AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ahead of tomorrow’s University of Texas football game, campus police are making it clear that tailgating is not allowed.
About 18,000 are expected for the game. But for many, it’s what will happen before and after the game that is sparking concern.
UT Police say if they see tailgating, they will seek voluntary compliance first. If someone refuses, they could face criminal trespassing charges.
Meanwhile, people who are off campus are concerned about the spike in parties they are seeing that violate COVID-19 guidelines.
A video showing a crowded deck was the scene late Thursday night right next door to Eli Klosterboer’s home in a north campus neighborhood.
“When I came out to the balcony, there was a large gathering of around 15 to 20 people just on the balcony. Nobody was wearing masks,” said Klosterboer.
Parties are normal in his neighborhood, but he says it’s different now because of the pandemic. That’s why he called 311.
KXAN took a deep dive into the most recent 311 data from his area in Council District 9 and found several COVID-19 related complaints, specifically for large overcrowded parties, improper social distancing and people not wearing masks.
There were inspections, but no violations were found. Klosterboer says even if the students aren’t at risk for the virus, their neighbors could be.
“They are surrounded by professors or janitors or community members that are at a higher risk, so I think that there’s a level of irresponsibility that quite frankly is inexcusable in my opinion,” he said.
In July, the university banned on and off campus parties, stating there could be penalties, including suspensions. Current state mandates call for social distancing and restrictions on some gatherings of over 10 people.
On campus, students say although they’ve seen small gatherings, people are mostly abiding by the COVID-19 guidelines. But with the start of football season, there are a new set of concerns.
KXAN reached out to the Austin Police Department to see if they are increasing patrols around the UT area for parties and tailgating and what type of fines or citations will be issued. We are waiting to hear back.