Harvard houses to host pre-Games

College-sponsored parties will be added to the mix of social events surrounding the Harvard-Yale game this year, as many of Harvard’s House Committees are now planning parties on Thursday and Friday nights before the Game.

Funds for the parties will be provided by the House Committees — the equivalent of Yale’s residential college councils — and Harvard College, and alcohol will be available for students over 21, Harvard Campus Life Fellow John Drake said. While some Harvard and Yale students said they would attend the parties, many said the gatherings will not be a satisfactory substitute for the traditional Harvard-Yale atmosphere.

Harvard junior Michael Robin, a Winthrop House Committee co-chair, said Friday’s parties will be open to Yale students. He said the parties are intended to bring together students from across the Harvard campus on the eve of The Game.

“On the weekend, half the students are on the quad, half the students on the river, and no one is in the same place at the same time,” he said. “Harvard-Yale weekend we want everyone together, which is why we decided to throw one event for the whole campus.”

Alcohol will be served at some of the parties, but “Beverage Authorization Teams,” or BATs, will ensure that no underage students obtain alcohol, Robin said.

Robin said the House Committees’ decision to throw the parties is unrelated to Yalies’ complaints that Harvard’s social scene is relatively boring.

“I think, frankly, that that idea is kind of bullshit,” he said. “Harvard does not have a lame party scene. … People at Harvard have a good time on weekends.”

An uproar among Yale students followed Harvard administrators’ announcement last month that students will not be able to bring alcohol into the tailgate held the morning of the Game. While some alcoholic beverages will be distributed by professional bartenders at the tailgate, they will only be available to those over 21.

Some students at both schools said they will consider attending the parties before the Game, but many Elis said they are not particularly excited about them.

“I’m not sure that Yale students are that eager to socialize at Harvard houses,” Lauren Dunn ’08 said. “It doesn’t really appeal to me that much.”

Alex Bartik ’08 said that during Harvard-Yale weekend in 2004, he went to a number of events in Cambridge, but spent most of the time in clubs and bars. He said he does not see a need for residential colleges to organize similar parties when the Game moves back to New Haven next year.

“A lot of the residential colleges already have parties, just maybe not school-sponsored ones,” Bartik said. “It’s more fun if it’s room parties, and we already have that at Yale.”

But Robin said he expects the parties to attract a large number of Harvard students.

“I don’t expect people to come to them — I know people will come to them,” he said. “With the pep rally on Thursday night followed by these parties, I would not be surprised if the entire campus descended on them. It’s going to be ridiculous.”

Harvard freshman Joe Ramirez said he thinks Harvard students will be satisfied with the parties.

“I’ll probably at least check the parties out,” he said. “They’re probably going to have a lot of people there … It’s college, so the parties are not going to be crazy or whatever, but we have a good time.”

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