Tailgating on campus gives students a new opportunity to get involved on campus


As the first football season ever to be played on West Texas A&M University campus came to a close Saturday afternoon, students talked about their tailgating experience this year.  

Tailgating is more than just another event on campus. For some, it is a great place to make new friends and meet different types of people.

“I’m a big extrovert so getting the chance to eat food and hangout in a big atmosphere really springs out at me.” Sandra Rendon freshman, health science major, said.

The tailgate is way to bring many different people whether it be students or people from the community to show their support for the WT football team. 

“The tailgates were so fun!…I loved Maroon Platoon’s stand because they got you hyped and let you paint up before the games,” Elizabeth Mendoza, freshman, music major,  said.

The origin of tailgating comes from a college football game first played at College Field in New Brunswick, New Jersey, between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869, where they had sausages grilled at the end of a horse end. This has now developed into modern day tailgating with food and music. 

“I love going to the tailgates and especially the free food. It’s enjoyable to just walk around, hang out with friends, and see everyone having a great time,” Autumn Hampton sophomore, pre-vet major, said. 

Since the tailgates are on campus this year it makes them more accessible for students to get to them than in the past. Bringing a new tradition to the university.

“It also gives West Texas A&M University a huge feel of home with the barbecue smell, the serenade of music booming from speakers, games being played and sweet conversations with different people,” said Rendon. 

Tailgating is defined by the American Tailgater Company as a picnic that is served from the tailgate of the vehicle, WT’s version of tailgating varies just a little from this classic definition. Instead, WT has food being served from tents by popular chain restaurants or other organizations from around the community that come to contribute to the tailgating experience, and instead of being in the parking lot of a sports stadium it is put on in the center of the campus, with live music. 

“My second favorite part of tailgating was all the free stuff you get from popular restaurants like Raising Cane’s and Pizza Hut,” said Mendoza.

Whether it be the free food or the chance to make new friends, this year’s tailgates will go down in history as the first to be on campus, but tailgating in the collegiate world is more than any of that. Tailgating is giving the chance to students, alumni, and future students the chance to build a community within the campus. While also offering everyone a break from the monotony of everyday life. 

“Tailgating is by far one of my favorite things about college…I feel like I belong and I am a part of something big.” Rendon said.