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A Guide to the University’s “New” Tailgating Policy, Without the BS

The student tailgating scene from inside “The Bowl”.

The student tailgating scene from inside "The Bowl".

The student tailgating scene from inside “The Bowl”.


The Problem

The poor performance on the field last year just nearly eclipses the poor tailgating atmosphere. What is often seen as the highlight of the fall for undergrads, the tailgating scene came to a screeching halt after a viral video surfaced after the WKU game. The primary tailgate choice for fraternities next to the tennis courts was the scene of a nasty fight, with the video displaying the victim getting kicked in the head while he was down. While students may like to think that President Eli Capilouto hates music and all things fun, he was forced ban students from tailgating in “The Bowl” the following week. Once the ban was lifted, most fraternities (the ones that don’t like fun) decided the risk was way too high for the reward of drunken debauchery. The only thing that students could still cling to was now gone, leaving the administration and Student Government (SGA) scrambling for solutions to get kids ‘back in the game’.

You can't go an entire football season without hot girls like this...

You can’t go an entire football season without hot girls like this…


The University’s Solution

Last month, SGA President Roshan Palli and other University administrators met with representatives from every Greek organization on campus. After working with Dr. Capilouto, UKPD, and other University bureaucrats the SGA submitted the Greeks a “new” proposal for tailgating this fall. I use quotations because upon first look, nothing seemed that different at all. The new plan works as follows:

1. Rather than submitting for permits to use tailgating spots around either Gluck Equine Center, The Goodbarn, or inside “The Bowl”, now all Greeks will tailgate within the confined areas between Cooper Dr. and the tennis courts (a.k.a “The Bowl). Excluding special Parent’s Weekend or Alumni events, all 35 Greek organizations will call “The Bowl” their home for tailgating season.

2. Dr. Capilouto doesn’t hate dancing: he is providing the crowd with a space for one DJ/band. This doesn’t differ much from the past, so do not think that this is more restrictive than normal.

3. The largest asset that Greeks have acquired is the ability to grill out in their respective space. Even though I remember eating delicious grilled food at most fraternity tailgates, we don’t have to break the rules anymore.

4. Now for the thing on every students mind, “Will I get cited for drinking?” Students over-21 have nothing to worry about, unless they are distributing alcohol to underaged kids. For those pursuing a delicious cold beverage, it’s in your best interest to bring your own cooler. Any drinks left “unattended or in plain view” is strictly forbidden. Translation: the days of filling a giant tub you stole from Commons with beer and ice are over. Unless you have the booze relatively hidden and a bartender on duty at all times, you (and most likely your organization) are essentially asking for the Cops to pay a visit.

One of the biggest requests by the general audience was to set aside a specific area for student tailgating. By creating “The Bowl” as the designated tailgating space, they have found a convenient spot between campus and CWS that is easily patrolled by UKPD, whose main command center lies directly adjacent on Cooper Drive. The biggest goal in the University’s Pilot Project is to create an atmosphere of compliance between the University, the students, and the police. The purpose of the meeting was to bring the news to the rest of the Chapter, encouraging them, “If you don’t mess up, then we (UKPD) won’t mess you up”. This charge to take more personal responsibility for your own stupid drunk actions, is the mature approach to an EXTREMELY COMPLICATED situation.


or this...

or this…

Why It Won’t Work

None of this matters to me personally AT ALL. I’m 21, and sit in the press box for all of the games. However, the Stoops transition will bring football to new heights, and I’d like to see tailgating take similar strides.

1. Underaged drinkers will NOT be responsible. While you may think that’s an immature statement, do not be naive. The most reckless individuals on campus are Fraternity pledges or Sorority ‘Littles’ that are experiencing life without Mommy and Daddy for the first time. As a generalization, they don’t know what self-control is and they probably think they can kick anyone’s ass that messes with them. These kids also don’t have a place to drink. Instead of bars, tailgates act as an oasis for partying. The most fun times I had as a Freshman happened at a tailgate. Lastly, most kids could honestly give two shits about the cops (or any type of authority for that matter). Receiving a citation can sometimes be a glorifying process. My Dad worked in the downtown Louisville drunk tank for years, providing me with a universal lesson, “Drunk people have no logic”. These kids are just drunk, they’re shwasted (trashed, blackout, what ever you wanna call it). Convincing them to learn about responsibility without having to learn the hard way, can’t happen by mandating a few simple-minded AlcoholEdu online classes.

