tiger-fur image

Celebrate Safely TOGETHER

There are so many wonderful people at Clemson University who contribute to creating safe, healthy and appealing environments for all members of our community. Check out some of these people who were interviewed in Fall 2020 to see what they do at Clemson University and how they Celebrate Safely.

December 4: Jon Allen


This week, the Celebrate Safely campaign highlights Jon Allen. Jon serves as the Associate Athletic Director for Event Operations in Clemson Athletics and oversees major event operations for all sporting events, including football, baseball and more! Throughout the football season, Jon consistently works with various offices and campus partners to ensure the stadium is ready for the tens of thousands of fans in attendance each week.

On a typical gameday, Jon is up before the sun rises and is making last minute preparations with his team before kickoff occurs. He assists in coordination with Parking Services, CUPD and other offices to make sure every detail is ready for gameday. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Jon’s team has had to think creatively about how to navigate football season so that it can still occur. From operations such as entrance into the stadium and ticket scanning to ensuring that fans are properly social distancing and wearing a mask, Jon is grateful this year’s season has come with minimal issues. Although there are less fans in attendance this season, Jon and his team have managed to still make sure the experience is as enjoyable as possible!

In addition to the work Jon does before and during the game, Jon also works after each game to make sure everyone returns home safely. Jon talked about a time in which he stepped up to create a safer environment on a gameday. During the 2019 game against Georgia Tech, Jon was driving visiting fans back to their cars after a long gameday. He noticed some Tech fans who couldn’t find their way because it was dark out. He drove them back to their vehicle and made sure they were able to depart campus safely. Jon stated that most people tend to think that gameday is over once the game concludes; however, this isn’t the case, and his job continues after the game, until everyone has made it home safely.

Reflecting on the gameday season, Jon is thankful for how flexible the Athletics department and the Clemson community have been during this year’s football season. He, as well as his team, have constantly reevaluated their plans to ensure fans can have the most enjoyable experience possible when attending the game in person. Jon reminds us that with hardwork and dedication, the Clemson community can overcome obstacles and make the most out of any situation it faces.

As you prepare to celebrate the Virginia Tech game this weekend, keep the following safety tips in mind:

November 20: Jamee Grindine

Jamee Grindine

This week, the Celebrate Safely campaign highlights Jamee Grindine, a current senior studying Recreational Therapy and a cashier at the on-campus Raising Canes. Jamee is also involved with A. Bevy. A.Bevy, Inc is an arts and education organization that produces creative events, media and opportunities that improve self-awareness through introspection. Jamee has been a member of the organization throughout her college career, and she thanks it for giving her some of her greatest memories at Clemson.

Before COVID-19, a typical gameday for a Raising Cane’s employee would be much like the average Tiger fan. She would enjoy tailgating with her friends and family. Prior to the pandemic, customers could enter Raising Canes without waiting in staggered lines, could dine-in and enjoy sitting inside for hours. Now, she and the other employees have to constantly make sure people abide by the 6 foot markers on the floor, wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose, and exit the building once they get their order.

As a student, Jamee now watches the game at home when off the clock. She enjoys cheering on the team from the comfort of her own home safely. She recalls her favorite gameday memory similar to a lot of upperclassmen – when Disney filmed at the Charlotte game last September. She was at the game with friends and thinks it’s pretty cool she will be cemented in Clemson’s history.

Jamee always ensures she is doing her part, taking care of herself and those around her. Because everyone around her is legally able to drink responsibly, if anyone in her circle does participate in celebrating, Jamee always makes sure they are hydrated, have a designated sober driver and have a plan for the day’s activities.

As a senior, Jamee looks forward to graduation this December. She is trying to make the most out of her last semester as she gets ready to close her Clemson chapter and take the next step in her life. With the holidays just around the corner, she is looking forward to celebrating and spending time with family and friends. With that being said, Jamee urges everyone to continue to be safe by protecting yourself and others. Wear masks, stay healthy and we’ll be able to get back to normalcy soon. 

Jamee looks back on her time at Clemson, being she is one of the few people of color, and hopes she was able to make a change in the community. She has enjoyed working at Canes over the years, because she is able to provide a service to every customer that walks through the doors. She is literally serving the Clemson community by putting a smile on their face with delicious food in their bellies.

November 6: Emily Morrison

Emily Morrison

This week, the Celebrate Safely campaign highlights Emily Morrison, who is a current senior studying Secondary Education and serves as the president of Central Spirit. In her role, Emily oversees Clemson’s largest undergraduate student organization and attends as many Clemson sporting events as possible, including volleyball, soccer, track and field, and most importantly, football! In addition to this, Central Spirit also puts on First Friday and Homecoming events each year!

