Students and alumni will flock to Boulder Field and Lot ‘A’ Saturday morning to set up for homecoming’s main attraction: tailgating.

Tailgating is great for a number of reasons. For student organizations on campus, it provides a medium for current members to meet and reconnect with their group’s alumni. There’s just something about a freshly-grilled bratwurst with mustard and the crisp autumn breeze that soothes the soul. After filling up on barbeque and mingling, watching the UNH football team embarrass its opponents in front of a crowd of thousands is always a good time, too.

For anyone reading this who hasn’t experienced homecoming at UNH yet—yes, we’re talking about you, freshmen readers—these festivities are a blast. Nevertheless, it is imperative that as students we celebrate homecoming responsibly.

Getting swept up and carried away in the excitement of homecoming is very easily done. It would be flat-out naïve to ignore the fact that thousands of students will be drinking Saturday, including those who are under the legal drinking age. Unfortunately, many of these students and alumni alike will be drinking excessively. Homecoming is no different from any other time in terms of being responsible while consuming alcohol.

Due to the rules laid out for homecoming this year, students will not be able to carry alcoholic beverages into the tailgating grounds at Boulder Field or Lot ‘A.’ However, students will be able to park their vehicles in ‘A’ Lot to set up shop for tailgating. After a long day of consuming alcohol and celebrating, it can be easy to forget that driving under the influence is a terrible idea. We must urge you not to drive if you are impaired. Driving under the influence is seriously dangerous and could severely darken on an otherwise bright future of pursuing a degree at this university. 

We must also remember that it is not excusable to trash the campus on homecoming. Although it is customary for groups on campus to volunteer to clean up the mess that comes as a byproduct of homecoming, that does mean that disregarding basic decency and laws against littering is permissible.

It is also important to note that the university hosts a number of homecoming festivities that do not require the consumption of alcohol for participation or enjoyment. For those who are athletically inclined, a homecoming day 5k race is held. The annual homecoming parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Homecoming is about having fun and flaunting Wildcat pride. In addition to Saturday’s football game, there are other varsity athletic teams engaging in competition. The women’s ice hockey team will take on our school’s archrival, the Maine Blackbears, Friday at 7 p.m. On Sunday, women’s soccer will take on Albany at 2 p.m. on Bremner Field.

As a body of students and alumni, we have not always been as responsible as we should be when it comes to enjoying homecoming. Boulder Field has ended up littered with garbage, vomit and other disgusting bodily excretions as part of the aftermath of homecoming festivities, primarily tailgating.

As always, the staff of The New Hampshire encourages our fellow students to have a great time at homecoming, as everyone should. However, we also encourage students to maintain respect for themselves, this campus and our fellow students and alumni by behaving responsibly. Happy homecoming, UNH. It’s going to be a great one.