LSU tailgates come under increased scrutiny this weekend

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU is hitting the pause button a fall tradition.

Just a week after freshman, Max Gruver, died in an alleged hazing incident, Greek activity is still banned at the state's flagship school. As a result, fraternities and sororities will not be able to organize any game day tailgates.

"We have communicated the expectations regarding tailgating to our Greek community," said LSU spokesman, Ernest Ballard, noting that the university's "enforcement strategy will not be publicly disclosed."

All student organizations will also be barred from tailgating on the parade grounds.

Thursday night, LSU announced Greek life can resume on campus beginning Sunday, September 23 and tailgating will be allowed again next week. However, the university says they will still be cracking down. Tailgates will only be allowed on the parade grounds - a Greek hot spot - the day of the game starting at 8 a.m., and they must be cleaned up an hour before kickoff.

LSU students responded with a mixture of understanding and cynicism.

"Under the circumstances of somebody dying, obviously last week, I can totally understanding why they would do that," said Nicholas Pipsair, an LSU freshman.

"I don't think that will do much. This is LSU. People are going to be drinking and doing all kinds of things," said LSU junior, Joshua Cooper.

That said, it's not just Greek culture that is inspiring the increased scrutiny of LSU's tailgate culture. Just two weeks ago, a video of a game day fight on the parade grounds went viral online. The man arrested was not an LSU student. That same weekend, LSU reported that someone had been stabbed on the grounds. That individual was also not an LSU student.

Concerns over tailgating continued this week. For the second year in a row, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore sent a letter to high school leaders across the region, asking them to remind their students to be safe and not drink. "You hate to see a young kid issued a summons or arrested for something," Moore said. "It may hurt him the rest of his life or his high school or college career. We certainly don't want that to happen."

Meanwhile on Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards sent a letter to public university leaders across the state, asking them to review their hazing, alcohol, and drug policies for student organizations. He asked leaders to report back to him by October 29.

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