Only 20 spots for Yale at The Game tailgate

Only eight spaces are likely to be available for Yale groups wishing to hold tailgates at this year’s Harvard-Yale Game in Cambridge, on top of 12 spaces reserved for residential college Student Activities Committees.

The Yale College Council will hold a limited lottery to determine which groups will get spaces, YCC Secretary Zach Marks ’09 said. While some students said they understand Harvard’s need to limit the number of tailgating spaces, many said demand will far outnumber available spots and will leave many groups disappointed.

Students barbecue at the 2005 Game tailgate. This year, only 18 Yale organizations will be able to have these celebrations.
Alex White
Students barbecue at the 2005 Game tailgate. This year, only 18 Yale organizations will be able to have these celebrations.

Marks said the YCC will screen applications from interested student groups and will enter those who pass the screening process into a lottery. He said this system is the most fair approach the YCC could find.

“It’s obviously difficult,” he said. “We can’t just have an application process … without looking like we are playing favorites.”

The YCC has not yet decided on the criteria it will use to select groups for the lottery or when the lottery will take place, Marks said.

Harvard Campus Life Fellow John Drake said 12 spots have been set aside for residential colleges and eight spots have been given to the YCC to dispense at its discretion. If there is high student demand for tailgating spaces, Harvard may increase the number of non-residential college student groups that can tailgate, he said.

“The amount of tailgating space is not a 100 percent firm,” Drake said. “If we need to increase those eight spots to 10 or 12, we’re committed to making it work.”

Drake said Harvard has reserved 12 spots for Harvard House Committees — the equivalent of residential college SACs — and an additional 21 spaces for Harvard student groups, for a total of 33 spaces, compared to the 20 set aside for Yalies. Demand for those spots was only slightly greater than Harvard was able to accommodate, he said.

Some students said they think Harvard’s decision to limit the amount of space being offered to Yale groups will detract from the excitement of the tailgate, but others said they think the new regulations are not unreasonable.

“I really don’t think it’s fair that they’re regulating how undergraduate organizations organize their tailgates,” Calhoun College SAC member David Shapiro ’08 said. “I think it would be fair to let any undergraduate organization that has an appropriate proposal hold a tailgate.”

But not all of the residential colleges will use their allotted spots. Silliman College SAC members said the college will not hold a tailgate in Cambridge this year. Instead Silliman will throw its major tailgate of the season at the Yale-Princeton game on Nov. 11, Silliman SAC Chair Jeff Sun ’08 said.

Sun said he thinks the new regulation will detract from The Game experience for students and alumni who wish to tailgate at the Nov. 18 event.

“I can understand why Harvard would need to set limits, [but] I think that [it’s] is far too few for the number of people who are going to be wanting to hold tailgates,” Sun said.

But heavyweight rower Matt Campbell ’07 said although the crew team typically holds a tailgate at the Harvard-Yale Game, it decided to hold a tailgate only at the Yale-Princeton Game this year because the majority of their alumni will be going to the latter.

“I think the Princeton game, in general, is kind of going to be the focus this year,” he said. “It’s [Harvard’s] party, so they can run it how they want.”

If Harvard does make more space for Yale groups, the final number of spots will not exceedf 27, since the space and resources available at Ohiri Field are limited, Drake said. Drake said he does not know how many groups were given tailgating space at The Game in 2004.

This week the Council of Masters announced that it will not be subsidizing bus transportation to Cambridge for The Game this year, which may deter some from attending, many students said.

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