Live by the du Lac law
This letter is written in response to the giving out of University "citations" for student tailgaters and the two letters written in yesterday's Observer on that subject. It seems to be a general consensus that the University's policy on the prohibition of student-sponsored tailgaters is a pain and dampens the fun atmosphere associated with a home football game. I feel comfortable that yesterday's two letters did justice to that argument.
My objection is, however, that the University is not in fact acting in line with its own policy. That policy, spelled out on page 134 of DuLac, states, "No student, student organization or University housing facility may organize or sponsor tailgaters on campus or on any adjacent fields or parking lots at any time for the purpose of serving alcohol."
This gives them the right to not only enforce the legal drinking age of 21 in Indiana but to disallow the sponsorship or organization of tailgaters by students. So for those of you who are under 21 or sponsored your own tailgater and got a citation, I'm sorry, but the University was within its rights to cite you, however absurd its policy may be.
However, the University has in no way the right to cite a student over 21 for participating in a tailgater. Notice that in the policy above there is no mention of any sort of prohibition of tailgater participation. That is, if one is not responsible for the organization or sponsorship of that tailgater, one is not in violation of University policy. Therefore the citations for participation in a student tailgater make no sense and really have no meaning. It's as if one were to be cited for having green hair or having a mother named Wilma; these citations simply have no meaning because there is no corresponding regulation. So for those of you who received such a citation, you should be very puzzled because you were cited for something about which the University has no policy.
My request to the University is that it please be consistent enough to at least follow its own policies and not discipline students with new regulations that it fabricates ex post facto. Otherwise I fear that I'm in danger of being busted by the Kirkster for blatantly wearing sandals on campus.
All Viewpoint Stories for Wednesday, October 10, 2001