As the rival schools prepare for the first Lehigh-Lafayette game held at Fisher Field in four years, some Lehigh students will be keeping their distance from College Hill during Rivalry 152.
In recent matchups, student groups and alumni from both Lehigh and Lafayette have tailgated on the fields at Goodman or in nearby bars. This year, Lafayette’s College Hill will responsible for hosting tailgates.
Lafayette has set aside 40 spots for Lehigh groups to tailgate. The college will be upholding different rules and regulations for tailgates including their personal carry law, which allows individuals 21 and over only one six-pack of beer per person.
According to Lafayette’s athletics website, no kegs or large quantities of alcohol are allowed at tailgates. They say that all beverages must be consumed in cups, and no glass containers or cans will be allowed. The Pennsylvania state law on underage alcohol consumption, purchase and possession is also emphasized.
“I’ve heard so many stories of how much fun people would have on the day of the game at Lafayette,” Matt McCann, ’17, said. “There would be huge tailgates on March Field and the Quad with alumni, parents, and students alike having a great time together. But after receiving word from the administration how strict the school is on alcohol consumption this year and the restrictions to where people are allowed to tailgate is very discouraging.”
These rules differ from Lehigh’s tailgating procedures enumerated on the athletics website, which says cans and kegs are permitted and large quantities of alcohol are only banned from the parking areas. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs sent out a letter to Greek leaders to communicate to their members all of the rules that Lafayette has put in place. They also noted that police and undercover officers will be monitoring the tailgates.
As opposed to both schools tailgating on the same grounds like at Goodman, Lehigh will be tailgating in a space located off of Bushkill Drive, and Lafayette will be a distance away, tailgating on top of a parking garage across from the stadium.
The grounds Lehigh will be tailgating on are newly renovated and were recently occupied by different abandoned buildings. When students get off the buses, they will be directed to the grounds where Student Senate has a tailgate space with DJ Minnit.
Some students have expressed concerns with the complicated logistics and strict rules for the tailgate and have decided not to attend the game.
Margaret Burnett, ’17, the president of the Panhellenic Council, said a good amount of students will probably stay on campus.
“Lafayette has a lot of rules in place for the game,” Burnett wrote in an email. “It’s my understanding that they had an alcohol related death a few years ago, so events like this can put them on edge and they’re taking every step to make sure people are safe.”
She also notes that these rules could potentially deter students from easily attending the game. Some students will be celebrating The Rivalry on campus instead and staying away from Lafayette.
“You will find (Lehigh students) at MoCos and Broadway Social,” Burnett wrote. “I don’t think students are actively skipping the game because of lack of school spirit, I think a lot of people are really disappointed that Lafayette has made it so hard to reasonably go to the game, especially seniors.”
However, Lafayette’s tailgating rules won’t stop everyone.
Minni Kim, ’16, ’17G, also known as DJ Minnit, was a first year the last time the rivalry was hosted by Lafayette.
“Last year my collective, Flow, collaborated with Pi Kappa Alpha for a massive tailgate,” Kim said. “Hopefully we get a good turn out (this year), especially since we want to show out in huge numbers to support our team who just won the Patriot League Championship.”
Kim also believes that the game is a perfect opportunity for students to come together to continue the legacy of The Rivalry.
Morgan Coonrad, ’16, ’17G also wants students to attend the game to show their support for the football team.
“It’s just unfair to the players if they win and they don’t have their school storming the field for them,” Coonrad said.