‘Animalistic behavior’: Blacksburg community urges Virginia Tech to intervene after massive tailgate

Public urination, loudness, alcohol and trespassing through yards are among the concerns residents face

Growing concerns about a massive tailgate at Virginia Tech led to the Blacksburg community reaching out to the university to step in.

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Growing concerns over a massive tailgate near Virginia Tech campus have neighbors calling for action.

The “super tailgate” on Center Street has some neighbors saying they are tired of the inappropriate behavior.

In June, a handful of concerned Blacksburg residents voiced their complaints during a town council meeting.

“My home vibrates from the bass and I cannot escape it,” Constance Bowden said at the meeting.

Bowden said she lived in her home since 2007, but because of some of the students’ behaviors, she felt it was necessary to sell her home and move.

“The football mega-partying encourages animalistic behavior,” she said. “That’s what it is. Animalistic. It’s embarrassing to watch drunken students walking down the street throwing beer cans in our towns.”

Though police monitor Center Street, nearby residents say the noise ordinance is not enforced.

Jean Sumner said public urination, loudness and people trespassing through her yard are still the main problems this season.

But she is more concerned about the safety of students with underage drinking.

“That’s definitely been an annoyance,” Sumner said. “But my biggest worry is about a tragedy, loss of life, injuries. I think that’s being invited.”

Joanne Dean, another Blacksburg resident, said she lost family members in the past to alcoholism and asked the town for a compromise back in June.

“I love this town,” she said. “Virginia Tech I respect. I really feel we need a conglomerate of representatives to talk about…it’s not going to go away. But how can we make it be a better situation.”

Sumner said she wants students to still have fun but wants Virginia Tech to get more involved.

“The final best solution would be for Tech to do something to take responsibility for the situation and make into a positive by sponsoring a big event on campus,” she says.

In response to the tailgate complaints, Virginia Tech told 10 News, “The university and the town are great partners and are deeply committed to that partnership. We believe our strong relationship with the town will help us address issues raised.”

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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.