September 29, 2014

Greeks establish informal tailgating dress code

Zeta Tau Alphas Morgan Ferguson and Kelly Finnell applied matching coats of deep maroon lipstick as a final touch to their meticulously planned outfits. After two hours picking out dresses and boots, clipping in hair extensions and layering mascara, the pair and their group of girl friends felt ready to go out. They weren’t going out to an upscale dinner or a ZTA formal, but to a gravel parking lot behind gate four of the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. The occasion: tailgate.

In the lot, more than a half dozen flags and painted letters staked off territories fraternity and sorority members had claimed as their own for an afternoon of tailgating before the game against Wake Forest. Beneath the flags and pop-up tents, women dressed similarly to Ferguson and Finnell danced and drank with men wearing polos, flat-front shorts and boat shoes.

“Whenever you go to tailgate, you gotta make sure your make up is on point. You’re gonna be in bright lighting, so all your flaws are gonna show,” Ferguson said. “I had to put in my extensions, cake my face with makeup, make sure my tan looked right, picked out the right outfit, made sure I looked skinny enough; you know, typical girl things like that. It’s definitely an event to look good for.”

Ferguson wasn’t the only sorority tailgater with that opinion. “I think girls shouldn’t just wear jerseys, because it doesn’t represent Louisville as well,” sophomore Taylor Murray said. “A black dress or red dress looks way more classy.”

Freshman Clayton Amshoff agreed on the informal dress code, “Polos and dress shirts for the guys, dresses for the girls — or rompers,” he grinned. “Girls look nice in rompers.”

Ferguson admitted the dress code wasn’t just a matter of classiness for her, though. “Obviously, we have new (fraternity) pledge members, new people to meet,” she said. “Everyone’s out there looking for their Mrs. Degree. The root of it is: people wanna meet people.”

Senior and Kappa Sigma president Sam Whittaker argued the expected attire maintained informality. “At Kappa Sig, we keep it fairly casual,” he said, while wearing khakis and a UofL polo. “This isn’t an SEC school, so we’re not doing shirts and ties and that kind of stuff, but guys usually wear polos and flat-front shorts. Some people show up in jerseys and stuff, which is fine. Girls usually wear dresses, but not all the time. No dress code, as far as we’re concerned. We’re pretty relaxed on it. Normally one tailgate a year, we’ll dress up SEC style.”

Not every fraternity or sorority member adhered to the norm, though. While Finnell did wear maroon lipstick and a lace shawl, she also stayed semi-casual with a v-neck tee and jean shorts. “I feel like if you wear a tee shirt and shorts, you’re just like ‘I’m here to party and I don’t care about anything else,’” she said. “It’s kind of a Southern thing, I think. I went to a Cincinnati game yesterday, and they were literally wearing tee shirts and shorts and it was totally normal. The farther south you go, the more intense it is to look good for football games. I think it’s weird.”

The more dressed-up attire stayed mostly within the realm of sorority and fraternity tailgaters. Some non-Greek-affiliated students wore similar outfits, but had a more relaxed attitude about it. “I think people should just mind their own business and worry about what they’re wearing,” freshman Drew Smith said.

There was one rule every tailgater seemed to agree on: “no cargos,“ junior Matt Ballard said.

Finnell ardently agreed. “You mean cargo shorts? Those aren’t acceptable in any situation.”

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22 thoughts on “Greeks establish informal tailgating dress code

  1. This article is an embarrassment to Louisville and to Greek life in general. I’m in a sorority and I can assure you I am concerned about much more than an MRS degree and looking skinny. Think before you speak girl.

  2. This is an embarrassment to Greek Life, women and the University of Louisville. Morgan sounds like a complete bimbo who has not realized the real reason of Greek Life and is part of the problem for why U of L Greek Life is going to shit. If all you care about is looking skinny you have a hard reality when you graduate. Get it together girl.

  3. This is by far the dumbest thing I’ve read in quite some time.
    The girls quoted in this article almost makes it seem like you are writing something satirical. There is something seriously wrong with the students of this university if they true my believe what has been said.

  4. Wow. Just think what this countries future could be like if these idiotic children put as much work into schooling and jobs as they do fashion sense at a tailgate. Youth of today=morons. Disappointed in the next generation.

