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Tailgating Returns to NMSU

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Luis Finston

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Beating the Heat
August 29, 2017
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Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons

Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons

Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons

Tailgating at NMSU has become something of a culture, and is greatest in attendees during the UTEP and UNM events. With the football season in full throttle, students are ready to bring their grills, tents, music, and games to tailgate lot.

Students don’t just see tailgating as a pre-game to the forthcoming game, but as a time when everyone can reconnect with each other. Isabel Maldonado is a fourth-year majoring in Nursing and a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. Maldonado says that for her tailgating is more about community than anything.

“I think tailgating at NMSU is great because I’ve always felt such a strong sense of unity among the student body at tailgates,” Maldonado said. “It’s great to see everyone come together to show our support for the Aggies and I also love that ASNMSU is always creative in coming up with more ways to get more students involved.”

NMSU encourages its fans and supporters to arrive early, so they can enjoy the Aggie Football experience. Fans are expected to treat each other, game grounds, NMSU property, game management, and teams with respect.

A unique aspect of NMSU’s tailgating is the Student Tailgating area. This patch of grassed and fenced field is the primary location where student organizations, the student body, food, events, and musical entertainment commence. According to nmstatesports.com, only students are allowed into this area and only vehicles operated by NMSU student with a valid NMSU ID are allowed to park near the field. This restriction allows students to fully interact with other students with the issue of non-students attending. But a key issue is safety.

Maldonado added that safety for students takes priority and that before partaking in an Aggie Tailgating event, one should know their limits and surroundings. “Coming up with a game plan before you attend a tailgate is a wise idea or assigning ‘roles’ so that if someone needs to be taken care of or driven home, it can be done accordingly”, she said.

NMSU student, Raquel Andujo said that while tailgating at NMSU is an experience in itself, students should come prepared if something occurs. “I would say that people can be safe at tailgates by looking out for one another and cautiously socializing with friends and not strangers,” Andujo said.

“Tailgating at NMSU is significantly better than anywhere else I think, because there is a strong sense of community and comradery, and people have each other’s backs.”

While students have the freedom to enjoy tailgating, there are regulations and restrictions. Commercial activities, advertising and solicitation without approval, and erecting structures other than tents or awnings are prohibited from the tailgating area. Other equipment such as hot tubs, swimming pools, aerial lifts, walls, fences, or other related items must be approved by NMSU Athletics or Campus Activities.

Students who are above the age of 21 and wish to consume an alcoholic beverage at the tailgate are permitted to do so, with the following notice. Alcoholic items cannot be brought into the Aggie stadium, glass bottles or containers are not allowed, beverages may not be sold to anyone at the tailgate, and the complete acknowledgement and understanding that those under the age of 21 are prohibited from drinking.

Steven Garcia, a senior at NMSU advises students not to drink at tailgates. Garcia is a well-known face at Aggie events, having been a school flag-man for various Aggie sporting events throughout the past 5 years including football, basketball, and volleyball.

“I would strongly advise to not get drunk at the tailgate”, Garcia said. “It says in our fight song ‘when we WIN this game, we’ll buy a keg of booze, and we’ll drink it to the Aggies’ Don’t get drunk at the game. Save for an afterparty or event after and keep your wits about you. Enjoy the game.”

For further information on Tailgating activities, rules, regulations, and areas visit nmstatesports.com or contact the Campus Activities office at (575) 646-3200.

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Tailgating Returns to NMSU