The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Tailgating under the stars

Fans, police unclear about official Boulevard start time

Lately, the traditional football tailgating scene at SMU hasbeen changing.

Actually, early.

Starting the night of Oct. 17, the night before the SMU vs.Boise State football game, and again on Halloween night before theSMU vs. Fresno State game, a trend known as “MidnightTailgate” swept the Boulevard, bringing students fresh from aFriday night of partying straight to the grassy, pre-game stompinggrounds to get ready for another football game.

According to junior Beta Theta Pi member Matthew Kreth, MidnightTailgate was conceived by members of Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda ChiAlpha and Beta Theta Pi.

Unconfirmed accounts say some alumni party on the Boulevard inthe wee hours of the morning as well.

“The way we saw it, members can’t party in the housewithout getting in trouble, so we moved the party to the Boulevard,a place we like partying because it’s a legal place that SMUhas given us for pre-game festivities,” Kreth said.

According to a majority of students, the understood, unofficialrule is that tailgating on the Boulevard could start onSaturday.

Midnight Tailgate then could begin at 12:01 a.m., and studentsthat are of legal drinking age are allowed to consume alcoholicbeverages. Kreth said that he had heard this rule, and anotherversion of the tailgating policy that said official tailgatingcouldn’t start until two or three hours before kick-off.

Apparently, this confusion over the official start of tailgatinghas raised some eyebrows as to what the true policy says.

According to, there are no regulations forarrival time to the Boulevard, other than telling fans “TheBoulevard will be open most of the day on game day so come earlyand come often for the greatest tailgating atmosphere in thesouthwest.”

Coming early is definitely an understatement. But is 12:01 tooearly for students?

“Before this Saturday’s game against Rice,tailgating can’t start until 9:00 a.m.,” SMU PoliceMaj. Richard Shafer said. He explained that he had not personallybeen involved with any of the Midnight Tailgating thus far, butwould check on the situation. But according to SMU Police Lt.Jimmie R. Tinsley, the main problem wasn’t that students wereout too early for tailgating, but instead that after the events onHalloween, the Boulevard was a mess.

“The North end of the Boulevard was trashed, and CampusPlanning and Plants Operations had to be called out to clean upafter the late-night party,” Tinsley said.

The officer also explained that the rule on official start timewas understood by many as saying tailgating can start on gameday.

“If they’d just use the receptacles, therewouldn’t be a problem,” Tinsley said.

Beside the mess, those who have attended Midnight Tailgate saidthere haven’t been any major problems and that the event isquite successful in bringing the campus together.

“SMU police have driven by the tailgating and not saidanything, simply checked up on the situation, so we assumedwe’re not doing anything wrong as long as no underagedrinking is happening,” Kreth said.

“The event [has] been surprisingly successful infraternity relations, as well,” junior Lambda Chi Alphamember Blake Adams said. “At the last Midnight Tailgate,brothers from our house and Pi Kappa Alpha were sharing burgerswith each other, and even some of the SMU police officers wereenjoying burgers as well.”

It remains to be seen what will happen at this weekend’sMidnight Tailgate, but it seems that as long as studentsdon’t get out of hand, the new tradition could become aHilltop favorite.

“I see no problem as long as the students stay undercontrol, and they watch their pints and quarts,” Tinsleysaid.

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