Yale pays to access tailgates



As this weekend’s Harvard-Yale showdown approaches, Yale officials agreed Tuesday to give Harvard $2,000 to fund a joint barbecue at the tailgate, bringing an end to three months of thorny negotiations surrounding Saturday’s festivities in Cambridge, Mass.

Yale Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said she would provide Harvard’s dean’s office with $2,000 to help fund a joint Yale-Harvard barbecue at the tailgate that will be free for students from both schools. Although Yale’s contribution will not directly pay for the beer that will be served at the barbecue, as that would violate University policy, it does give Yale students free access to all food and beer at the barbecue, Harvard Undergraduate Council President Matt Mahan said. Students over the age of 21 may drink the free beer after receiving a wristband from the beer distributors, who will not accept Yale or Harvard IDs as legal identification.

The HUC and Harvard’s 12 housing committees will contribute a total of $7,400 to pay for beer at the barbecue. The Harvard dean’s office will spend as much as three times that amount on costs associated with the tailgate — such as alcohol servers and identification checkers from a still-unnamed liquor distributor — as well as hamburgers and other food for the barbecue, Harvard Special Assistant for Social Programming Zac Corker said Tuesday.

The HUC had previously asked the Yale College Council to contribute the $2,000 for the barbecue, but Yale’s residential college councils declined, YCC President Andrew Cedar ’06 said.

“They were feeling like we were going to be contributing a lot of money to food and drinks that few if any Yale kids would want,” Cedar said.

Students were more likely to consume food and alcohol served at individual tailgates for each residential college and a number of student organizations, he said

The HUC next turned to the Yale College Dean’s Office for funding and Trachtenberg approved the request for $2,000 on Tuesday.

“We were very happy to contribute,” Trachtenberg said. “We thought it would be a good thing to help out.”

Trachtenberg said she agreed to provide the money on the condition that it not be used to purchase alcohol. Corker said the Harvard dean’s office will spend the money in accordance with Yale’s wishes.

“If there’s a concern, we’ll put it where Yale wants it to go,” Corker said.

Such financial exchanges are not unprecedented in the history of The Game, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said.

“Apparently there have been exchanges like this before,” Salovey said. “Last year, Harvard gave Yale $1,000 toward a band that played at the tailgate.”

The funding settlement was the final step in a planning process that has spanned the fall semester and which included several rounds of negotiations between the HUC, the YCC, both schools’ dean’s offices, various liquor distributors and the Boston Police Department.

Last week, Harvard organizers solidified a final list of regulations for the tailgate. Yale students will be allowed to enter the tailgate at Ohiri Field for free, but guests must purchase a $10 ticket. Harvard is banning all kegs, U-Haul trailers and Winnebagos, and is limiting the amount of alcohol each person can carry into the tailgate to 20 gallons of beer or one gallon of alcohol.

Tickets for the football game at Harvard Stadium are currently on sale at the Ray Tompkins House at Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Yale students must purchase $15 tickets to attend the game and can buy guest tickets for $30.

Cedar said he was glad to see the process of planning the tailgate end well.

“We’ve tried to work as much as we can with Harvard people,” Cedar said. “We haven’t been getting along poorly.”

Mahan also said he was also pleased with the end results.

“We’ve been working hard for the last few months,” Mahan said. “I’m really confident that it’s going to be a great tailgate.”

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