Blacksburg, Va. (WDJ) – For years, students have gathered on Center Street to tailgate and cheer on the Hokies.
Senior Jake Hartman said the great culture attracts more students to attend Virginia Tech.
“We have this incredible football tradition. I know we’ve been ranked as top tail schools in the past. They’re basically trying to take that away,” Hartman said.
Two months ago, the city of Blacksburg created a new voluntary party registration system. The City Manager may deny a permit request if there are any issues with previous events held by the same organizers within the past 90 days.
Hartman says the new changes have created a negative stigma.
“I know I have personal friends who don’t want to be around because of fear,” Hartman added. They think they are going to be arrested.
The area is cordoned off and students say law enforcement has increased.
Senior Jack Haddad said this allowed them to have a better relationship with the city and police officers.
“I’m very grateful for our relationship. I think we’ve built a safe and still very fun experience on Central Street for Game Day this year. A great tradition,” Haddad said.
Junior Rachel Damico said some students now tailgate at various locations. Having all students gather in the middle of the street will prevent students from drinking and driving on their way to games, she said.
“I think it’s safer for everyone to be where you’re looking, and we’re walking distance from the stadium,” Damico said. “I think you don’t do it that way. There are people in the town of Blacksburg. “Everyone is drinking and driving.”
The crowd has thinned out on the most popular street.
“It’s safer. Less… more people. It will be more controlled,” Haddad added. “So I think it’s much better for the student body.”
Students created a “Save Center Street” hashtag.
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