Given that Emily has been to many Clemson sporting events, she’s also had many great memories! She cited the football game against UNC Charlotte during the 2019 season as being one of her favorite football memories. During this game, Disney was on site shooting their new film, Safety. Emily was featured in the film because she had the opportunity to participate as a Flag Runner for Central Spirit at both the beginning and halftime of the game. To top it all off, Emily also got engaged at the same game, making it one exciting memory!

Emily personally always exemplifies model behavior when she’s at any Clemson sporting event. Specifically, she follows Solid Orange Behavior, which is an initiative that dates back to the 1990s to promote unity and standard behavior wherever Clemson students go. Not only does she and the rest of Central Spirit wear orange on Fridays and at any sporting event, but they also hold each other accountable to model good behavior, including respecting the athletes and fans of opposing teams and not consuming any illegal alcohol/drug substances.

Emily’s involvement with Central Spirit has shown her how unique the Clemson family spirit is. Emily offers this piece of advice: “If you have the opportunity to go to any game, take that opportunity! Not everyone gets the same opportunity, and it’s important to make the most out of the current situation.” Emily reminds us that no matter the circumstances, we can still find new ways to cheer on our Clemson athletic teams within a safe capacity.

As you prepare to celebrate the Notre Dame game this weekend, keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Remember the Health Clemson: United as Tigers Social Compact. Limit group sizes, maintain social distancing, wear a face covering and wash your hands frequently.
  • If you choose to drink, consider how COVID-19 can impact your consumption.

October 30: Michelle Young

Michelle Young

This week, the Celebrate Safely campaign highlights Michelle Young, a cherished Sergeant of Clemson University’s Police Department (CUPD) with 21 devoted years of service under her belt. While off duty, Michelle is still a much involved community member working with CUPD Sexual Assault and Crime Prevention, educational programs with Alcohol and Drug related topics, along with workplace violence and the prevention of suspicious packages. On top of all that, she awaits her newly acquired certification for Victim Advocacy. Michelle is a priceless asset, and we could not be more thankful for her dedicated service to the Clemson community and beyond.

Being that Michelle is always on duty protecting Tiger fans and ensuring they are celebrating safely, her gameday looks a little different. Before COVID-19, she could expect 150,000 Tiger fans from all over coming to campus to enjoy the game. It’s busy, with loads of traffic and foot patrol. Nowadays, Michelle dispatches calls throughout the stadium. These calls include anything from medic calls to the main issue of fans not wearing their masks. Fortunately, attendance has decreased to around 19,000 people, so there is a lot less traffic and lost children running around the stadium, allowing Michelle to breathe more than she could on a typical gameday.

She recalls one of her favorite memories being one when she brought her twins to enjoy the game while off duty. She is a proud Tiger mom and will cherish the moments her kids are able to bring. Unfortunately, not all games bring happy memories. It was late after a game when Michelle was about to be on her way home. Before being shuttled to her vehicle, she witnessed an altercation when a man struck a woman. When Michelle confronted the duo, the woman did not want to admit what occurred, but Michelle went with her gut. The man was charged and locked up for assault. After the ordeal, the woman was incredibly thankful for Michelle’s intervention. The woman was too scared in the moment to speak up.

Michelle urges everyone to continue to socially distance and follow the COVID-19 resources so we can all celebrate gamedays as planned in the future. Prior to leaving your home, she advises people to call the place you’re headed to and make sure they have guidelines in place to ensure everyone’s safety. If we can all follow the safety guidelines right now, we can all get through the pandemic faster. This is a group effort, and we all have to do it together.

Michelle truly enjoys being a part of the Clemson community because of all the educational components associated with her role on and off the clock. She loves being able to make a difference with individuals on campus as it relates to alcohol, drug safety and violence prevention.

As you prepare to celebrate the Boston College game this weekend, here are two safety tips to consider:

  1. If you choose to drink, consider how COVID-19 can impact your consumption.
  2. Recognize when someone’s in trouble, and step up to help.

As you prepare to head off for fall break, make sure to plan ahead to ensure you return home safely.

October 22: John Reynolds

John Reynolds

This week, the Celebrate Safely campaign highlights John Reynolds, who serves as an Assistant Director for Residential Learning. In his role, he is both a Program Coordinator for the Bridge to Clemson program, as well as a Community Director for the Lightsey Bridge community. He works directly with Residential Assistants and Graduate Community Directors to help support students’ transitions to Clemson.

John loves watching the Tigers play football, especially when he’s with his friends and family. His first Clemson game was during the 2018 season against Furman University. He loved the atmosphere, full of energy that the fans created, and remembered it left a huge impact on his entire family. In addition to this, John loves Clemson because he values the community of support present within it. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he acknowledges that support can look a little different. He tries to do what he can to provide support for the students in his community, ranging from regular check-ins to congratulating the athletes that live there on a game well played.

