No student groups submitted applications to the Yale College Council for the eight spaces allotted to Yale organizations at this year’s Harvard-Yale tailgate before the Sunday night deadline.
YCC Secretary Zach Marks ’09 said although the Council received several inquiries from groups before the deadline, there was much less interest in tailgating spots than expected. Many leaders of student organizations said they will throw tailgates at the Yale-Princeton game in New Haven this Saturday instead of their traditional Harvard-Yale parties because of Harvard’s new restrictions.
Marks said the lack of applications is not only due to Harvard’s increasingly restrictive drinking policies but also to the absence of college-sponsored transportation this year. In a departure from past years, the Council of Masters will not subsidize buses to and from Cambridge for The Game, Silliman College Master Judith Krauss announced last Monday.
“In terms of finished applications, we have zero,” Marks said. “I think it is tough this year [with] Harvard cutting down on the potential fun of the tailgates.”
The YCC announced last week that it would accept applications for a lottery to decide which groups would receive the eight places reserved for Yale groups on Ohiri Field in Boston, where the tailgates will be held. An additional 12 spots were set aside for the residential college Student Activities Committees, though the Silliman College SAC has already announced that it does not plan to host a tailgate at The Game and other colleges said they are still considering whether or not to tailgate.
YCC Vice President Steve Engler said the deadline for tailgate applications has been extended to Sunday, Nov. 12. The YCC will try to reach out during this week to groups that do not traditionally throw tailgates, he said.
Engler said the hype surrounding the Yale-Princeton Game this weekend might be detracting from student interest in The Game and may discourage Yalies from making the trek to Cambridge at all.
Yohannes Abraham ’07, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said his fraternity decided not to host a tailgate party at the Harvard-Yale Game in favor of an event at the Princeton game. He said although he is surprised that no groups submitted applications to the YCC, he thinks students were turned off by Harvard’s stringent regulations.
“I think a lot of student groups don’t want to deal with the ridiculous restrictions that Harvard put forward,” Abraham said.
Adriane Levin ’09, a member of the varsity sailing team — which usually throws a large tailgate at The Game — said the team debated at length about applying for a spot. She said while most of her teammates plan on attending The Game, the team decided that hosting a tailgate is not worth the effort because of the new rules.
“I think we’re all really concerned about how different the rules are this year, and it’s still pretty unclear what exactly the restrictions are going to be like and what the responsibilities are going to be,” Levin said.
Levin said because many sailing alumni will attend the Yale-Princeton game, it will be an adequate substitute for the festivities usually held at Harvard.
Harvard student groups have been allocated a total of 33 spaces on Ohiri Field, 12 of which are set aside for House Committees.