Family Day tailgate new for some, old for others

The Memorial Stadium parking lot smelled of burgers and hot dogs while more than 100 students and their parents participated in the Family Day tailgate on Saturday, Sept. 30.

“Sitting down and eating with my parents at the tailgate this last weekend was great, not only because I got to spend time with them, but I also had the chance to show them what my typical Saturday nights are like here at MSU,” Haley Alda, dental hygiene freshman, said. “It put their minds at ease with the idea that my friends and I tailgate, because I know it may sound scary for parents. They got to see firsthand that it’s fun as well as safe.”

Members in student organizations, such as the Greek community and the cheerleaders, hosted tables for their families to gather around and meet all the new friends their children have, as well as hear about the memories they’re making on campus.

“I talk to my mom about my new friends and the lifelong relationships that I’m making here all the time. I was so excited for her to meet my favorite people this weekend; now she can finally put faces to the names I mention all the time,” Aly Beard, exercise physiology freshman, said.

Though the Family Day tailgate may be new to some students, it has become a tradition for others.

“The tailgate was really exciting for my family because both of my parents are alumni. Not only did they enjoy talking to my teammates and sorority sisters, but they both got to meet active members of their Greek affiliations,” Lauren Gardner, cheerleader and pre-med sophomore, said. “They really enjoyed getting to see how each of their organizations [Alpha Phi and Kappa Sigma] have changed. Midwestern State traditions are family traditions for us — that makes the tailgate even more special for me and I love getting to share that with my parents.”

Some families, such as sport and leisure sophomore Jaron Imbriani’s family, flew in from California as well as Colorado to participate in this year’s tailgate.

“Being here in Texas and leaving my family in California is tough on us all because we’re such a tight-knit family and the distance is hard to adapt to, especially since my sister recently move to Colorado for school,” Imbriani said. “It’s been tough, but having them fly in for the weekend’s tailgate made my experience here in Texas so much more memorable.”