In addition to unseasonably pleasant weather, last weekend’s tailgate for the Harvard-Yale game saw heightened police activity.
Though the Yale Police cited only three minors for possession or consumption of alcohol last weekend, that was up from zero alcohol-related infractions the weekend of the 2007 Game, the last one held in New Haven. Police also opened an investigation of selling alcohol to minors at College Wine on Church Street, according to the Yale Police crime log.
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The citations come after students said they had seen police tighten enforcement of underage drinking laws in the weeks leading up to The Game. Students said they had been stopped by police officers who stationed themselves near liquor stores around campus, asking for identification.
Yale Police Chief James Perrotti said in an interview last week that a recent uptick in police activity near campus is the result of increased police surveillance of panhandling and public drunkenness, for which the Yale Police created a police detail before Halloween. The detail was not established to monitor underage drinking and alcohol purchases, Perrotti said, though Yale students have happened to “cross its path.”
University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said the creation of the new police detail does not reflect a change in University policy. Yale Police pay particular attention to Yale events such as Halloween and the Harvard-Yale game, Highsmith said.
Perrotti and Highsmith did not respond to requests for comment Sunday.
But even with increased surveillance from police in the past few weeks, two students said they did not notice a police presence at the tailgate, adding that they thought they would not have changed their own behavior if they had.
“It would have been tamer and people would have walked around with drinks less,” Sarah Rosen ’12 said. “But I also don’t know how effectively police would have been able to regulate such a large event.”
It was sunny and mild as students arrived by the truckload to the tailgate, and five other students interviewed agreed that the tailgate was a success.
“I think the tailgate is really nice,” Cyril Uy ’12 said. “There isn’t much animosity [between Harvard and Yale].”