Tony Caravano and Will Quick recall student government's response the 2004 shooting death of two people at the NC State tailgating lot. Interview on November 4, 2011. (5:19)


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Tony Caravano: Yeah. That's the biggest piece that I probably carry with me from that administration. 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:08.660
We've already talked about how tailgating is a cultural piece of what we do at NC State. 00:00:08.660 - 00:00:17.193
Military men were shot, which added another layer to the shooting. Our reputation was on the line. 00:00:17.193 - 00:00:31.312
They weren't NC State students but they were on our lot 00:00:31.312 - 00:00:34.406
and there was a really interesting call from-. Administrators wanted to do what I understand they wanted to do. 00:00:34.406 - 00:00:41.623
They wanted to shut it down and tighten up and make sure this didn't happen again because nationally we were being watched. 00:00:41.623 - 00:00:46.860
Our alumni and our students were really not in line with that idea so we had to be really delicate. We had to make sure that we were respecting the families that lost loved ones. 00:00:46.860 - 00:00:59.011
We had to respect the people who were in the area who experienced it and saw it. 00:00:59.011 - 00:01:06.291
We also had to respect the people who had been tailgating safely and responsibly for decades. 00:01:06.291 - 00:01:13.692
Tony Caravano: So we went to see-. Will Quick: It was Bob Barnhardt at the time. Tony Caravano: Yeah, it was Bob Barnhardt, he was our interim chancellor, 00:01:13.692 - 00:01:22.233
and spoke with him. Lennie Barton, the president of the alumni association, was there as well, 00:01:22.233 - 00:01:28.561
Dr. Stafford was there, and we negotiated with them on some hours for tailgating and some rules for tailgating that were going to be put down to like one or two, 00:01:28.561 - 00:01:40.106
so I think that's one of the places where we did a good job negotiating. I'll pat us on the back, we did a great job negotiating, 00:01:40.106 - 00:01:48.938
but it was really tough emotionally. The other piece on that is that Ohio State was coming the very next week for the game and-. 00:01:48.938 - 00:01:56.146
Will Quick: Huge game. [Laughs] Tony Caravano: It's a huge game but they also bring the most fans. They travel so well, so they're going to be in-. Will Quick: It's the vet school lot out there. 00:01:56.146 - 00:02:07.559
Tony Caravano: Yeah, they're on the fairgrounds, they have their own event going on, 00:02:07.559 - 00:02:10.061
so we actually went over to their tailgate and took a ton of students and we escorted them to make sure that they knew that it was a safe place, that it was a loving place, and we just wanted to have fun, just like they did. 00:02:10.061 - 00:02:22.305
I got up, spoke with their Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin, who's the president of their alumni association, 00:02:22.305 - 00:02:29.455
welcomed them to NC State, just let them know that we were excited that they were here, looking forward to a good game, 00:02:29.455 - 00:02:34.949
and let them know that we were here to walk them through our stadium and that folks were going to greet them warmly, and our fans did that. 00:02:34.949 - 00:02:41.330
Our fans responded really, really well, as I had no doubt that they would. 00:02:41.330 - 00:02:45.545
But emotionally that had a huge impact on me I know because there was so much going on in that two-week period. 00:02:45.545 - 00:02:52.827
Will Quick: Yeah, and I echo everything Tony said about what happened sort of in the immediate time period, the meetings and the high stress, 00:02:52.827 - 00:03:02.293
but that certainly influenced me going forward because we continued to look for ways to improve and make tailgating fun but safe. 00:03:02.293 - 00:03:15.285
So we implemented-. At the point the shooting happened the fairgrounds lot was just sort of an open free-for-all and anyone was welcome to come in. 00:03:15.285 - 00:03:28.974
We backed that out a little bit to where it was more student oriented so it was the students' place where students felt that they had-. 00:03:28.974 - 00:03:37.974
You don't feel like you're going to have to worry about so much the parent next to you or if you're having a good time and you're having your loud music and whatever you want to do. 00:03:37.974 - 00:03:53.981
So we sort of backed that out to where it was just the students in that area and made it their area, but by doing that we gave them responsibility for it. 00:03:53.981 - 00:04:02.813
So we said this is your area but you've got to be responsible in policing it and you've got to be responsible in making sure that if the people next to you are getting out of hand you need to say something about it. 00:04:02.813 - 00:04:14.422
A couple years later the campus police and IFC-the inter-fraternity council-and my administration sort of worked closely together to have those fraternities take a role. 00:04:14.422 - 00:04:29.486
Traditionally they were some of the groups who had been some of the worst in breaking some of the rules and in having parties that were out of hand and that kind of thing, 00:04:29.486 - 00:04:37.457
and I was in that community, and we asked them to take a role in being an image for everybody else, be a role model for all the other students that are tailgating here. 00:04:37.457 - 00:04:50.929
So now you go in and that front row of the fairgrounds lot are all the fraternities 00:04:50.929 - 00:04:59.769
and they generally have pretty clean tailgates comparatively, cleaner than it was years ago, and they try to present a little better image that I think sort of washes through to the rest of the fairgrounds lot. 00:04:59.769 - 00:05:12.045

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