2. Using “The Bowl” creates too many problems. As I said earlier, not everyone used “The Bowl” as their tailgate spot, usually opposing self-imposed limitations of 3-5 Fraternities at once. By adding a dozen groups to the small, rather smelly area, they are creating a cluster(bleep). I haven’t seen many fights since I arrived on campus three years ago, but the only ones I’ve seen or heard from have came from “The Bowl”. UK has given the students a space, but it isn’t the best.

3. The Frats will get crushed. After hearing stories from my father’s time at UK in the 70s, I think most of the rules imposed by IFC (Fraternities’ governing body) and the University are stupid, but I realize it is because the threat of liability is at an all-time high. With that being said, Greek organizations WILL HOLD LIABILITY when someone gets in trouble in their spot. While the administrators reassured the crowd that it is not the case, the University’s anti-Greek ideology will show (I believe the amount of Frats kicked off-campus in my 3 years has reached double-digits). While individuals will be the ones receiving the citation, if multiple underaged kids are arrested at a Frat’s specific cite, it will show in the record that passes through the Dean of Students Office. They assured us that they “wouldn’t go looking” for people in various organizations, but if an officer writes in the arrest report that this person was at this organization’s spot, then they will be held accountable via Judicial Board.

... and DEFINITELY not this.

… and DEFINITELY not this.

A Better Solution

While I am hammering the group that came up with this pilot program, I completely understand their situation. When speaking with various members of SGA, I’ve realized the monumental task they were faced with last season. Most of it comes down to liability: there are a dozen bureaucratic organizations that must approve the plan and none of them want to get sewed when the inevitable ish hits the fan. I also understand that this comes at an awful time. Currently there is a group (very similar to the one that created this plan) that is negotiating terms of making campus “wet” again. Dr. Capilouto has the made the push to reform the rules, not making it a complete drunkfest, rather creating modified rules that would allow moderate drinking (for things like tailgates). This pilot program was designed as a quick-fix trial run, before they decide on the exact protocol regarding a “wet” campus and permanent tailgate policy. Below are my simple steps that could create one of the best tailgating atmospheres in the country.

1. Stay away from “The Bowl” and head to Gluck. While I may be biased after having many more pleasant experiences by the pond of Gluck Equine Center, it logistically makes the most sense. First, the location is pristine for promoting UK as one of the best tailgate destinations in the SEC. The pond creates a cool setting, while everyone that enters the stadium via Nicholasville Rd. will see the spectacle as soon as they enter campus. Additionally, the neighborhood directly across the street is primarily for college students, marking a perfect median for those in the dorms and those off-campus. The only other place outside of “The Bowl”, also might be the most spacious open area left in the vicinity of the stadium. The biggest upside is that this space has yet to prove to be an atmosphere that can easily create violence. (I wouldn’t mind witnessing a few swimming competitions across the pond either.)

2. Creating a registering process similar to date parties. While I have never had to personally go through the logistics of planning a party at a bar, it seems to be a fairly simple process. I may be naive in thinking this, but if organizations can receive clearance to have a sanctioned event at a bar, why not bring a bar to a sanctioned event?

3. Adding vendors. While my suggestions will most likely not even be considered, THIS SHOULD HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY. While Lexington laws might prevent this from happening, I don’t know why someone with a corn dog stand doesn’t set up shop directly next to fraternity tailgates. After drinking 10 beers, who wouldn’t throw down $6 for a state fair corn dog? This relationship is symbiotic, giving students a sobering option to keep them out of trouble while vendors roll in the dough.


For now, the situation can essentially summed up by advising you to ‘bite the bullet’. By not tailgating as an act of boycott, students give the University no reason to improve the policy. By continually displaying stupid behavior, it’s hard to see bureaucrats conceding to Capilouto’s call for a ‘wet’ campus. While I believe changing the behavioral culture is difficult inside the previous setting, all students must personally hold themselves to a behavioral norm. If you’re a freshman, don’t learn the hard way at a tailgate, wait until bike cops come busting down your house party door.


Whether or not you hate this, or find that this doesn’t apply to you at all, you can still appreciate all of the hot chicks. [email protected]


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

41 Comments for A Guide to the University’s “New” Tailgating Policy, Without the BS

  1. marcus
    12:12 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    another problem that was going on that u guys never choose to post on, is the fact that the drunkin college kids were stealing and vandalizing peoples stuff!!! this was a BIG PROBLEM. as a matter a fact this happened to me a couple of times when I returned to my tailgaiting spot after the game. im glad they started enforcing some rules, it was getting out of control

  2. Heisenberg
    12:12 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Please. PLEASE. Learn the difference between “to, too, and two” “knew and new” etc.

