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Clemson ending balloon release tradition

A long-time Clemson football tradition is coming to an end. 
The university confirmed on Saturday that it will no longer release balloons at home football games beginning this season. 
According to Joe Galbraith, Clemson’s Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications, the decision had been in the works for awhile. 
“Several years ago, a recommendation was made by the Clemson University Commission on Sustainability to review the practice of releasing balloons into the sky prior to football games,” Galbraith said in an email to The Tiger on Saturday afternoon. “Following discussions with campus groups, a plan was put in place by the university administration two years ago to reduce the number of balloons by half in the 2017 season and completely for the 2018 season.” 
Galbraith added that, “While there have been numerous games in the past several years at which balloons were not released (mainly due to weather), campus officials have worked closely with athletics and Central Spirit to determine future plans surrounding the gameday experience as an alternative to balloons. The university and athletics are also discussing new gameday responsibilities for students in Central Spirit who have previously been involved in filling balloons with helium prior to games.”
The news originally broke on Friday, when a member of Central Spirit posted on their personal Facebook page that the balloon tradition was coming to an end.  
Clemson has also seen mounting pressure over the past few years to end the practice. PETA launched a call to action campaign earlier this year, circulating a petition urging the university to end the balloon releases.

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