Nov. 17, 2009
On Saturday, November 7, Clemson and Florida State fans tailgated around campus and prepared to cheer on their teams as the Tigers and Seminoles prepared to battle on the football field. As a college football phenomenon, tailgating has become a risky ordeal for some. Heavy alcohol consumption at tailgates, especially for college students, is what EMpower Coordinator, Kathy Cauthen, wanted to address concerning the safety of students and this pre-game ritual.
The EMpower Blitz tailgate was designed to educate students, as well as the community, on alcohol safety with a focus to “look out for your tailgate neighbor.” The tailgate was held in the southwest corner of Littlejohn Coliseum with free admission. Non-alcoholic drinks and tasty food were served. Games such as Rock Band and various Wii games were available for anyone to play. There were also lounge chairs, TVs tuned to ESPN and a photo booth set up for tailgaters to relax and enjoy the tailgate experience.
Clemson student-athletes from the swimming and diving and track and field teams volunteered their efforts at the event to spread EMpower’s message to “look out for your tailgate neighbor” by recruiting and welcoming tailgaters to the Blitz tailgate, directing the tailgaters to the food and games and sharing EMpower’s tailgating safety tips.
EMpower coordinator Kathy Cauthen noted that “the event was host to approximately 450 students,” a number that was lower than last year due to the fact that “the game was much later than anticipated, [so] the early event didn’t draw quite the numbers we hoped.” Despite the turnout, Ms. Cauthen thought that “all in all it was a great success!” She also thanked the student-athletes for doing such a great job volunteering and noted that the volunteers were much more organized and attentive than last year. From the Blitz tailgate beginnings, student-athletes have played a major role in volunteering at this event and will continue to participate in years to come.
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