The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.
In light of recent game day activities, the majority of students know about the ban on fraternity parties on game days. Superintendent of Tulane University Police Department Jon Barnwell said the policy stems from logistical issues. A security guard must be present at all fraternity and sorority programs involving alcohol according to the policy on risk management practices released by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Programs. The policy states that the official must be present to verify identification and check the guest list admissions to ensure safety.
While this policy is put in place for students’ sake, fraternities rarely follow it. It is understandable that the university would wish to uphold its policies, especially considering the risks surrounding game day. This policy negatively impacts the Tulane student body.
The worry is that students will move further off campus to enjoy post-game festivities, thus endangering themselves by being so far off campus. This thought is especially concerning due to the recent removal and disappointing replacement of the former Safe Ride shuttle system that helped students return to campus safely. There is also little faith in the new taxi agreement because of the difficulty in securing a taxi off campus on a Saturday night, especially considering that it would be a game day.
Barnwell said that Tulane simply does not employ enough manpower to supervise Yulman Stadium, the tailgating activities and fraternity events. Some people have suggested university organizations use New Orleans Police Department officers in place of TUPD. Barnwell said Tulane struggles to staff the stadium, one of the largest venues in New Orleans, and will already be using 74 NOPD officers on game day. This already taxes the city’s police forces, which in turn stresses the need to keep students closer to campus.
While theoretically this may seem like a responsible decision to Student Affairs, the mindset of Tulane students and organizations must be considered. The university as a whole is excited, to say the very least, about having a stadium back on campus. It rekindles a tradition and particular experience that has long been absent at Tulane. Everyone wants to enjoy both pre- and post-game activities with their fellow Tulanians. Not allowing university-affiliated events with alcohol forces larger groups to move away from the campus scene. These groups, once off-campus, are likely to become split up over the course of the night. Thus we end up with a countless number of students, further off campus than normal, probably intoxicated and without any inexpensive and efficient way to get back to campus. Realistically, most students will chose to walk back in lieu of waiting hours for an expensive taxi that may not come.
This policy poses a major safety risk that needs to be addressed by the university. While the logistical concerns are valid, there should still be a greater effort to keep students closer to campus. Administration should consider revising the policy to guarantee student safety.
Brandi Doyal is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]