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PSU enforces new tailgating rules - KOAM TV 7

PSU enforces new tailgating rules

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

More than 10,000 fans turn out for Pittsburg State University football games. After adding alcohol to the mix, school officials are worried about crowd control. Changes in rules are meant to make tailgates calmer.

The cooking, games, and drinking continue, but Pittsburg State students definitely feel the change brought on by new tailgating rules.

“It kind of takes away from the whole experience, it was just fun and crazy and you got to meet people and now it’s just kind of awkward," says student Katherine Knapp.

The parking lot opens at 7 a.m. and that's when students used to be able to start drinking. Now that’s been curtailed. Drinking can start 4 hours before the game and must end 30 minutes before kickoff.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous as well. There really was no problem with just starting up to the game but now it’s just like alright well everyone has to clear out,” says student Matthew Clark.

But school officials think there were problems handling the fans in the parking lot.

“We were concerned after the first two games that the size of crowds we were getting particularly in the tailgate, we needed to make some adjustments to our rules in order to help the limited staff we have be more affective,” says Steve Erwin, vice president of student life.

Campus police get help from area law enforcement and still patrol tailgaters, now checking that alcohol is brought in only in coolers and partiers aren't standing in the beds of trucks.

“It’s no doubt that we have people who have consumed too much at times, so limiting the amount of time that alcohol can be consumed certainly helps that we think,” continues Erwin.

Many students actually left the tailgate to go somewhere they thought would be more fun for them.

“It wasn't fun and it was awkward and it was just, people aren't socializing as much," says Knapp.

Administrators aren't surprised that students disagree.

“We just want to keep people safe, preserve that family atmosphere that we have, allow people to focus on the game and let the tailgate be a pre function that then leads people in to cheer the gorillas on to a victory," says Erwin.

Officials say that most tailgate participants complied with the new rules. The Gorillas won today's homecoming game.

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