  3. Teachable Mo'
    12:18 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    A double digit number of fraternities have been kicked off campus in the last 3 years? That’s a tidal wave of idiocy. (Or hyperbole.) I suspect that extra heaping tablespoons of lead were dumped in Kentucky water supplies 21 years ago.

  4. Stone
    12:22 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    The University is anti-Greek? Gimme a break. If frats don’t want to be kicked off campus, maybe they should quit lighting kids on fire and pissing on pledges.

  5. John
    12:33 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Couldn’t agree with you anymore. Look at schools like Ole miss; tailgating is a key aspect.

  6. tom
    12:34 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t care…it doesn’t apply to me and I DO appreciate ‘the hot chicks!’

    I also appreciate a lot of writing and thought on the post. I’m sure it will be helpful to some.

  7. J
    12:34 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    As a uk alum, I can say that there is an anti Greek sentiment at uk. My former fraternity was kicked off a few years back for FAR less that “pissing on pledges.” Of course they didn’t have any friends in high places to make a generous and timely donation to the school to bail them out. In fact I can honestly say that at no point during my experience was I hazed or felt I had to do anything unrealistic. Yup, we had to clean the house, do dishes, cut grass, oh and help with charitable events. Pretty terrible stuff. Having to work and put forth effort instead of sitting in front of a tv all day. Oh and if you want an atmosphere at Commonwealth that creates a true home field advantage, you NEED students and the Greek community to buy in.

    Oh and it is a BRILLIANT idea to heard as many Greeks together in a small confined space for a period of time, especially when it is early in the season and hot. Yup, that doesn’t cause problems.

  8. UKBlue
    12:42 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    You can’t fix stupid & throw alcohol into the mix, whole different problem. Mix up a bunch of stupid insecure, immature ,look at me look at me, I’m trying to empress you & I’m cool idiots, and this will never get fixed. This article fails to mention stuff that’s gone on at Keeneland tailgating.

  9. Bob Cobb
    12:45 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Absolutely right. No one wants to get sewed. Except maybe that guy who got kicked in the head. I hope someone sewed him, otherwise it could leave a pretty serious scar.

  10. HaysC.
    12:45 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    @4 you really have no clue what you’re talking about with the reference to the situation at the SAE house(disclaimer- I was not an SAE). @1 If you weren’t there when the vandalism took place then how do you know it was drunk college kids? Nick as far as your solutions and other ideas go some of them aren’t bad. However, using the date party platform becomes very difficult because each organization has different national laws on exactly what kind of sanctioned partying they can do. Setting up a date party actually takes a little more work than most know if it’s done correctly. As for the vendors i think its a great idea. Unfortunately to sell food on any part of the UK campus you must apply through UK and they are usually kind of weird about it.

  11. JVice
    12:52 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    All “greek” organizations are a blight.

  12. DH
    12:53 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Bob Cobb, It would take a big needle and a lot of thread for me to get sewed. And if anybody tried I can assure you they would get sued.

  13. J
    1:01 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    And there are plenty of drunk 40 yr olds tailgating. Part of it. At least the students or their parents are paying tuition!

  14. Poppschmidty
    1:17 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    How about losing the croakies and bow-ties…that would be great…

  15. UK Cheddar
    1:21 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t have a dog in the fight, and have been gone from UK for 10 years, but disagree that “the most reckless individuals on campus are Fraternity pledges or Sorority ‘Littles’ that are experiencing life without Mommy and Daddy for the first time.” From my time there, I always found that particular honor belonged to the non-students that showed up from God knows where on the weekends who were under the impression that getting hammered is what you do when you are on college campus. Now that I live in Madison WI now, the same problem exists. The kids actually enrolled at UW are, for the most part, respectful and well-behaved. It’s the clowns who come into town from the hinterlands “to party” and “hook up with some college chicks” are the one’s that usually misbehave the most.

  16. WRB
    1:26 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Alcohol + people = IDIOTS! I know from experience. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 or 70,000 people, there is usually 1 or 2 at least that get so drunk they start running their mouth & it just escalates from there. There is nothing wrong with having a few drinks. It’s how you act after those few drinks that either makes it a party or a free-for-all. I prefer the party, but have also seen several of the other choice too. With that being said, I love a good tailgating party on game day. You don’t even have to be at the game to have one. By the way, I have been drinking for 40 years, so don’t think I don’t know what I’m talking about.