Because of the support present within the community, John also ensures that the students and fans around him are able to celebrate in a safe capacity. He recalled one incident where he encountered a first-year student who had friends from another university visiting, one of which was experiencing signs of alcohol poisoning. He quickly called EMS and ensured that the individual was rushed to the hospital in a timely manner. John says he always tries to step up and intervene whenever he sees a need to.

In addition to ensuring the people around him can celebrate within a safe capacity, John always strives to model healthy practices. This means he personally monitors his consumption and eats and hydrates regularly. John’s piece of advice for this season is to remember you don’t always have to consume alcohol to have fun. He reminds us that we can still engage with our friends and family and do so in a safe manner. 

As you prepare to celebrate the Syracuse Game this weekend, here are two safety tips to consider:

  1. Recognize when someone is in trouble, and step up to help.
  2. If you choose to drink, consider how COVID-19 can impact your consumption.

October 16: Jason White

Jason White

This week, Celebrate Safely spotlights Jason White, a senior at Clemson University studying Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology and Russian studies. Aside from school work, Jason also serves as Vice President of the Interfraternity Council at Clemson. He was also the previous president of Theta Chi, and he is a member of the Russian Club and Water Polo Club.

Before COVID-19, Jason would enjoy gameday with his chapter, usually at a brother’s house near downtown by the delicious Spill the Beans. They would all hangout, then head over to the stadium just before kickoff and enjoy a day cheering on the Tigers. Now that plans are slightly different, Jason enjoys showcasing his school spirit from the comfort of his own home. If he is able to go to the game, he abides by social distancing practices and makes sure he is wearing his mask at all times. Jason also enjoys tailgating and spending time with his friends and family. Prior to the pandemic, he would host a tailgate and those of age could participate responsibly. Jason now hosts tailgates in much smaller crowds and ensures everyone is wearing masks.

Jason wants to remind everyone to stay hydrated and always have a buddy, ensuring to step up when necessary. He remembers a time when walking to the game and being with friends that had had too much to drink and how it could’ve turned sour. He emphasized how it's important to stay with them and make sure they are properly cared for and get the help they need.

Throwing it back to his sophomore year, Jason recalls the moment we won the National Championship. Everyone in the Clemson community was gathered downtown to rejoice in pure happiness and school spirit. “It was one of the best moments of my life. It was a great experience to see both students and community members gathered and interact in such a positive experience.” Jason will cherish the memories forever.

Grateful for the fact that the football season wasn’t cancelled, Jason is excited about having the opportunity to watch the game. Even though he wasn’t granted a ticket, he is thankful that Clemson University has created safe environments for all players and Tiger fans to enjoy. He wants to advise everyone to be smart. While there are a lot of opportunities to engage in unhealthy behaviors, it is necessary to still wear your masks and stay socially distanced when possible while we have a few games left. We all need to be safe and smart. We are still able to show support to the team and celebrate safely if we are all conscious of our actions and selfless to one another.

As you prepare to celebrate the Georgia Tech game this weekend, here are two safety tips to consider:

  1. Remember the Healthy Clemson: United as Tigers Social Compact. Limit group sizes, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering and wash hands frequently.
  2. Before you go out, plan ahead and know what you are getting yourself into.

October 9: Joe Strickland

Joe Strickland

This week, the Celebrate Safely campaign highlights Joe Strickland, who serves as the Associate Director for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) at Clemson University. In his role, he works with and advises the 22 chapters that make up the Interfraternity Council as well as the Health and Wellness Risk Management team across the four FSL councils.

Joe’s work with FSL is focused on ensuring each chapter follows council and community guidelines with regard to social gatherings, alcohol consumption and general membership responsibilities. In addition to this, he works in crisis management and responds to emergencies from time to time. Joe talked about one experience where he responded to individuals who were showing signs of heat exhaustion and alcohol overconsumption. After ensuring their needs were taken care of, he also offered risk-reduction strategies, such as avoiding drinking games, so they can be better prepared if they chose to drink again. He admits that his work has become more complicated due to COVID-19; however, he has been working diligently to provide accurate information and resources, such as the use of hand sanitizer and face masks, to students so they are better equipped for the semester and game days.

Although Joe has only been at Clemson for two years, he has already experienced many great memories on game days. He loves the atmosphere the students and fans create, especially when Clemson won the 2018 National Championship! “Everyone was in the same area of downtown, and the Clemson family dynamic was created. Football brings us all together, regardless of our individual backgrounds and identities.” Joe believes the Clemson family is an authentic component of the gameday experience and hopes to continue seeing community members look out for each other as we navigate COVID-19.

