FloCo Fusion cuts down on game day tailgating

Residents have started a petition to bring back the sponsored parties

Tiffany Lukk

Ahead of the Gophers football game Saturday
morning, FloCo Fusion residents and guests played beer pong and mingled in the building’s
courtyard, some sipping wine out of plastic bags.

But in a shift from previous years, security
capped attendance at 100 around 9:30 a.m.

“It’s definitely minimized,” said marketing
sophomore Whitney Wheelock.

The apartment complex, known by students for
its partying, is discontinuing its sponsored game day events that previously
attracted hundreds of people. In an email sent to residents Wednesday, FloCo
management said the party’s days are over because its insurance provider will not cover them.  

“It was our intention to continue the
tradition this year, however … our insurance provider has threatened to
completely cancel our insurance coverage if game day tailgates do not cease
immediately,” the email read.

 Many
students, FloCo residents or not, were outraged to hear about the ban.

“When
we signed our leases, we expected to have tailgates every weekend,” said
strategic communications sophomore Margaret Andreen.

Elementary education junior Keisha
Baumgarten and biology, science and the environment junior Kelly Mutua slipped fliers
under residents’ doors reading, “Bring back FloCo game day.” The intent was to
have residents hang them on their doors as a message to management, Mutua said.

“It’s not hurting anyone, we’re just
expressing our opinion,” Mutua said.

A Change.org petition to bring back the game
days had over 1,500 signatures on Saturday morning.

“It’s the highlight of pretty much
everyone’s year,” said Jeffrey McHugh, who started the petition. “It’s like a
sea of maroon and gold, everyone’s in their Gopheralls.”  

Last year FloCo had a system where residents
were given tickets they could give to guests to allow them to attend the
parties, Baumgarten said. Many current residents said bringing that system back
would help corral the craziness that occurs during tailgating.

Residents recalled incidents like people
tripping and finding broken glass at parties.

“There
really hasn’t been any people getting hurt or anything. There’s like occasional
people where they get too drunk, but that’s not our fault,” Mutua said.

Increased security, time limits for parties,
liability waivers and wristbands for attendees of drinking age are among
suggestions by residents to help increase safety, if FloCo were to bring back
the parties.

“Whatever the safety issues, we ask
management to consider the many ways they could revamp safety measures to
eliminate these issues and ultimately present the new ideas to their insurance
providers,” the petition read.

In order to make up for the loss of game
days, FloCo is offering a party bus that runs through uptown and downtown from
9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday nights throughout the school year, the email said.

“It’s
not that cool because they don’t allow food or beverages on there, a party bus
can only fit so many people,” said junior Jeeva Palanisamy. “I feel like
they’re trying, but we’d love our game days back.”

FloCo Fusion managers were not immediately available for comment. 

“I miss the old FloCo, straight ready to go FloCo.
Good for the soul FloCo, fun being the goal FloCo,” wrote one commenter. “Now
it’s the lame FloCo, not even flame FloCo, who is to blame, FloCo? I’d rather
go to the game FloCo…”