Following a bout of “unfortunate behavior” during the first tailgate of the year, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has created a plan to avoid a recurrence at the Homecoming Weekend football game on Oct. 2. 

A Monday email from UNH President James Dean, UNH Police Chief Paul Dean and UNH Athletics Director Marty Scarano outlined these plans, and noted that the tailgate for the home game against Towson on Sept. 11 had “many instances of public intoxication, public urination, large-scale littering and open defiance of anyone who tried to confront those committing these offenses.”  

The university leaders noted that while there have been previous issues in the tailgating area, this most recent time moved them to consider ending tailgating all together at UNH. However, given that most attendees are not misbehaving, they chose to instead impose new rules and guidelines for the event. 

There will be uniformed officers in each of the tailgating areas “talking with attendees and encouraging a change in behavior.” The university has requested that these officers “immediately remove from the tailgating lot any parties who commit the kinds of offenses described above.” Any party or group who is removed due to these protocols will not receive a refund.  

Homecoming Weekend, a favorite UNH tradition, was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Alumni travel from near and far, gathering in beloved Durham for a weekend of friends, family, fun and football. 

Chief Dean’s message to students is, “Homecoming is a time for our alumni to return to the Durham campus and reconnect with old friends and classmates. We need the support of all wildcats to make all our planned Homecoming events a safe and enjoyable time for all ages. Excessive alcohol use and disruptive behavior have no place in our tailgating areas or athletic events. Please join me in making this year’s Homecoming a safe and memorable time for all.” 

Photo courtesy of Aubrey Benoit/TNH Staff.