YCC to host tailgate in Cambridge

Tailgating at Harvard just got a whole lot simpler.

This year, the Yale College Council is coordinating a tailgate for all Yale students, intended to replace the independent college council tailgates held in the past. Courtney Pannell ’11, a former editor for the News who is planning the Yale-wide tailgate, said this should replace the college events, which she termed costly and disorganized. Only Timothy Dwight has decided not to join the YCC tailgate and will be holding its own in a separate location.

“We were hoping to give colleges who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a tailgate at Harvard the opportunity to be part of a tailgate,” YCC Treasurer Brandon Levin ’13 said.

The Timothy Dwight College Council voted to continue holding its own tailgate this year. Council President Jennifer Guyton ’12 said that while the YCC proposal presents a “wonderful opportunity” for colleges who cannot otherwise afford their own tailgate, after many discussions TD made the difficult decision to stick with the arrangement that has worked for it in the past. Levin said TD students will still be allowed to take part in the larger tailgate if they want. TD has extended a reciprocal invitation to the rest of the colleges.

Harvard has yet to determine the location of the TD tailgate, but it will be in a different location than the larger Yale event. YCC members coordinated with Harvard administrators to block out space for their tailgate, which will take place beside Harvard’s tailgate on the tennis courts.

Saybrook College has yet to vote on whether or not to participate in the event, but YCC President and Saybrook College Council member Jeff Gordon ’12 said he thinks there is widespread support for the joint tailgate in Saybrook.

Davenport College stipulated that it wants its own area within the larger tailgate.

“An important thing for us is to make sure there is a home for Davenport students,” said Davenport College Council Treasurer Nathaniel Zelinsky ’13.

To fund the YCC tailgate, every participating college was asked to “buy in” for $300, the Yale College Dean’s Office gave $1,000, and the YCC is covering the rest of the costs, which Levin estimated would be somewhere around $3,000.

“We want to be sure that there is ample food for Yale students, as well as work with YCC to provide a way for all Yale students to gather before heading into the stadium to support our football team,” Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry said.

Not only does Yale have a large space blocked off for all students this year, but the YCC is also getting permission to set up the night before the game. The tailgate is getting food from Harvard Dining, which will supplement the catered food YCC is ordering.

Pannell said holding one centralized tailgate allows for easier planning and better collaboration with Harvard, as setting up tailgates in Cambridge has proven difficult in previous years. At the Game two years ago, “everyone was everywhere, and no one really knew where the Yale students were supposed to go,” she said.

Jaya Wen ’12, Ezra Stiles Student Activites Committee chair, said the difficulties of tailgating in Cambridge, which is far away and has stricter rules than New Haven, might have been prohibitive for her college if not for the joint tailgate.

Yale College Dean Mary Miller said it has been important to collaborate with YCC on the tailgate so students can have a more positive experience at Harvard and be able to focus on supporting the team rather than worrying about the crowds and food.

“Everyone wants Harvard and Yale students to enjoy the game and to be a positive presence for the teams, not distracting them with offsite problems,” she said.

Before entering the tailgate area, students will have to show both a federal and school ID to get a wristband that indicates whether or not they are over 21.

The rules for tailgating at Harvard state that tailgating may start at 10 a.m. and must end by kickoff at noon.


  • Veritas

    > Before entering the tailgate area, students will have to show both a federal and school ID to get a wristband that indicates whether or not they are over 21.

    A *federal* ID? I guess no one’s going to be drinking. How many students are planning to carry passports or military IDs to the tailgate?

  • Yale12

    Nice going, TD … too good to party with the rest of us? After all, what really matters here is what college you’re in, not what university you go to, right? Isn’t that what The Game is all about? I mean, you wouldn’t want to have to party with those lesser, poorer colleges anyway.

    I find Timothy Dwight College’s decision to remain separate from ALL OTHER colleges deplorable and obnoxious. I came to Yale expecting the residential college system to be an integral, but not defining, part of my experience here – not something that trumps Yale unity and divides people far more than it unites them.

  • Sillitar13

    TD’s choice isn’t surprising. The overwhelming majority of their College Council budget goes toward their tailgate, which is always their crowning event of the academic year. They wouldn’t give up the one thing they do right to the YCC…

  • TDAlum

    The YCC should do this without the other colleges having to “Buy-In.” Tailgating is not something that benefits from being centralized. I am all for Yale pride, but I think Yalies are spirited enough to have pride in both their school and their residential college.

    I understand why it might seen obnoxious to new students that TD would host a separate tailgate, but I think this good for everybody. TD “buying in” to the YCC tailgate wouldn’t substantially change what they have to offer. This is only going to mean more food and drink (and TD usually brings some awesome stuff). Also, I will say that The Game is a really big event for the TD community (even when it is at Harvard, unlike most colleges which tend to focus on H-P those years) and that Alums are definitely going to be expecting the stuff we’ve been spoiled with for years, which frankly the YCC will never be able to provide.

    Basically, I wouldn’t hold it against TD. Holding an additional tailgate is a lot of extra work for them and it isn’t to the detriment of anybody but may substantially benefit the H-Y tailgate as a whole.

  • christianndreko


    There’s NO such thing as “lesser, poorer colleges” anymore. Yale now allots the same amount of funds to every college each year, so that argument is moot. TD was never one of the “richer” colleges anyway; in fact, we have always been pretty much smack dab in the middle. One of the benefits of this Yale College tailgate is that it plans an event for colleges who typically can’t/don’t plan stuff out for themselves. TD is perfectly capable of running its own events, especially the Harvard-Yale tailgate, to which it devotes a significant amount of its yearly budget. Furthermore, the decision to tailgate in an entirely separate area was not made by TD, but rather the YCC and/or Harvard. TD was under the assumption that the tailgate area on the tennis courts was available to all Yale colleges/students regardless of whether they chose to participate in the “official” Yale tailgate or not. As such, TD was planning on being in the mix with every other college without “opting in.” The “deplorable and obnoxious” decision to stand physically apart from the rest of Yale was not TD’s.

  • ydnreallycomeon


    Look at what you’re saying, and take a moment to realize that you’re being so melodramatic. It’s a tailgate — i.e., NOT an event that embodies all of Yale unity. “Deplorable?” Really?

    Also, realize that TD’s tailgate is one of its most beloved traditions. Would you tell JE to stop its Great Awakening? Would you tell Saybrook to stop its Saybrook Strip? I think not — and if you would, you need to seriously re-think how you view the residential college system.