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University Policy 103


Approved by Executive Council: June 30, 2008
Approved by Board of Trustees: July 14, 2008
Posted: July 22, 2008
Revised/Approved by Board of Trustees: March 9, 2012
Revised/Approved by Board of Trustees: March 6, 2015
Revised/Approved by Board of Trustees: July 20, 2021

Policy Topic: Governance and Administration; Student Activities and Services
Administering Office: Student Affairs, Athletics, and Administration and Finance


This policy describes the parameters for football tailgating activities on the campus of Western Carolina University (“WCU”). As defined in this policy, tailgating may involve the consumption of alcohol in designated controlled areas. WCU does not sanction the violation of federal, state, or local laws, including the consumption/possession of alcoholic beverages by underage persons. This policy is referenced in and subordinate to University Policy #81, “WCU General Campus Policy for Alcoholic Beverages”.


This policy pertains to tailgating at NCAA football games.


“Alcohol or Alcoholic Beverages” means, for purposes of this policy, malt beverages and unfortified wine. Under North Carolina state law, malt beverage means beer, lager, malt liquor, ale, porter, and any other brewed or fermented beverage except unfortified or fortified wine as defined by this Chapter, containing at least one-half of one percent (0.5%), and not more than fifteen percent (15%), alcohol by volume. Any malt beverage containing more than six percent (6%) alcohol by volume shall bear a label clearly indicating the alcohol content of the malt beverage. Unfortified wine means any wine of sixteen percent (16%) or less alcohol by volume made by fermentation from grapes, fruits, berries, rice, or honey; or by the addition of pure cane, beet, or dextrose sugar; or by the addition of pure brandy from the same type of grape, fruit, berry, rice, or honey that is contained in the base wine and produced in accordance with the regulations of the United States.

“Keg” means any container that holds, or is capable of holding, more than one (1) gallon of malt beverage or unfortified wine at a single time.

“Tailgating” means parking in a designated location/area and/or setting up non-permanent facilities (such as tents and tables) to consume food and beverages. Alcoholic beverages may be consumed during tailgating activities in designated areas prior to NCAA football games hosted at the E.J. Whitmire Stadium.


Individuals participating in tailgating activities at WCU are expected to conduct themselves in a manner respectful of the nature and character of the university; including, following the directives of event management staff and public safety officials. Persons acting in a disruptive, disrespectful or disorderly manner may be asked to leave the premises or be subject to arrest or citation. Students may also be charged with a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.


A WCU student may reserve one tailgating permit for a tailgating area within the designated alcohol permissible student tailgating lot. Tailgating permits may be obtained from the process administered by the Department of Campus Activities prior to each football season. The number of parking spaces designated as a permitted tailgating area will be determined before each football season. All tailgating activities must be contained within the permitted tailgating area. Only one vehicle will be allowed to park in each permitted alcohol permissible student tailgating area. Permits must be displayed as specified on this vehicle throughout the tailgating activities and an individual must be designated as the responsible contact person for each game. Tailgating permits may be forfeited for cause on-the-spot.


Tailgating parking/areas are organized into four general categories:
Alcohol Free Areas:  Undesignated areas of Campus.
Alcohol Permissible Areas: HFR Administration Building; Bardo Fine and Performing Arts; Camp; Catamount Club permitted Field House; Ramsey; Creek; Belk Building lot; and Stadium
Alcohol Permissible Student Area: Bardo Arts Center Lot with Department of Campus Activities’ permit(s)
Alcohol Permissible Areas for Visiting Fans: Baseball Lots and/or additional designated areas to be identified as needed. 


A. General Provisions

Specific information and guidance on parking of vehicles within designated tailgating areas will be provided upon payment of the tailgating fee or entry into the tailgating lot. Tailgating activities should be confined to the area directly adjacent to a parked vehicle. Roadways cannot be blocked by tailgaters for any reason. Tailgaters must comply with the directions and instructions of event management staff and public safety officials. A copy of all tailgating procedures will be available at the Department of Campus Activities Administrative Offices located in the University Center.  

B. Tailgating Time Period

Tailgating may begin no earlier than three and a half (3.5) hours before kickoff of the football game. Individuals may continue to remain in the tailgating area during the game but consumption of alcohol must be discontinued at the start of the game. Tailgating without alcoholic beverage consumption may continue after the game for a period of two hours. For those games scheduled on weekday evenings, the University may find it necessary to modify the permissible tailgating times. Notice of these changes will be provided well in advance of the game.

C. Consumption of Alcohol During Tailgating

In alcohol permissible tailgating areas, the consumption of alcohol must be accompanied with the consumption of food.

Consumption of alcohol outside designated tailgating areas and/or time periods constitutes a violation of WCU tailgating policy and possibly North Carolina law. Violators are subject to prosecution under the laws of Jackson County, the laws of the State of North Carolina, and students are subject to the WCU Code of Student Conduct.

Consistent with North Carolina State law, only malt beverages and unfortified wine may be possessed or consumed. Spirituous liquor is prohibited.

Kegs and other common source containers in excess of one (1) gallon (3.7 liters) are not allowed at any time.

Glass containers are prohibited. The use of plastic containers is encouraged for the consumption of all beverages.

Drinking games (including but not limited to beer pong and other table games) and the use of devices intended to accelerate the consumption of alcohol (including but not limited to funnels or beer bongs) are prohibited.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages on any other part of the campus or on public streets that run through or adjacent to campus is prohibited. It is also a violation of law and/or the code of student conduct and is subject to policy/law enforcement.

D. Preparation and Consumption of Food

No food may be sold without a proper University permit from either Food Services and/or Athletics.

Propane and charcoal grills are allowed. Burned coals and/or residue from cooking are not permitted to make contact with the paved surface of the parking lot or grassy areas. Hot coals must be completely extinguished with water before leaving the tailgating site.

Open flame fires, including fire pits, are prohibited.

E. Trash

All groups and individuals participating in tailgating are responsible for the proper disposal of their trash and other debris such as charcoal. Trash containers will be provided throughout tailgate areas. Tailgating participants are strongly encouraged to recycle (paper, plastic, glass and metal).

F. Solicitation

No sales activities or other forms of solicitation are allowed on the WCU campus including any/all tailgating areas, without permission from the appropriate University official. Only WCU Athletics or their designated representatives will be allowed to sell merchandise.

G. Structures

No permanent or semi-permanent structures may be constructed or placed for any activity on University grounds except by the authority of the appropriate Vice Chancellor and/or in accordance with the University Facility Use Policy.


Violations of this policy may result in the forfeiture of a tailgating permit on-the-spot and the loss of eligibility to purchase additional tailgating permits. Student violations of this policy are subject to the Western Carolina University Code of Student Conduct.


At least once per calendar year, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will chair a tailgating committee to review this policy and discuss any problems with tailgating activities.


University Policies

UNC Policy Manual:

University Policy #81, WCU General Campus Policy for Alcoholic Beverages

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