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Columbia Spectator Staff

Following their boycott of concessions at Homecoming on Saturday, members of the Columbia College Student Council, Engineering Student Council and General Studies Student Council will meet for a second time with Director of Athletics M. Dianne Murphy in order to work toward their goal of modifying the new alcohol enforcement policy at Baker Field

At the meeting, which will take place on either Oct. 25 or 26, members of the councils said they will present the results of the petition they circulated at the game, which generated between 900 and 1,000 signatures, according to CCSC, and 700, according to ESC. Murphy offered the two dates to the councils as her earliest available times, CCSC and ESC council members said.

CCSC senior class President Kwame Spearman, CC '06 and Spectator sports columnist, said that Murphy should have agreed to meet with council members sooner. "It's completely unacceptable to wait two weeks," he said. "It's way too late. If she really thinks this is a pressing issue, she would meet with us this week."

CCSC junior class President David Chait, CC '07, focused on the success of the boycott campaign in showing that the councils were serious. Their efforts included giving out t-shirts with the slogan, "Support the team, not the policy," written on the front.

"We really made a statement," he said. "Now, the number one thing to do is collect as much feedback as possible from the students before our meeting [with Murphy]."

ESC Vice President internal Daniel Okin, SEAS '07, agreed that the campaign was a success and noted that all 700 t-shirts were given out before the game began. He said the ESC plans to have a Web forum and feedback e-mail address on their Web site before Tuesday morning in order to collect feedback from students on how they feel about the boycott and what issues they would like to see brought up with the athletics department.

Chait said CCSC plans to solicit responses from students using feedback portals that already exist on their Web site. "From previous experience, I can say that students really do respond," he said.

Steve Pizzi, director of event management for the athletics department, said he is happy with the way Saturday's game went and didn't feel the t-shirts detracted from the event.

"We had a great crowd," he said. "If [students] want to boycott what we've set up here, they have the right to do that. I definitely saw lots of people eating the food we provided, and from what I saw in the crowd, I'm definitely still pleased."

Though Pizzi did not respond to e-mails regarding profit made on concessions at Homecoming, he said on Saturday that he feels the new policy has improved the experience of attending a football game. "The whole communal atmosphere we created with the grills and everything is great," he said.

Though Pizzi said he is not sure whether the policy will change for next year's Homecoming game, CCSC President Michelle Oh, CC '06, ESC President Tom Fazzio, SEAS '06, and GSSC President Stephen Davis, GS/JTS '06, already met with Murphy on the Friday before Homecoming in order to begin discussions about changing the policy.

Fazzio said that though nothing was decided at Friday's meeting, Murphy expressed sensitivity toward the councils' concerns and was open to further meetings following Homecoming.

Murphy expressed similar sentiments to an audience of alumni at a panel on Friday afternoon regarding the future of Columbia athletics, saying that she wished she had conversed more with students and alumni regarding the policy change and generally done a better job reaching out to those concerned.

ESC's Vice President of student affairs Nick Sharma, SEAS '07, said the councils are confident that they will receive a positive response from Murphy at their meeting next week. "We got a lot of support from both students and alumni, and they have a very strong voice," he said.

Eric Roth, CC '98, took part in one of the 98 individual tailgating parties permitted at Homecoming and brought extra food to give out to people who were not as lucky. He set the food up on a long table in front of his car.

"We haven't turned anyone away," he said. "Tailgates have always been so festive. That's why we brought enough food and beer to share."

John Murolo, head of security for the event, confirmed that anyone at the game was allowed to enter the tailgating area and that the only restriction was on who could park there. "If tailgaters want to invite people in, that's fine," he said. "We just ask that they drink their beers in the tailgating area."

Even so, CCSC President Michelle Oh, CC '06, said the new policy caused a noticeable change in atmosphere at Homecoming. "I think one glance around proves that the environment is different this year," she said at the event on Saturday. "There's a lot ... less excitement."

Lindsay McKenna, SEAS '06, agreed. "We just don't have a problem with alcohol and athletics here," she said. "I don't think students necessarily don't support the team this year, but I think they don't know how to show it."

Taylor Walsh contributed to the reporting of this article

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