  17. I Know the Truth
    1:28 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Stone (#4) is correct and J (#7) is an idiot because fraternities have to do bad stuff to get the boot. And for the record, SAE is full of a bunch of animals.

    Here’s a fresh idea for all UK fans: drink responsibly, enter the game in time for kick-off (not fashionably late, i.e. end of Q1), and watch the game as a sober fan. The team has sucked in years past, so drinking may have been the fun, but now we have a real product on the field, so take off the croakies, err beer goggles and cheer for a team that is on the rise.

  18. Kid will be Kids
    1:32 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    J.) Give me a break. Most of those 40 year olds have already paid their tuition, K Fund donations, and have been going to games since before you were born. News flash buddy, Football supports itself. Your tuition is not going to the football program. Also, if the 40 year olds got in a fight they would be rightfully arrested. It is part of being an adult. You cannot get drunk, fight, pass out and piss on your self in without having consequences.

    I have only been out of school for a couple of years and I did the same things. I understand how much fun and wild it is, but I grew up and it was very embarrassing to see that video go viral last year. It is embarrassing to the alumni who love their school, especially if that is the only press you get for your tailgates.

    In your Junior or senior year you will realize there is a classier and cleaner way to party. You will have more fun and hotter girls trust me. The tailgate doesn’t have to be a blackout fest that looks like a littered warzone afterward. It isn’t something for our University to be proud of, such as The Grove.

    Take the stipulations on the chin and earn more freedoms. Simple as that.

  19. Nick Roush
    1:33 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    -UK Cheddar

    Damn good point sir/maam. Never been a part of a scuffle in the midst of tailgating, but when outsiders try and fit in, it can get ugly quickly. Almost saw UL kids get whooped up on 2 years back, but luckily they didn’t step on any toes, their presence was almost too much as is.

  20. Rise
    1:49 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    He should have banned the stupid looking brown cowboy boots that all the ladies wear.

  21. J
    1:58 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    My sr year was 11 years ago. I get it. Put all the Greeks together in one spot so they can be monitored. Just trying to make a point that everyone that is in a fraternity is lumped in as a drunk idiot when there are drunk idiots everywhere, especially at tailgates. And the more you bunch them together, the more problems there are. When I was there everybody had their own area separate from each other and there were never any problems like last year. And we would start at 7 am for a 7 pm kickoff.

  22. YSR2KSR
    2:05 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    SameAholesEverywhere misbehaved!?! shocking. look to nola pd’s handling of mardi gras for how best to police the crowds. saturate the area with flatfoots. use elevated perches to direct officers on horse back (classy, appropriate and effective) to problem areas. cart away those that r belligerent, nude, pissing in public (whether or not its on someone else) or cant do C-A-T-S. then send them to real jail to face real consequences. expel the individuals with the worst behavior until they go to treatment and discontinue their card-like antics.

  23. UpperSectionStudent
    2:07 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Not all students are Greek. Where do us GDIs get hammered? Frat guys don’t like us.

  24. Honky Kong
    2:36 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Good info. I was so worried where these kids were going to tailgate…so worried.

  25. Another Upper Section Student
    2:42 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone know where the LGBT Alliance has been assigned to tailgate? I want to stop by for some Salmon Pate, Basil and Tomato Bruschetta, and maybe catch a little girl-on-girl action before the game.

  26. He knows the truth?
    2:43 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    @17 you obviously do not know the truth and in fact are far from it, particularly when it comes to fraternities (in particular SAE). I pay for my tickets therefore I will choose when I go into the game. I also work hard during the week and if I want to let loose on the weekends I’ll go to the game drunk. The schools with good football teams have a tailgating atmosphere way “wilder” than at UK, yet maintain that atmosphere and understand it is part of what brings revenue to the program. And take off the croakies? We’re in the south bud and its part of the attire, just because we don’t wear cargo shorts and a graphic T to the games doesn’t make us drunken idiots… You know nothing.

  27. BoroBuddy
    2:58 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    “I Know The Truth” = Squid City

  28. I Know the Truth
    3:04 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    @26. Your comments proved my point. You’re nothing but a redneck hillbilly.

  29. Rob
    3:08 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    I am in the insurance industry and can promise you that is one big issue that everyone at UK has to deal with. I am not sure how UK insures all of their liability these days, but liquor and kids is a big problem with most insurance companies/programs.

