Despite a lack of food and music at the Yale-Harvard tailgate, students said they enjoyed the event.
The majority of students interviewed said they had low expectations for the tailgate this year in light of strict pre-game event regulations at Harvard, which prohibit students from bringing U-Hauls into the tailgating area and serving alcohol to underage attendees. The Yale College Council, Saybrook College and Timothy Dwight College hosted tailgates but were unable to provide the food and music students had grown accustomed to enjoying at Yale’s home games. Still, most students interviewed were generally satisfied with the tailgate.
“Even though I had somewhat low expectations, I thought the tailgate was really fun,” Katy Osborn ’15 said.
Harvard police officers stood directly behind YCC President John Gonzalez ’14 and the five other YCC members serving alcohol at the event, Gonzalez said, which made it impossible for the YCC members to give drinks to anyone underage. In addition, Harvard police and events staff members stopped Yale’s tailgate at 11:45 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than the stated tailgating period was slated to end. Gonzalez said the officers ended tailgating early to ensure attendees had enough time to get to Harvard Stadium before the game began at noon.
Ten of 13 students interviewed said the YCC strictly enforced alcohol regulations at its tailgate. Jeremy Hutton ’15 said he thinks the tailgate could be improved by more effective communication of the time limit on tailgating activities.
Though Harvard served food to students from both schools, only Saybrook and TD served food in the Yale tailgate area. Gonzalez said the council decided not to provide food after discovering that the two colleges would be providing refreshments at the tailgate. While YCC Events Director Bryan Epps ’14 said it is “unrealistic” for the council to provide enough food to serve all Yale students at the tailgate, he added that he wishes YCC could provide “additional perks like hot chocolate and other food.”
Seven students said they wanted more food available at the Yale tailgate.
“I feel like colleges have better food options at Yale tailgates, like the arepas cart at the Yale-Princeton tailgate,” Rachel Miller ’15 said. “I miss the U-Haul trucks and the wide variety of groups offering food.”
Epps said the Harvard events staff had initially told the YCC that Harvard would be providing music for both tailgates, so the YCC decided not to bring a DJ or speakers. TD stepped in and offered to use its own speakers — which the council brought in case Harvard’s music was not loud enough — but 10 students interviewed said the music was still inaudible.
“I wished the speakers had worked better because there was a lot of mingling and too little dancing,” Lisa Lin ’14 said.
The next Yale-Harvard game will be held at Yale on Nov. 16, 2013.