The student body and the university as a whole should be ashamed of the large amounts of litter found on the fields following the tailgate madness from the Sept. 8 Texas Tech football game.
The overwhelming loss of the Texas State football team does not compare to the unfortunate state of the former tailgate location, the Jowers Center practice field, after the tailgate festivities concluded. The amount of trash on the field was downright revolting, especially as piles of garbage remained there for several days. The trash was finally cleared out the following Tuesday, thanks to some students and San Marcos residents who helped out.
The Strutters and the Bobcat Marching Band conduct practice on the Jowers Center field, which was left relatively unusable until that Tuesday. The mess even prompted Joanne Smith, vice president of student affairs, to send out a campus-wide notice Sept. 19 to address the litter problems after the Tech game with added insight from Nathan McDaniel, Associated Student Government president.
This was not just a student problem, but also a game day preparation issue. The long waiting lines for the few portable toilets at the event were outrageous, and more accommodations should have been provided. Once again, the university underestimated the sheer number of people that would be clustered into one area.
Following the game, the responsibility to clean up the mess from tailgate fell on the shoulders of others. The number of people working, even hours after the game, was not nearly enough for the parking lots, the stadium area and most importantly, the practice field. Students would be better encouraged to throw their trash away if more dumpsters were placed in the tailgate area. As a result, the clean up would have been done more quickly and efficiently.
The size of the practice field tailgate area, which was significantly smaller than when it was held in the East-side stadium lot, could have contributed to the confusion regarding trash disposal. Tailgating has been moved to the Strahan lot because of the poor conditions of the field afterward and an expectation of lower attendance for future games. The move will free up more parking spaces for tailgate use.
Ultimately, the blame falls on both administrators and students. For future games, more dumpsters should be placed in close proximity to tailgate. Students and tailgaters should bring extra garbage bags to collect their litter, just in case, even if the mess for Saturday’s game will not be near as embarrassing as the Red Raider invasion.