Letter to the editor: Tailgating was a mess, students should clean up trash

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At the Mississippi State versus Kansas State football game, I witnessed something that greatly disappointed me.

No, not the play on the field—although it is obvious this team and coaching staff are still trying to fit the pieces together, I am proud of them.

What I’m disappointed in is many of our students in the east student parking area. Not all, but many tailgates are simply content to trash the parking lot with no regard to the fact that someone has to clean up after them.

It looks like there should be a prize awarded for the biggest mess created by piles of cans and trash—there, I’ve given you an idea to improve on your trash leaving. Fraternities can award a biggest mess award to be proudly displayed in their lobby.

And in case you’re thinking I’m somebody trying to kill your fun and ruin your party, you might want to know this isn’t the first time I’ve been upset in that parking lot.

A few years back, when campus security seemed fit to confiscate beer and alcohol from those students who didn’t have it in glasses/cups/concealed, I defended the student parking area. I followed security through the donor parking where beer and alcohol were in plain sight and asked why they were being left alone. I was threatened with arrest I was so upset and angry. I also wrote a letter at that time.

I’m not telling you this because I think I’m in any way responsible for the change in policy, but the policy has changed and students are no longer harassed (because yes, it was harassment, plain and simple) for having alcohol in the open.

But with the change in policy, some of them are no longer putting their cans in the trash sacks provided or making any effort to clean up after themselves. So, now I’m asking students to do their part.

Trust me, I enjoy a good party as much as the next—I think tailgating is part of what makes college football great, and I think it’s the greatest sport in the world. And it is about the students on the field, in the stands and in the parking lots.

I just don’t understand, with the many trash cans and the trash sacks provided to you when you enter the parking lot, why you have to leave such a mess.

Earlier, I mentioned fraternities, and I will again because I was at a tailgate right next to a fraternity and it was impossible to walk anywhere without walking over and through their mess.

Campus organizations take pride in what they do in the community and on campus. And maybe some fraternities pick up the parking lot—but visitors to KSU are here and see the campus on game day, not Sunday.

While I love Kansas State University and it will always be my alma mater, it is your university. For four or five (six, seven or more) years, it is yours.

Take care of it, show some pride in it (and yourselves), party like you’re 21 and put your trash in a trash container.

Jon Ungerer is a 1986 Kansas State alumnus. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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