RUSA President: "It looks like we're going to get (The Alley) back"
Student leaders are working with University administration to launch a new version of The Alley, the school-sanctioned tailgate that was shut down last week after only two home games.
Rutgers University Student Assembly President Justin Schulberg said he and the other signees of an open letter drafted to the Rutgers community discussed issues The Alley faced with representatives from the University, including Public Safety, Student Affairs and Rutgers Athletics, with the ultimate goal of launching a new, safer version.
“Honestly I think, it looks like we’re going to get it back,” the School of Arts and Sciences senior said. “It seemed that everyone was on board but the previous safety concerns had to be addressed, it was a good meeting, it seemed everyone was open to it.”
The Alley was originally canceled due to safety concerns, Schulberg said. When he attended the two tailgates, he saw the space allocated was filled past maximum capacity, so determining what the maximum capacity is would be one of the factors in reopening it.
Having an overcrowded space is an issue if any attendee should need medical assistance, said Rachel Brown, RUSA’s athletic chair. Emergency medical technicians or police would be unable to make their way to a student in distress if there was a crowding issue.
Other issues discussed during a meeting last week included ensuring students were of age, that there were sufficient facilities for students to use, including portable outhouses and trash cans and that some form of crowd control was in place, said the School of Arts and Sciences junior.
“We had that meeting and they took all the information we gave them, regulations that we proposed and they’re going to get back to us, we’re hoping as soon as possible,” she said. “We’re still collaborating, coming up with ideas.”
Underage drinking was one concern brought up during a meeting last week, Schulberg said. While some students might have had the misconception that The Alley would be a safe place for underage drinking, it was not intended to be.
There may have been an insufficient number of police officers for the number of students at the last event, which created an issue with enforcement, he said.
“I think as far as underage drinking, RUPD has a job and they’re not out to go in and get everyone in trouble but they do have a job and it’s a legal obligation,” Brown said.
Creating a new version of The Alley would require the involved parties to look at all of the concerns raised, Schulberg said. Rutgers students should be able to attend a regulated tailgate, but first the University has to determine those regulations, as well as find a larger space to work with.
It could take up to a few weeks to finalize plans for the new version, he said.
“We’re serving as a liaison for the students and the administration,” Brown said. “I think it’s important to know that all of us are working to get there, it’s not just students, we’re all working to come up with something.”
Nikhilesh De is the news editor of The Daily Targum. He is a School of Engineering senior. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.