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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

ESPN Tailgate Competition: Failgate

On March 1 at the Pavilion, ESPN2 will televise the UC Davis vs. UC Santa Barbara men’s basketball game. Aggies, it’s time to put your game face, or rather, your pre-game face, on.

At noon, an “ASUCD-sponsored tailgate” competition will take place at a designated area in front of the ARC parking lot. According to the competition’s Facebook event, student organizations will compete in throwing the best tailgate, with a $200 gift card to a local grocery store on the line. The event organizers “recommend 30 racks” and “shotgunning IS encouraged,” all the while being as “discrete [sic]” as possible.

What better way to show school spirit than by going YOLO with the Solo (red cups)?

Interestingly, ASUCD is explicitly sponsoring an event that touts for the consumption of alcohol on campus, as well as “working with the police so they are more lenient.”

Bear in mind that UC Davis is a “dry” campus (minus Gunrock Pub and the classes we have on beer brewing and viticulture). We don’t want to be buzzkills and we do love to have a drink or two or three; however, we don’t believe ASUCD should be advertising and supporting such an event while asking for other public events, such as Picnic Day, to be drug and alcohol-free.

Yes, Picnic Day is known as a family-friendly event. But historically, it is also known as a time to get friendly — very friendly — with the attendees. While there have been occasions when Picnic Day was almost canceled, the University and City of Davis have continued working together to advocate safe celebrating.

So, how exactly do the organizers plan on coordinating with UC Davis Police to promote a safe environment while tailgating, when football games are typically the only times tailgating is permitted? Do the organizers have permission from the University to host the competition at the ARC parking lot? How do they plan on preventing underage drinking? And who is giving the $200 away?

According to the UC Davis Policy and Procedure Manual (Section 21, Sales, Service and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages), the approval for service of alcoholic beverages will not be granted in open areas, unless the event is deemed out of public view (the front of the ARC parking lot is quite public). Additionally, an event cannot have the consumption of alcohol as its primary focus (did we forget to mention that it’s a tailgate competition?).

We understand — we live in Yolo County and might as well live up to its name. But having ASUCD actively sponsor an event that involves alcohol consumption on campus is hypocritical and quite frankly, stupid.

ESPN2 is already doing UC Davis a favor by televising the game. We may as well do everyone a favor and play it safe.


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