Rainfall forces shift for tailgates

The tailgate at Saturday’s Harvard-Yale Game in Boston will be moved from Ohiri Field to another, as of yet undecided location due to heavy rainfall, Harvard Campus Life Fellow John Drake said Thursday.

Drake said Harvard still intends to hold tailgates in spite of five days of rainy weather and additional rainfall forecasted for this morning. Administrators from the Harvard College Dean’s Office will meet today and announce the new tailgate location by noon, he said.

“We can no longer use Ohiri Field, because it is under three inches of rain already,” Drake said. “[But] we are committed to going forward with the tailgate, [and] Saturday it’s supposed to be very nice out.”

Drake said the Dean’s Office is considering several alternative sites in Boston, across the Charles River from Harvard’s Cambridgee campus, because standing water does not accumulate as quickly there as it does at Ohiri Field, which is sunk down from the street.

“In the abstract, [Ohiri Field is] not the best place to have a tailgate,” Drake said. “If there is any water at all, it becomes a swamp.”

Except for a damp and muddy field four years ago, Drake said weather conditions at the Harvard-Yale Game have not been adverse or forced the relocation of the tailgate in “recent institutional memory.”

Harvard cancelled a Thursday night pep rally — which was scheduled to take place outside in Harvard Yard — because of weather, although House Committee-sponsored parties for Friday night are still on, Dean of Harvard College Benedict Gross said in an e-mail to Harvard students.

While many Yale and Harvard students said they think the tailgates will still be well attended, some said the damp weather and possibly more remote location may detract from the tailgate’s atmosphere.

Berkeley College Council President Olga Berlinsky ’08 said she thinks some students may not attend the tailgates for long if conditions are wet. But the BKCC intends to host its tailgate regardless of weather conditions, she said.

“If people have gone all the way up to Harvard, I don’t think a little rain is going to stop them,” Berlinsky said. “Maybe people will show up later than they otherwise would have, but … I don’t think people are going to hang out in Harvard rooms during the tailgate.”

Chetan Tadvalkar ’08, a member of the Timothy Dwight College Student Activities Committee, said he thinks the weather and new location will not noticeably affect the tailgate turnout because students have already committed to attending the Game by purchasing tickets and arranging for transportation.

“I personally think at this point most people have bought their tickets and are going to go no matter what, but this is just another example of how Harvard is managing to screw The Game up for everyone,” Tadvalkar said.

But Harvard senior Jonathan Brewer, a Lowell House Committee co-chair, said he thinks students’ enjoyment of the tailgate will be unaffected by the move.

“The general consensus among HoCos is that we are going to push on despite whatever crap ends up happening,” he said. “We are just going to make the best of the situation.”

In case of heavy rain, Lowell House will probably throw a smaller indoor gathering in lieu of a tailgate, Brewer said.

Drake said Harvard’s new tailgating rules will still be in effect, regardless of where the event is held.

No alcohol or liquids of any kind will be allowed into the tailgate area, and all tailgates must shut down at halftime, Drake said. In addition, visibly intoxicated individuals will not be allowed to enter.

Comments

  • rica620

    While, as a cyclist who’s been hit by careless drivers, I feel for the plight of the cyclist, too often I see riders in the cities in Connecticut riding without helmets, proper lighting, etc. It should, without question, be mandatory that cyclists have headlights, tail lights and helmets on at all times. It may sound extreme, but there have been studies done that show riding with flashing lights (not just reflectors), during the DAY, let alone at night, increases your visibility significantly.

    Of course the fault still lies with the driver, and I don’t fault the victim, but there are steps we can all take as riders to make it safer for us.

    And, I’d be more than happy to see police enforce the law with cyclists, not because I’m a masochist, but because it will reinforce with riders of all levels and purposes that we’re vehicles too and must be responsible.