Two residential colleges and the Yale College Council will host tailgates at the 129th Yale-Harvard Game on Saturday, a year after a fatal crash at The Game in New Haven caused administrators to tighten restrictions on pre-game activities.
This year marks an increase in the number of residential college tailgates at the Yale-Harvard game when held in Boston, as only Timothy Dwight College hosted a full tailgate in 2010. Saybrook College and Timothy Dwight will put on a joint tailgate this year, while the Yale College Council will again host a tailgate open to all students.
After a November 2011 U-Haul crash led to the death of Nancy Barry of Salem, Mass., and the injury of two others, University administrators passed new tailgating restrictions last January that ban U-Hauls and kegs in tailgate areas, require tailgating activity to end at kickoff and limit student tailgating to restricted areas near Yale’s football stadium. But students interviewed from the 10 residential colleges that will not host tailgates this weekend said neither Yale’s tighter restrictions nor the events at last year’s tailgates affected their decision.
“To my knowledge, Harvard’s tailgate policies haven’t really changed in recent years, and the changes in policies at Yale have had no effect on Harvard tailgate policy,” TD College Council President Emily Ullmann ’14 said. “Harvard has traditionally had stricter tailgate restrictions than Yale, but because the Harvard restrictions haven’t changed, neither has our approach to tailgating at Harvard.”
Yale’s new regulations closely resembles Harvard’s, which will be enforced at this year’s Game. Harvard’s tailgating restrictions limit tailgating activity to two hours before the start of kickoff at noon and ban U-Hauls, kegs and grills, according to the Harvard Athletics website.
Ezra Stiles College Council President Lee Kennedy-Shaffer ’13 said that Harvard’s regulations, the logistical challenges involved in coordinating an away tailgate and the expenses associated with pre-game activities caused Stiles to decide against holding a residential college-sponsored tailgate on Saturday. Other colleges such as Jonathan Edwards College, Trumbull College and Calhoun College also could not host tailgates because of logistical planning issues, said members of the college councils.
Ullman said she reached out to other colleges to plan a joint tailgate after she realized TD was the only college preparing a tailgate setup. Saybrook was the only college that responded positively, she said. Saybrook College Council President Cyndi Chen ’13 said the limitations of the YCC tailgate, which will not have food or music, also prompted the two colleges to host a separate event.
Ullmann added that TD traditionally hosts a tailgate at every Yale-Harvard game because tailgating is a “huge part of TD culture” and a crucial opportunity for TD alumni to “get together with one another.”
YCC President John Gonzalez ’14 said the Council will provide free beer and wine for over-21 students but will not serve any food. He said that instead, students can eat lunch at Harvard’s student tailgate. While the YCC did not independently fund a DJ, Gonzalez said he does not know whether music will be provided by Harvard.
Several students interviewed from residential colleges without tailgates said they are disappointed to learn they could not attend a college-specific tailgate but added they are confident they will find other ways to have fun.
Sophia Jia ’14, a student in Morse College, said that without a Morse tailgate, it will be more difficult for her to find friends in her college if they get separated from one another, but added that she plans to attend the YCC tailgate as well as TD and Saybrook’s joint tailgate.
But John Mark Taylor ’14, a student in Ezra Stiles College said he is not bothered by his college’s lack of a tailgate.
“As a matter of college pride, it’s slightly disappointing but it doesn’t have any tangible effects on what I’ll be doing, since all the tailgates are open to everybody,” he said.
Yale-Harvard tailgates will begin in the student tailgate area outside Harvard Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.