Who is in charge?: 9.23.11

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Murray State News.

Students and parents made their way to the University this past weekend to come see the very first home game of the Racer football season.

The game was a success and we certainly sent Tennessee State University home with some new ideas on how to play football. The game had record numbers of fans come out and cheer for the team while at the same time entertaining the thousands of parents who came down to visit on Family Weekend. All around campus, sons, daughters and family of all kinds were able to see the campus and its people.

Cartoon by Madeline Bartley

At the game, records were broken and good times had by all. There was the usual cornhole and games. Families were able to meet the friends and organizations their loved ones have come to be a part of and understand just how life works here at the University.

The change was certainly visible in all corners of the city. In restaurants, stores and even some buildings on campus it was not impossible to run into someone showing their family around and entertaining them.

And as the day went on there was a slow trickling back toward the stadium to get ready for a wonderful evening watching one of the country’s favorite sports.

But even with all this excitement of the new season and the successful game there was a general facade of success within the University. Not everything can be perfect all the time but in this case there were a lot of issues with organization at the game. These are problems which should have been thought of long before we invited thousands of family members to come experience.

Even if there is a general consensus it was a good day there are some issues that need to be addressed.

Upon arriving at the stadium fans had problems with finding adequate parking because many spaces were taken by tailgaters.

While there might have been a lot of hype over tailgating, the University needs to make sure there are set rules on what is allowed and how much space can be used by any one group. Especially on Family Weekend when the University knows there will be extra people coming to the game. Parking at this University should never be a problem on any regular day, even with all the complaining from students. That is no reason to fail preparing for an influx of outside visitors.

When there is an obvious increase in people on the way, parking should be a priority and there is no excuse for those visitors coming on Family Weekend having to park across the street in the strip mall because the University was not organized.

The other issue most prevalent is the University’s lack of clarity on the issue of tailgating. There seems to be a general rule for those of age to be allowed to drink.

Those drinking must keep their drinks in a cup not labeled and apparently there are no drinking games allowed. Is that all? It seems like the University wants to allow the bare minimum to get some students to the game which seems petty.

Students also reported walking up to the entrance gates with their family and being told they had to use the student lines, which were backed up. So even there at the last point of hassle before getting into the stadium the University had not prepared for the obvious event of Family Weekend. There is no excuse for students to go deal with nonsense like that while their family is visiting.

If the University wants to continue to be this disorganized it should do us a favor and cancel Family Weekend and save us the embarrassment.