MSU football tailgates, crowds can bring $500 fines

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Poster advocates socializing responsibly

City of East Lansing

On Oct. 28, the Ingham County Health Department issued an ordinance in response to the large gatherings that happened Oct. 24. Now, outside gatherings in downtown East Lansing are limited to 10 people, and anyone who exceeds that will be fined $500. 

“It was a busier than normal weekend, specifically due to the game,” East Lansing Police Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez said. “There were some parties that occurred throughout the neighborhoods.”

Gonzalez said the department issued seven $500 fines to gatherings that broke local health orders. He said the department also issued about 12 noise violations during the day. 

Even though the parties were off-campus, Gonzalez said city policy have been notifying the university about the instances.

“I think it’s also important for people to understand that we communicate those issues, those violations, to the university,” Gonzalez said. “The university evaluates it and makes a determination of whether or not to have any type of student code of conduct sanctions taken against a university student that is issued one of these tickets.” 

While the seven violations were in response to breaking local health ordinances put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one characteristic remains certain: tailgates this year do not look like anything of the past. 

“Now, most large tailgates are getting shut down because of the coronavirus,” MSU junior Kirsten Berkey said. “The same huge tailgates we used to have at Michigan State aren’t happening this year.”

But there are still safe ways to do it. 

MSU senior Meg Powers said she and her roommates kept their tailgate small by just having their parents come to their house. 

“We had a lot of fun,” Powers said. “We literally ended it and said that it was one of the best tailgates, and we were like we might as well just do this for the next three or four or however many home games we have left. And it was always good because the parents come up with a ton of food, so it’s always a bonus.”

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