Duke suspends student tailgating after teen found unconscious

From Staff ReportsNovember 9, 2010 

Duke University has canceled student Tailgate activities for this Saturday's game against Boston College after a teenager was found unconscious at the end of last weekend's celebrating.

In a letter e-mailed to all students at 10 p.m. Monday, Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs at Duke, said student Tailgate "has long lost its value as a pre-football, spirit building activity and has become increasingly dangerous in every iteration."

While the letter did not specifically cancel student tailgating for Duke's final game of the season against the University of North Carolina over Thanksgiving, the e-mail said that Duke will develop a new type of game-day celebration for 2011.

The Duke student newspaper, The Chronicle, reports the teenager was found unconscious in a portable toilet following tailgate festivities before last Saturday's game against Virgina. The paper described the teen as the sibling of a Duke student.

In his letter, Moneta acknowledged Duke's victory over Virginia but said "the positive experience in Wallace Wade was dampened by an incident in tailgate ... an incident involving a teenage youth which easily could have been tragic."

"This incident has vividly revealed that tailgate as is practiced at Duke must come to an end," Moneta wrote.

Moneta said the university would work with students on ideas to celebrate the 2011 season "with the class and spirit for which Duke is known."

According to tailgating guidelines posted on the university's website, last Saturday's tailgating festivities ran from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The game against Virginia began at noon.

A DukeCard is required to get into the tailgating area and each cardholder is allowed one guest.

According to the guidelines, student groups are limited to 30 cases of beer per group or nine cases per vehicle. Individuals walking into the tailgate zone are limited to a six pack of beer and must provide identification.

Tailgate participants, the rules state, "must demonstrate responsible and respectful behavior towards their peers."

Standing or sitting on top of cars is prohibited.

The guidelines specify minor and major violations. A major violation, the guidelines state, include throwing beer cans or standing on top of cars.

Minor violations include failure to follow the cup policy, which requires all canned beverages to be poured into cups.

Serious violators, or those with repeated minor violations, are typically banned from a future tailgate event.

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