As the weekend’s celebrations come to a close, we can officially say that the College of William and Mary’s Homecoming festivities were by all means a resounding success. The football game, like all this year, had a huge and enthusiastic attendance — not to mention a hard-earned win over the Blue Hens. In addition, the weekend saw a great turnout from returning alumni, the key to generating Homecoming’s particularly jubilant atmosphere.
But there remains one essential way in which the College can help to improve that atmosphere: more College-condoned tailgating. The William and Mary Hall parking lot is already the perfect venue for large-scale tailgating, along the lines of what the College already allows in the Zable Stadium Parking lot. College officials would be well advised to make use of it.
Tailgating is always an important element of fostering a supportive fanbase, but this concern is particularly imperative during Homecoming. Creating the most inclusive environment for alumni is good not only for donations, but also for creating the best sense of overall College community.
As it is, what little organized tailgating the College allows is unnecessarily restricted. What tailgating is allowed at Zable is too limited and cost exclusive, while the Greek Beer Garden was so overly restrictive as to drastically limit participation.
Opening the Hall lot to tailgating provides a simple solution, at minimal extra cost. The only concern from an administrative standpoint is event control, which requires only the same precautions and organization the school already takes at Zable. If concentrated in one lot, the extra organization should be easily manageable.
Of course, to some officials, increased tailgating may seem like more hassle than it’s worth, but the College has every incentive to foster as vibrant a campus community as possible. Hall tailgating is a simple way to do just that. We owe it to our alumni, and to the wider College community.