File photo/Nevada Sagebrush

Football season has officially begun at the University of Nevada, Reno. Our football team did their duty and brought home the first win of the season with a 72-19 victory over Portland State (Portland still isn’t a state). The only dark cloud over the weekend was the anniversary of the ban on alcoholic beverages in the student tailgating section.

Alcohol at student tailgating has been outlawed by UNR Administration since fall 2015 and we haven’t been grounded like this since high school. Hearts were broken and students are now forced to flock to The Wal, Archie’s and The U to get their tailgate on.

Alcohol at tailgates, for students that are of age, shouldn’t be banned at the University of Nevada, Reno.

When you think of college football, tailgating and its traditions are right behind it. When you have a team like Nevada’s, which hasn’t been stellar as of late, you need tailgating to bring some purpose to your life. And fitness tailgates do not count. Those are two words that should never be said in the same sentence.

In a 2017 interview with This Is Reno, Morgan Zuziak described how fitness tailgates were a solid option compared to normal student tailgates.

“The intent of the tailgates is to provide an alternative to students other than participating in high-risk activities before the football games and to promote our newly-opened E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center,” said Zuziak.

As much as we love the free food from fitness tailgates, some people just want the cliche college experience of playing Flip Cup in the parking lot before UNR beats UNLV. Tailgating is one of those things you’d like to include in your collegiate years.

According to Vice, tailgating began in 1869 at a college football game between Princeton and Harvard — two of the oldest school in America. It’s hard to imagine college without tailgating, but sadly that has been the reality for UNR students.

College isn’t a place where the majority of the population is sober. College football tailgates aren’t the place to try and convince yourself otherwise.

The harsh reality is people are going to drink alcohol. Minors are going to drink alcohol. Instead of drinking responsibly and moderately at a tailgate (you are in public …) our administration is enabling the student body to either “car bar” or try their luck in the stadium with a cheap Illinois fake ID.

Either way, sober tailgates just aren’t cutting it and we need our livelihood back. We can even go to great lengths to ensure the safest level of inebriation.

If you need to ID more people in the student tailgate section, by all means, go right on ahead. If you want us to personally document how much alcohol we have per parking space, okay. I’ll volunteer to put wristbands on people myself if that’s what it’ll take. But if halting tailgates is only a proactive measure, stop being scared of what could happen.

In the aftermath of 2017 — a year of divisive events at UNR — what this university needs now more than ever is something to bring everyone together again. Tailgating could be the solution. There’s no better way to bond than by sharing a beer and a hotdog with your neighbor.

Help us out UNR and #MakeTailgatingGreatAgain.

Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or of its staff. Jacey Gonzalez studies journalism. She can be reached at and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.