CSUN is sorry to announce that we will be discontinuing our Coach’s Caravan & Tailgate program for the remainder of the 2013 Rebels Football season. Students should know exactly why this decision had to be made, so here is a detailed explanation:

1. With the opening of the UNLV Transit Center – which robbed students of 60 much-needed parking spaces – the RTC’s bus to Sam Boyd Stadium created a duplication of efforts. We felt that we should not spend $15,000 in student fees running private buses while the RTC bus was available. However, CSUN was still prepared to pay the $2 fee each way for students who wanted to attend football games. We did this for the first game on September 7, 2013.

2. After two weeks of attempting to work with RTC to provide a way for CSUN to pay the $2 fare for students taking the bus to Sam Boyd, RTC was unable or unwilling to do so. The best offer they gave us was purchasing $5 daily residential bus passes for each student in batches of 100 – a $1 overcharge for round-trip students and a $3 overcharge for students who don’t make the return trip. Roughly half of the students who take the bus to the game do not make the return trip.

3. For the first football game, to honor our promise to students, our Senate President Jasmine Hicks withdrew $1,300 of her own money from the bank to pay for students to ride the bus. For her efforts, UNLV has made it difficult for her to receive a reimbursement for this and has told her that while they would reimburse her this time, using her cash in the future would not be reimbursed – removing yet another option.

4. The RTC bus to Sam Boyd starts two hours before game time and takes roughly 30 minutes. Students who take the first bus have only one hour of tailgating time, as our tailgate must be dismantled 30 minutes prior to the start of the game. Students who take the 2nd bus would have only 30 minutes of tailgating time, and students who take later buses would have no time to tailgate. This, combined with the unfriendly tailgate policies instituted by UNLV, Sam Boyd, and Athletics, has led us to the difficult decision of discontinuing tailgates as well. Requests to allow students entry to tailgates using their Rebel Cards instead of game tickets have been denied. Requests to provide students with a discounted rate from that of the general public for entering the tailgate in a vehicle have been denied. As most of you are probably aware, entering the tailgate with a vehicle is the only way for any fan to bring alcoholic beverages into the tailgate area – even for fans who are over 21.

5. This past Wednesday morning, we met with Athletics to inform them of our decision. They asked us to wait until the end of the day so they could try to work out a better arrangement with RTC. We appreciate the effort made by interim Athletics Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy. However, at the end of the day we were told that RTC would sell us $4 daily passes if we would purchase passes for the entire season, and do so within 24 hours. This still did not address the students who do not return on the bus, which would cost CSUN (your student fees) $2 per student. This still represents an overcharge, and therefore was not a viable solution. It is difficult to believe that RTC is unable to provide a way for CSUN to pay for the actual ridership of students, but that is the current situation.

CSUN has spent countless hours over the past few weeks trying to work with RTC on a viable solution, without success – even though we would be driving roughly $10,000 in additional revenues to the transit center during football season.

CSUN has also spent time working with Athletics on policy changes that would improve the tailgating experience for students and non-students alike. For two years those efforts have failed.

For these reasons, we feel we have no choice at this point but to save students the $22,000 budgeted for this program and put that money into events surrounding the Runnin’ Rebels basketball season and two Rebel Road Trips that will take place during basketball season.

We hope you understand that we were left with no other options. Students deserve better than to be taken advantage of. While we appreciate the time RTC and Athletics spent working with us on this issue, it simply wasn’t good enough.

We still support our Rebels Football team, and wish them the best success this year. This is not an attempt to sabotage football, UNLV Athletics, or the RTC. We simply have to make the decisions necessary to properly represent students and their funds. With roughly 10% of students attending the first game using the RTC bus, we feel that this will not interfere with students’ ability to attend the games.

If you have any questions, please contact CSUN Marketing Director Tom McAllister at: tom.mcallister@unlvcsun.com