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The Blue & Gray Press | February 24, 2018

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Staff Editorial: Tailgating is a good effort to bring tradition back

The upcoming Homecoming weekend will welcome the return of a University of Mary Washington tradition: tailgating.

It has been more than 15 years since UMW offered tailgating at Homecoming functions, and some alumni seem enthused by the idea.

However, many students will be unable to partake in the event, as student parking spaces are only available for those who are 21 or older, and who have $75 for a ticket.

There are multiple costs in addition to the price of a parking space that go into making an event like this feasible, and, unfortunately, many students cannot afford that cost.

While this may increase school pride for those who already graduated from UMW, it does not seem likely that it will catch up to the rest of the student population.

Any idea to increase school spirit is a welcomed ambition, but how are students expected to get pumped for tailgating when there is not a “big game” to get excited for?

At other schools, tailgating is a huge event preceding big football games or at a sporting event when the university is playing a main rival.

However, UMW has no one sport that a large number of students here at school attend, and there is no clear cut “rival school.”

Homecoming is comprised of a series of different sporting events throughout the day, since the school lacks a signature football team.

What game will alumni tailgate for?

In addition, for $200 per alumni it seems potentially disappointing to not have one game for everyone to rally around.

Tailgating works because it feeds off of communal excitement and school spirit, but when UMW suffers from a severe lack of school pride, how can an event that depends on an overabundance of it succeed?

Only time will tell if this will be a successful event or fall flat.

Perhaps tailgating will become ingrained in the UMW tradition again, and alumni will breathe life into our Homecoming games and weekend.

Perhaps it could even catch on to current students and revitalize Homecoming.