Ahead of the Gophers football game Saturday morning, FloCo Fusion residents and guests played beer pong and mingled in the building’s courtyard, some sipping wine out of plastic bags.
But in a shift from previous years, security capped attendance at 100 around 9:30 a.m.
“It’s definitely minimized,” said marketing sophomore Whitney Wheelock.
The apartment complex, known by students for its partying, is discontinuing its sponsored game day events that previously attracted hundreds of people. In an email sent to residents Wednesday, FloCo management said the party’s days are over because its insurance provider will not cover them.
“It was our intention to continue the tradition this year, however … our insurance provider has threatened to completely cancel our insurance coverage if game day tailgates do not cease immediately,” the email read.
Many students, FloCo residents or not, were outraged to hear about the ban.
“When we signed our leases, we expected to have tailgates every weekend,” said strategic communications sophomore Margaret Andreen.
Elementary education junior Keisha Baumgarten and biology, science and the environment junior Kelly Mutua slipped fliers under residents’ doors reading, “Bring back FloCo game day.” The intent was to have residents hang them on their doors as a message to management, Mutua said.
“It’s not hurting anyone, we’re just expressing our opinion,” Mutua said.
A Change.org petition to bring back the game days had over 1,500 signatures on Saturday morning.
“It’s the highlight of pretty much everyone’s year,” said Jeffrey McHugh, who started the petition. “It’s like a sea of maroon and gold, everyone’s in their Gopheralls.”
Last year FloCo had a system where residents were given tickets they could give to guests to allow them to attend the parties, Baumgarten said. Many current residents said bringing that system back would help corral the craziness that occurs during tailgating.
Residents recalled incidents like people tripping and finding broken glass at parties.
“There really hasn’t been any people getting hurt or anything. There’s like occasional people where they get too drunk, but that’s not our fault,” Mutua said.
Increased security, time limits for parties, liability waivers and wristbands for attendees of drinking age are among suggestions by residents to help increase safety, if FloCo were to bring back the parties.
“Whatever the safety issues, we ask management to consider the many ways they could revamp safety measures to eliminate these issues and ultimately present the new ideas to their insurance providers,” the petition read.
In order to make up for the loss of game days, FloCo is offering a party bus that runs through uptown and downtown from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday nights throughout the school year, the email said.
“It’s not that cool because they don’t allow food or beverages on there, a party bus can only fit so many people,” said junior Jeeva Palanisamy. “I feel like they’re trying, but we’d love our game days back.”
FloCo Fusion managers were not immediately available for comment.
“I miss the old FloCo, straight ready to go FloCo. Good for the soul FloCo, fun being the goal FloCo,” wrote one commenter. “Now it's the lame FloCo, not even flame FloCo, who is to blame, FloCo? I'd rather go to the game FloCo...”