt Rothberg, ’18, said. “We hope to increase school spirit, increase attendance at football games and make a more inclusive environment at tailgates.”
Rothberg said the goal of the event is to foster greater inclusivity. The tailgates are open to the entire Lehigh community — Greek organizations, athletes, student clubs and groups of friends alike.
The idea for the event emerged after the IFC executive board met with Allen Biddinger, the assistant athletic director of facilities and events. The board decided it was time to tailor tailgates to all students, not just Greeks.
“(The field) is called the student lot, but it’s Greek dominated so people think you’re only allowed to go there if you’re in a fraternity,” said Kyle Durics, ’17, the president of IFC. “It’s really exclusive and not the environment we want to create.”
The idea for the tailgate took off when IFC brought its suggestions to Student Senate. UP was asked to collaborate with Student Senate and IFC to bring entertainment to the tailgates, specifically a concert.
Rotherberg said Senate has wanted to work with UP more often, and tailgates have provided the opportunity for the two groups to work together.
Noah Marcus, ’18, the vice president of UP, said UP has invited a local artist to provide entertainment during the tailgate.
“The artist is a local guy, and he does covers — it’s not EDM,” Marcus said. “It’s more of a relaxed kind of music.”
UP’s plot for the tailgate will be across from Simon’s plot.
“The original idea was to just get clubs involved so the plots wouldn’t just be Greek life, Greek life, Greek life,” Marcus said. “You could see Phi Delta Theta next to Senate next to the beekeeping club. You know, just the whole campus in one place right before the game.”
Durics said many people believe plots are designated solely for Greek organizations, but a registration form can be found online, allowing everyone to register for a plot, whether it be a club or a group of friends.
“It’s awesome,” Durics said. “Now we have clubs outside of Greek life registering for plots. You don’t even have to be in a club — you can be a group of seven friends and get a plot. There are no limits.”
As a senior with his last home football game and tailgate in sight, Durics said he hopes tailgates will serve as memories that stand out, for both him and others on campus.
He said Student Senate, IFC, and UP hope this tailgate will demonstrate the how an event can bring unity to the school.
“As a senior, I wish we had done more of these (tailgates), and I hope they continue after I graduate,” Durics said.