Students offer free tailgates

Ethan Summers

The Honors College Assembly and LessThanUThink, a campaign started by University students to raise awareness about the effects of alcohol, will host tailgating parties for the Crimson Tide’s game against Florida Saturday.

The HCA tailgate will be in front of Nott Hall on the Quad, said Michael Forst, director of student life for the HCA.

“We’ll have free food and drinks, we’ll have a TV set up,” Forst said. “We’ll have all the normal tailgating games.”

Forst also said the party will have events focused on the Florida Gators.

“They’re going have some silly stuff like an alligator piñata,” Forst said. “Some stuff really focused on the fact that we’re playing the Gators.”

The goal of the party, Forst said, is to bring Honors students together outside of the classroom.

“We want to give an opportunity to Honors College students and their friends to get together and really just build a community,” Forst said.

David Wilson, a sophomore majoring in economics and a member of the Honors College, said an HCA tailgate is a good way to help members become better acquainted.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to further build a community in the Honors College,” Wilson said. “I think a lot of people are going to be involved.”

Wilson said he plans to attend the Honors tailgate because of his fellow Honors students.

“I love all the students in the Honors College,” he said. “I think it’ll be fun, I think it’s going to be a good time.”

The Rising Tide Student Tailgate will be sponsored by LessThanUThink, and their tent will be located near Carmichael Hall at the edge of the Quad. It begins three hours prior to kickoff and offers free food, drinks and giveaways, a UA press release said. Students will also be able to use computers provided by LTUT to see if they have received a donated ticket for the game.

Media Relations and Media Pitch Coordinator for LTUT Griffith Waller said the focus of the tailgate party is on students.

“A student-oriented space was a top priority in the creation of this tailgate,” Waller said. “The sponsors of the tailgate realized students needed a place of their own on the Quad.”

Students should not worry about what kind of party a relatively new, smaller group would be able to host, Waller added.

“There are numerous groups sponsoring the tailgate,” Waller said. “The event will be well-funded, including a buffet catered by Full Moon Bar-B-Que and live music, that will be available for anyone interested in attending the function.”

LTUT was created by 15 public relations students who “took advantage of an amazing opportunity to turn a traditional campaigns class into a campaign that mattered,” according to their website, ltut.org. The group focuses on awareness and prevention of binge drinking.

LTUT is funded by a grant awarded by the National Student Advertising Competition, in which LTUT won third place, Waller said. The Century Council, a non-profit group funded by distillers, served as the client for the competition. They chose the University’s campaign, and LTUT was awarded a $75,000 grant.

Waller said LTUT is not focused on stopping students from drinking, but on moderation.

“LTUT Campaign aims to change lifestyles and raise awareness on the University of Alabama campus in a way that appeals to college students,” Waller said. “Instead of using scare tactics, the LTUT Campaign focuses on here and now effects of binge-drinking, like calling an ex or forgetting to close one’s credit card at a bar.

“It should not be confused with an anti-drinking campaign,” he said.

Drinking is, to many students and fans, a major part of the tailgating experience.

“I think drinking is a big part of everybody’s game day activities,” said Mathew Sublett, a senior majoring in business. “Especially now that they have changed student seating around. It’s pointless to get there super early for games that aren’t as high profile like San Jose State. You might as well drink until kickoff.”