Throughout one’s college career, there are numerous opportunities for fun and involvement. Luckily, we have many great organizations on the Missouri S&T campus that are always willing to find ways to increase involvement and entertain students. Each year, there are many free events that are available for students to attend. Some of these events are recurring, and they allow students to look forward to them annually. While these classic events are always great, the University’s student body is always working hard to expand and bring us new opportunities to enjoy. One of the newest events was Missouri S&T’s first ever Miner Tailgate.
On the first Saturday of the month, the Student Union Board (SUB) hosted a Miner Tailgate before the University’s home football game in the parking lot outside of the Gale Bullman building. All student organizations were encouraged to sign up to reserve a spot in the parking lot to get together, hangout, and represent themselves. The tailgate was a sight to see with multiple students setting up tents, grilling food, and playing games such as cornhole. For added enjoyment, SUB brought in a couple performers including Aileeah Colgan and Waterloo Revival for a concert.
So how did the idea for the Miner Tailgate come to fruition? I reached out to the Student Union Board’s Director of Concerts Madeline Skora for all the details. Madeline said that over the past couple of years, the board has wanted to have a larger event for the whole campus to participate in that could replace the Greek Week concert. After meeting with other Student Union heads from different universities, she decided a Miner Tailgate would be more open to all students, especially older students who might wish to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere outside of the general campus area where they could have a little more freedom to do what they wish.
With new ideas and events, there is always an anticipation and hope that the event will run smoothly and be successful. On the outside, the tailgate seemed to be a tremendous success, but what is an insider’s perspective? I asked Madeline for her opinion on the tailgate’s outcome, and she explained that “If I'm being honest, we hit a few roadblocks when putting on this event. One of which was the large amount of interest by campus organizations. We had over 70 spot reservations made in a little under a week. While this was awesome, we also needed to modify how we set up the parking lot to stay within certain guidelines. Outside of that issue, I think the tailgate went very smooth. The concert was awesome, we had a large number of students show up, and I've heard nothing but good reviews from those who attended. I'm more than pleased with how this event went given we've never done something like this before.”
With the University and its organizations constantly working to improve the college experience for its students, it is safe to say that the Miner Tailgate was a great way to expand student involvement. When asked if students will get to experience more tailgates in the future, Madeline said “Fingers crossed there will be! Many campus organizations and campus departments want to make this event an annual event. Also, with the S&T 150th anniversary coming up, we could potentially hold an even larger and better tailgate during homecoming! If the students want it, we will do it. That's our job!”