Safety First, Wristbands Second: Behind The Scenes Of UMD's IFC Tailgate
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Politics and Activism

Safety First, Wristbands Second: Behind The Scenes Of UMD's IFC Tailgate

Because you know it’s all about that liability. ‘Bout that liability. No Trouble.

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Safety First, Wristbands Second: Behind The Scenes Of UMD's IFC Tailgate

Another week, another mad dash to find wristbands.

Whether or not you were able to find that neon golden ticket, there yet remains a multitude of unanswered questions regarding where this supposed treasure trove of wristbands are going, especially considering the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Association’s (PHA) claim that the number of attendees has been significantly fewer than the number of distributed wristbands.

So, while many have jumped to blame IFC and PHA for this supply versus demand crisis, there are many more convoluted factors than what meet the eye, all tying back to issues of who is responsible for whom.

“Regardless of the number of wristbands given to each chapter, I can confirm that wristbands are not just disappearing,” PHA Vice President of Social Responsibly Noelle Roy said. “Each chapter is given the wristbands they requested and are allowed to give them out to whomever they choose, based on who they have decided to be responsible for."

Roy added that some fraternities' wristbands go faster than others, so while it may seem that there are no wristbands available, guests may just be looking in all the wrong places.

“The problem is in the distribution, not in lack of wristbands,” Roy said.

That being said, if the problem lies in the distribution of the wristbands alone, one may wonder why distribution responsibility lies on the shoulders of fraternity men alone.

Why can’t general IFC wristbands be given out, rather than wristbands specific to a particular fraternity? This idea, coupled with the need for an individual to sign some sort of waiver confirming that the individual is solely responsible for their own actions, was discussed, though implementation is unlikely.

“Though this idea is good and well thought-out, the IFC tailgate is still a private event. Chapters are paying for their members and guests of their choice to attend,” Roy explained. “The IFC executive board and the DFSL staff would need to authorize this waiver process, still making a group of leaders responsible for those members attending who are unaffiliated with a chapter at the tailgate.”

Every tailgate attendee needs to be accounted for in the event that harm would come to that individual, and because fraternities pay insurance each year to cover potential risk management issues that may take place at tailgate events, having wristbands that designate what fraternity is responsible for whatever guest seems the safest way to navigate such an event.

However, there is no way to ensure that all wristbands are given out because the tailgate is technically invite-only, and the fraternity can choose to not give out all of their allotted wristbands.

Naturally, then, as with any event that implies exclusivity, many non-wristbanders are feeling exceedingly left out, which is certainly not the kind of Greek life relationship that the IFC and PHA are trying to foster.

So, is this just one of those “it is what it is” situations that must be begrudgingly accepted?

“We are always interested in hearing the thoughts and ideas of the community members,” Roy said. “We want the members of every organization have the ideal experience in Greek Life in their time at UMD, while also helping them abide by their respective national policies. If anyone has suggestions in regards to this they can contact members of the IFC or PHA executive boards.”

Obviously, both IFC and PHA are open to hearing how this situation can mitigated, leaving the fate of the IFC tailgate future in your hands, Terps.

“If IFC tailgates continue to improve and grow, in years ahead I would like to see every chapter, PHA and IFC, hosting and getting wristbands for their members, welcoming students who aren’t affiliated with Greek Life and attending the football game - fostering a good relationship with the athletic department and the football team," Roy said.

To all those frustrated females out there, Roy has a message just for you:

“I’m sorry you’re feeling frustrated, and I hope that in the coming weeks your chapters can work with your nationals to provide you with wristbands. I want you all to be able to be a part of the IFC tailgate, while representing your own organization with pride. I appreciate so much your understanding in all of this, but know Olivia Collins, Vice President of Judicial Affairs, and I have been working tirelessly to help your executive boards in this process.”

With the next home game two weeks away, will wristband worry be relieved? Who holds the sought after solution?

If you want to get tailgating, it’s time to get talking.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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