Students launch petition, plan boycott of football games after Alley closure
Rutgers Athletics confirmed that The Alley would be shut down after two weeks of existence on Tuesday. Many students were outraged with the closure of the only student tailgate lot, with one student creating a petition on change.org.
The petition, created by Leonidas Katsikis, states that supporters would boycott all home football games until The Alley is reinstated.
The School of Engineering sophomore started the petition just hours after the announcement. As of Wednesday night, the petition was signed by more than 1,800 supporters.
Joseph Adinolfi, a School of Engineering senior, signed the petition and said he would “back it 100 percent.”
Adinolfi said that as a senior, he has been upset with the lack of student tailgates available after the failure of the greek lot two years ago.
“With this new tailgate spot, The Alley, students finally had a centralized location to tailgate before the Rutgers game and increase student participation in football games,” he said.
He saw no major safety concerns with the area, and did not see a way it could be improved.
“It was actually a fun and safe environment,” he said. “It represents what a Big Ten school would do. Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and many others all have organized student tailgates that are fully supported by their university.”
Adinolfi said the tailgates, along with the success of those school’s football teams, increases school spirit and ensures a high student attendance to the football games.
“With the lack of support from the University, students are not going to have the resources to increase school spirit and football game turnout,” he said.
Adinolfi believes that in order to promote change, something major needs to occur to start a conversation to fix the problem. Boycotting a game will be a way to relay the message to the University, he said.
“(The University) should care about the thoughts of the students,” he said. “Will they? Probably not, because they have their own agenda.”
In addition to the change.org petition, there is also a Facebook group originally named “Boycott RU Football Till The Alley Comes Back,” now named “Free The Alley,” which has more than 1,000 members. Students in this group are attempting to organize a sit-in in the College Avenue Student Center in front of the Student Affairs office to protest.
Nicole Myslinski, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior, posted on the page urging students to protest in front of the office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Felicia McGinty.
“I feel as though we could make a larger difference regarding this situation apart from a digital position,” she says in the post. “With information that seems to have more direction than our student body’s petition does at this moment, the Rutgers community should be taking this opportunity to make a change and reopen The Alley by speaking up in a peaceful protest.”
Sophie Nieto-Munoz is a School of Communication and Information senior majoring in journalism and media studies and Italian. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum. You can find her on Twitter @snietomunoz for more.