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UK Tailgaiting Bans: Good For Students or Hindering Team Spirit?

“My life is over.”

This is the very first thing I said to my friend Katherine when I found out about the new tailgating regulations set by President Eli Capilouto. While this might seem a tad bit dramatic now, that’s literally how I felt the first few hours following the shock. A Kentucky tradition had just been ripped apart, eliminated faster than the first few to leave on the Bachelorette.

The email explained that “Individuals or student organizations that promote drinking or that utilize DJs and bands in this area will be subject to disciplinary actions by our Dean of Students Office that could, ultimately, impact their organizational status.” Basically, no more giant party in the bowl. No more one time a week where I got to see all of my friends on campus in one spot. It’s depressing enough to make a girl want to stay in instead and watch every season of America’s Next Top Model.

But how could this man- the man who should understand students’ wants and concerns more than anyone else- do this to us? From my perspective, the decision is completely irrational and honestly, it isn’t going to solve anything. If it even had anything to solve in the first place…

Quite honestly, a little fight in the bowl is the least of our concerns, I mean- have you seen the cost of tuition? And since when did the actions of two people result in the punishment of nearly 28,000 people? It just doesn’t make sense. There were at least two fights at my high school a month and we never lost a dance or a prom. Those kids involved received their punishments and in this case, those in the fight have already been dealt with. It’s sad to think that my high school’s administration was more reasonable than my college. Not to mention, we’re all adults now and can make our own decisions. Whether alcohol had anything to do with the fight is really irrelevant at this point, considering Kentucky has had decades of successful tailgates involving alcohol consumption. And attendance to the games certainly isn’t going to increase. People aren’t going to stop tailgating just because they can’t tailgate on Cooper. Instead, students will be spread out on and off campus, making it a whole lot less likely that they will make the hike over to Commonwealth Stadium.

Frankly, I don’t see a solution anywhere in the new regulations. And prohibiting bands and DJs? What did they do??

Looking at my Twitter timeline, I would say it’s safe to say that students have not responded well. And in my opinion, Capilouto’s decision has created an unnecessary uproar and made a lot of students (if not nearly an entire student body) angry at him. I think he needs to either explain his reasoning and support it with facts, or reverse this decision. Because until then, my life is over.

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