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Spartans’ first game amid COVID-19 and new rules

Spartans’ first game amid COVID-19 and new rules
Posted at 2:27 AM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 02:28:02-04

LANSING, Mich. — Normally on game day, there are thousands of fans tailgating in the parking lot ahead of Michigan State’s next big game. But, with the new rules set forth by Michigan State University Police, these fans are going to have to find a new place to celebrate.

“This is being done in an effort to ensure the health and safety of the limited number of guests and fans that will be present,” said MSU Police Captain Chris Rozman.

Michigan State University Police will be supplying more officers throughout campus on game days.

“We’re going to use this time to educate the public about our ordinances, our regulations, and the behavior expectations,” he said.

Michigan State University Ordinance 21.03 prohibits the possession of open beverages on campus. This normally doesn’t apply on game day. But, in the middle of a pandemic, rules are being forced to change.

“Honestly, it’s kind of hard to find an alternative right now. We just kind of got to wait until the university lets us do what we want," Rifenberg said. “If it was up to me, I’d let everything go back to normal. I think if anything, college students should be building immunity to it, not hiding from it.”

Fans like Ryan Rifenberg may feel this is unfair, but recent Michigan State graduate Alaina Williams feels that the university is taking the right steps.

“We don’t want people to be unsafe out here, you know getting COVID or anything. So, you know if they’re doing what’s best for the school, then I think that’s the way to go," said Williams.

Police say they don’t want to have to punish anybody for breaking the law, but they’ll do what it takes to ensure people are safe all on campus.

“This is something that’s new for us just like it’s new for everybody else. Especially in this state of affairs right now, we’re all in it together and we’re all looking out for the best interest in each other,” said Williams.

Police are strongly encouraging fans to stay home and enjoy the game and not come to campus where all parking lots will be closed off.

Here are some things for fans to know about the Spartans' first game:

  • The MSU Athletics Department even allowed Spartan fans to purchase cardboard cutouts to help them fill seats
  • Don’t physically go to the stadium
  • Do not tailgate
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Masks are required on MSU’s campus
  • Those who violate local health orders could face a maximum $500 fine

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