New grove helps organize tailgating

When there was news that the grove was under reconstruction, ULM students and alumni were in a state of panic unsure of the changes that were about to take place.

The grove is where all tailgates take place and taking that away would be the death of the party.

Director of Student Life and Leadership, Emily Essex, said students don’t have to worry over changes.

“The student’s grove never changed, it will not change and they are not going to take anything from that,” Essex said.

The big change that did take place was the relocation of the RV parking from behind the Activity Center to its new location closer to the baseball fields.

All other changes were internal. The biggest of which was the new rule stating that all registered student organizations will now have to rent a spot and will have to pay for a $100 season pass. RSOs also have to have at least 10 active members to reserve a spot.

The reason for this push is to ensure that there is organization in the grove.

RSOs will not have to worry about someone’s tent blocking theirs, they will not have to worry about other group’s music blaring through their speakers or even worry about random trucks floating around the grove.

Director of Chi Alpha Tyler Gerfers said the change of not allowing trucks to be parked in the grove will help make tailgating more enjoyable.

“With fewer trucks inside the grove, there should be more accessible space for students to spread out and to set up more games,” Gerfers said, “Now that there are designated spots, there will no longer be this ‘tug of war’ of who will get out there earlier, and who has more of the manpower to set up first.”

Many in Greek life agree with Gerfers’ assessment.

First year pharmacy student and a member of Delta Sigma Phi Michael Parker said, “Setting up not only for your fraternity but for several other sororities was a hassle. We used to have to go out in the middle of the night at two a.m. just to get the spot we wanted, and then sometimes we would come back not even hours later and our letters and tents would be moved.”

Besides designated spots, there are many other benefits to the new way the grove is being run. A DJ will be pumping tunes at tailgates, and food will be provided as well. Even t-shirt giveaways seem to be in the future for students who not only attend tailgates but the game.

“Student Life and Leadership is finding new ways to get students to support our teams. Our goal is to get students into the game and to stay throughout the majority of the game,” Essex said. “So, by giving away prizes during the game up until the third quarter, we are hoping students will not only show up but will enjoy the remainder of the game.”