  5. Notice all of the ignorant statements are coming from freshmen and underclassmen who haven’t figured out how to conduct themselves as Greek members at Louisville yet and probably shouldn’t be representing anyone, Greeks or not. Poor representation of Greek values and statements seemed to be cherry picked for their idiocy. Schools are trying to get rid of Greek organizations all over the country and are desperate for bad PR to use against them. Sarah, this isn’t TMZ. Work on digging into what the majority is saying rather than using a few freshman quotes to generalize a portion of the student population.

  6. Wow so disgusting and degrading towards women. This ferguson girl is objectifying her own gender and I’m honestly embarrassed for her. I’m completely open to this opinion but the reasoning behind it is garbage. The fact that someone goes through all this trouble to look dressed up for standing in a patch of dirt before a football game is ridiculous. People like ferguson are the reason girls in today’s society suffer with such low self esteem. So thanks ferguson for letting everyone know how desperate you are to fit in and making yourself look pathetic

  7. Incredibly disappointed in The Louisville Cardinal for endorsing such an article that is so sexist, unrepresentative of the Greek system and poorly reported. This is an embarrassment to the University of Louisville as a whole.

  8. I hope that this is satire. Do people really intentionally “cake” their makeup or clip in fake hair to watch football in the heat? I’m also pretty skeptical of the line about rompers. This might be worse than the line beard reputation. I am a UofL sorority alum and a big fan of the Cards and of tailgating. I sometimes tailgate in similar attire to [some of] what is being described here. But, these people seem to be missing the point of tailgating and missing the point of college. I find this offensive as a woman and as a UofL fan and do not think this is at all representative of most UofL fans, Greeks, nor dignified educated people.

  9. As a parent of a University of Louisville student I find this article frightening. Is this truly what the Panhellenic Council of the University of Louisville endorses and finds acceptable? This is 2014, have we not moved forward as a society to stop judging people on their appearance. Cargo shorts, “made sure I looked skinny enough”, really??? I would hope that your generation of young adults will become more tolerant and accepting. Your generation has the capacity to create change. I challenge you all to enlighten and educate others on tolerance. I know that one cannot make a generalization on those who participate in Greek Life, but according to the articles in this issue they have certainly not painted themselves in a good light. Please take this opportunity to move forward and make a change.

  10. This article is embarrassing for greek life and the entire university. I am so sad that these girls feel like their lives boil down to fake hair, fake tans, and being a housewife. I hope that one day they find the self-worth to realize that they have so much more to add to the world. But, I refuse to let myself get too upset because these girls are in no way an accurate representation of college women. For every one girl who acts this way, I know 10 more who are driven, compassionate, worldly, and accomplished.

  11. This article is absolute garbage. I would expect better from both the Greek community and the Louisville Cardinal as a publication. This article clearly has an anti-Greek bias behind it and is an example of why good journalism is supposed to be objective. The young ladies and gentlemen quoted in the article are a poor representation of themselves and their organizations and should be dealt with as such. They are also not a fair representation of the University of Louisville Greek community. As a Greek, I know a multitude of well-spoken, motivated college students who are in each and every fraternity and sorority on this campus, and I think I speak for us all when I say this article is an outrage and that Ms. Sarah Rohleder should think a bit harder before posting total crap to the internet and parading it as “journalism” or “legitimate opinion”.

  12. As an alumna of Greek Life, I am embarrassed by this article and saddened that the Louisville Cardinal came across the one member who would represent the Greek community in such a poor way. The Louisville Cardinal made a serious error in judgement talking to one sophomore to represent the entire community and making it seem that the views presented by this one idiot applied to everyone. If any policy- formal or informal- is created by the Greek community, the report would come from the Panhellenic and IFC presidents, not some girl who obviously came to college to party and find a husband instead of getting a real education and achieving something with her life. i hope that the rest of the Greek community stands up and speaks out against the poor representation of their values by both this member and the Louisville Cardinal.

  13. The only embarrassing aspect of this article would be the comments. The concept of satire seems to have been lost on an alarming number of my fellow alumni. The people who take this article seriously are the same people who tune into the Colbert Report for news.

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