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Grange Grove needs to go (even more) Greek

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Grange Grove needs to go (even more) Greek

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Austin Yattoni

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Austin Yattoni

Austin Yattoni

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For years, sororities and fraternities head away from campus to “Block” at The Red Lion or Joe’s Brewery. Block is a Saturday morning tradition for bars on campus where fraternities and sororities party at the bars and get special deals.

There is no reason why that exact same thing can’t be done at Grange Grove, the University-affiliated tailgating zone.

A few years ago, we reported on the transition from Block to Grange Grove. And now we’re starting to see a sizable manifestation.

The Acacia, Pi Kappa Alpha and Delta Tau Delta fraternities, along with the Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Phi and Delta Delta Delta sororities, started tailgating at Grange Grove this fall, sponsored by Joe’s Brewery.

It’s a step in the right direction for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics’ office. Instead of fighting the bars for Greek life business, they are teaming up. As long as the parties are fully staffed by Joe’s employees and handled responsibly, this should be common practice at Grange Grove.

The bars are deeply ingrained into the campus culture. They’re not going anywhere, even with the potential rise of Grange Grove. Instead, KAM’s, Cochrane bars and others should embrace true tailgating and include themselves in the experience.

The University is already offering to section off spots of Grange Grove for the fraternities, so we assume the the same concept could potentially be applied to the stadium. In fact, that’s how it used to be. That’s the origin of “Block” a block of tickets in the stadium.

The University should reach out to Greek life and all registered student organizations  to offer bulk ticket packages. It doesn’t have to be in Block I. However, guaranteeing they would all be able to sit together at the games is a huge perk for not only fraternities and sororities, but also all RSOs.

We can’t ignore it. The efforts to improve attendance are needed. Attendance plummeted in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, averaging 290,000 and 255,000 attendees, respectively. In 2015, it was the lowest attended season at Memorial Stadium since 1998.

Those numbers don’t hurt just the game day atmosphere. Rather, we’re losing valuable recruits to a lack of school spirit. When recruits come and they see an empty stadium, they won’t want to come to the University. A massive student turnout only makes game day better.

The hiring of Lovie Smith spiked attendance last season, but it is nowhere near where it could be. Memorial Stadium holds about 60,000 people. Currently, a student body of over 40,000 is struggling to fill up only a fraction of the stadium.

Smith has the future of the team looking bright. Now all they need is an excited student fan section to match. Football games are supposed to be the place to be for students on campus. This increases morale for the team and uplifts the student body’s school spirit.

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