  30. I too, Know the Truth
    3:26 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    @25. Just look for a concentration of Volkwagen Jettas and Subaru Foresters in one place. If they are jamming on Elton John, Adam Lambert, and The Indigo Girls you are in the right place.

  31. Do whut?
    3:43 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    #12 Bob merely spelled sued the same way the writer of the article did. Think about that for a moment. Just pitiful.

  32. Stone
    3:43 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Now I never said the Greeks were ruining campus or anything like that, but you absolutely cannot be serious if you say a frat/sorority did nothing wrong and were perfect angels when they got suspended. Just because the interests of Greek students dont match up one-to-one with the interests of the administration, the community, fans, and the other 75% of students does not mean the University is anti-Greek. I agree that a good Greek community makes a campus healthy, but talk to me when they outlaw coral shorts and boat shoes before crying oppression.

    I may not know the entirety of the details of what happened with SAE, but it’s pretty cut & dry that they screwed up big time. They got what they deserved (if not better than they deserved) and are back on campus now.

    FWIW I thought Nick had some pretty good suggestions for how to make the tailgates better for students, but “anti-Greek”? Come on now.

  33. Seriously
    3:55 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Greek organizations are an fronts for partying communities.

  34. Do whut?
    3:56 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    As a quick follow up, I’m not as concerned about the author’s misspelling (as it happens to all of us) as I am KSR’s seemingly utter lack of an editing process. These day’s it’s a big boy blog and should act as such. Then again the Herald-Leader has more editing errors in a single issue than it has readers.

  35. He knows the truth?
    4:00 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    @ 28 (I know the truth). The simple fact I use adequate grammar and I dog on people wearing cargo shorts and graphic Tees (Which most redneck hillbillies tend to wear) shows that in fact sir, I am not that which you accused me of. You are ignorant good sir, and the simple fact your name says you know the truth shows how blatantly full of yourself you are. you lose plain and simple..

  36. shagariobrzut
    4:02 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think you could have picked worse pictures of “hot girls”. Maybe 25% of those girls would be considered hot – at least compared to other girls on campus. That’s my biggest gripe with this article.

  37. uhhh
    4:25 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    I’m gonna take a few steps back here to get to the root of the issue. Why is the drinking age 21 and not 18? It is completely clear that as soon as kids go off to college they will drink.

    Here we are arguing about the repercussion of an outdated and illogical federal law. It is not for granted that federal laws can be changed. When are we finally going to stop acting like the drinking laws are effective in this country?

  38. NostraDanis
    4:42 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    I think a general premise of this post is wrong. The idea that the Greek community is essential to the game-day experience seems VERY flawed to me. Now, if you are only considering the tailgate, maybe so. But, if you are talking about the actual game and how the fans can affect the atmosphere and play on the field, I think you are totally off base.

    Is there a single group of “fans” that are less invested in the actual game than Greeks? Are they not the most likely people in the stands to have their back to the field during the action? Are they not the ones who leave in droves very early in games to attend other functions – regardless of opponent or score?

    Personally, I couldn’t care less about their tailgate parties. They seem to only be there for self-promotion and partying – let them do that at their houses and let the actual football fans have the space (both in and out of the stadium).

  39. Nick Roush
    5:58 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    Do Whut?

    Well played sir; I’ve worked for attorneys since I was 16 so I should know the difference by now. Regardless, I hope you, or anyone else that points out a grammar mistake, doesn’t ignore the content bc of I mishap out of 1000+ words. Normally I would edit it after your astute observation, but I muffed this one pretty badly.

  40. Student
    8:40 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    This is the biggest overkill in UK history. One fight breaks out and they ruin every tradition instilled in this university. There is a lot of missing information that no one has ever reported and it’s just media bullcrap. Every other sec school has fights break out every football game and they handle accordingly and arrest their dumbasses. The fight in case here was started by an individual that has NO AFFILIATION with a Greek lettered society at the university and also was shouting racial slurs at just about anyone who wasn’t Caucasian. People love to point fingers at Greeks which do more for the University than anyone could even wrap their minds around. The way it was, was perfect. It was well planned out months ahead and was done well. This fight is why Greeks have liability issues. Non Greeks spoil our fun and we take the blame.

  41. Student #2
    8:50 pm August 28, 2013 Permalink

    You “old people” seem to have no clue what you’re talking about. The University is most definitely anti-greek and for what reason? Greeks have consistently had higher gpa’s, contributed more to philanthropies, and had more student involvement than non greeks. Nick’s plan to go wet is the only reasonable solution and will be implemented within the next 2 years or so.