When looking at the upcoming season, Joe is most excited to reconnect with others and help to create a safe environment where we can all enjoy game days. “Each campus has taken different approaches to these goals. Clemson values student health and well-being and is doing its best to create and savour that memorable student experience, especially for the first-year students.” Joe reminds us that although life has been altered because of COVID-19, we can still find innovative and creative solutions to connect with others and ensure a safe game day environment for all.

As you prepare to celebrate the Miami game this weekend, here are two safety tips to consider:

  1. If you choose to drink, consider how COVID-19 can impact your consumption.
  2. Remember the Healthy Clemson: United as Tigers Social Compact. Limit group sizes, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering and wash hands frequently.

October 1: Jonathan Gundana

Jonathan Gundana

This week, Celebrate Safely spotlights Jonathan Gundana. Jonathan is a senior at Clemson University studying Mechanical Engineering. Outside of the classroom, you might catch him between meetings in the CUSG offices serving as the Undergraduate Student Body President or working for Dority and Manning, a patent law firm in downtown Greenville.

Growing up in Fountain Inn, SC, Jonathan has always loved Clemson football. On a typical gameday, he would start the day with ESPN highlights, hang out with friends and then head to the game. He always stays the entirety of any game, enjoying his go-to hot dog and bottle of water, so that he can cheer on the Tigers! He recalls one of his favorite gameday memories as a flashback to junior year of high school, where he was able to experience his first game, along with his older brother. Jonathan highlighted the atmosphere and cheering of fans, which is a memory he will forever cherish. Jonathan understands gameday will look very different this year due to the necessary safety measures that have to be taken to keep everyone safe.

In addition to taking precautions, Jonathan spoke about a time he had to step up and help his peers. Jonathan recalled about a time he chose to return home with his friend to watch the game in a safe environment. He was able to recognize that his friend was partaking in high-risk drinking behaviors. Jonathan encouraged his friend to practice risk-reduction strategies such as alternating drinks with water and eating regularly. Jonathan wants to urge everyone to stay safe this season and to celebrate games with friends in good fellowship.

When asked about the upcoming season, Jonathan urges everyone to enjoy being a Tiger while you still can. Students make the Clemson experience and fall Saturdays bring football as a great school distraction and stress reliever. Stay the whole game. There's no guarantee we'll be in the stadium this year. Cherish all the wins, even if we're definitely going to win. We're not going to get the game back once it's over. Enjoy it while you have it.

As you prepare to celebrate the Virginia game this weekend, here are two safety tips to consider:

  1. If you choose to drink, plan ahead to ensure you and your friends can stay safe.
  2. Recognize when someone’s in trouble, and step up to help.

September 18: Jess Engel

photo of Jess Engel and friends tailgating and celebrating safely.

This week, Celebrate Safely spotlights Jess Engel. Jess is a senior at Clemson University studying Communications. Outside of the classroom, Jess can be found working in her main role as a student intern for the Aspire to Be Well program with Healthy Campus. Jess also serves as a Wellness Advocate for Fraternity and Sorority Life and as the Director for Policy and Prevention Education for her sorority, Pi Beta Phi.

Jess is a big fan of Clemson football and loves talking about her favorite memories. In the past, Jess has enjoyed tailgates with her friends that included grilling out, listening to music and talking. We asked Jess about her favorite gameday memory, and she reflected on the Clemson versus Syracuse game her sophomore year in 2018. She recalled being in the high rise stands in the lower desk and it being “the most excited I had ever seen the stadium”. Jess admits that she isn’t sure what gameday is going to look like this year, but she is hoping she will be able to celebrate safely in small groups taking necessary precautions. 

In addition to taking precautions for the upcoming gameday season, Jess also talked about a time when she had to step up to help her peers. Jess explained that at one game she attended, she noticed the warning signs of heat exhaustion in her friends and warning signs of alcohol poisoning in somebody nearby. She was able to get help from staff in the stadium for both individuals. 

When asked about the upcoming season, Jess offered this piece of advice: “Remember why you’re at the game, and more specifically, why you’re at Clemson. Although games will look different, it will be important for us to work together to keep the football season as normal as possible this year.” Jess reminded us that the students and fans are the ones who bring the “magic” to gameday and that we can keep the excitement alive this season while celebrating safely. 

As you prepare to celebrate the Citadel game this weekend, here are three safety tips to consider: 

  1. Remember the Healthy Clemson: United as Tigers Social Compact. Limit group sizes, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering and wash hands frequently. 
  2. Recognize when someone’s in trouble, and step up to help. 

If you choose to drink, use risk-reduction strategies, such as avoiding drinking games, to stay safe.