As this year’s Harvard-Yale football game draws near, the list of potential tailgating regulations is growing longer, as Harvard administrators have now proposed a ban on U-Hauls along with policies to make alcohol harder to access for underage drinkers.
The newest round of proposed regulations comes two weeks after officials suggested requiring a $150 permit for students to bring more than a six-pack to the tailgate and an ID check of any students wishing to drink there. Zack Corker, special assistant to the dean for social programming at Harvard, said the proposed U-Haul ban was a result of both the security concerns of the Boston police and the desire of the athletic department to avoid field damage. Administrators have also proposed a new rule that would require students over 21 to wear wristbands, ensuring that underage students do not have access to alcohol at the game, Corker said.
Damage to the fields where the U-Hauls parked last year cost around $50,000, Corker said.
“The athletic department wasn’t too happy about having trucks driving all over the field last time,” Corker said.
But Corker said none of the regulations have been finalized. Negotiations are currently underway between Harvard students and administrators to discuss a final set of regulations.
“We’re all just working to make sure everyone has the best time possible,” Corker said.
Board members of Harvard’s housing committees are in the process of finding ways around the U-Haul ban, Darren Morris, co-czar of Harvard’s Mather House housing committee said.
“It just means we’ll have to a get a little creative in how we set up the tailgates,” said Morris, a senior.
The flow of liquor will be more controlled this November than in previous years, Morris said. Police will be checking vehicles to make sure they are not carrying more than the legal amount of alcohol, a figure Morris said is 20 gallons of beer and one gallon of liquor.
Morris also said the housing committees will be jointly ordering beer this year through a company called United Liquor. IDs will be checked before students have access to the beer, he said.
Several Yale students said the new Harvard rules are not only contrary to the spirit of the game, but would also be unenforceable.
Jeremy Davis ’06, an Ezra Stiles College student activities council chair, said he hopes he will be able to find a way to work around the U-Haul ban.
“We’ve talked about renting Winnebagos or RVs,” Davis said. “If that’s what we needed to do, then that would totally work. An RV would be more convenient because it would provide us with a place to stay.”
Davis also said he felt the ID restrictions were unlikely to work.
“A lot of these regulations are enforceable in theory, but when things get going I’m not so sure they’re really enforceable,” Davis said.
While the keg ban of 2002 will still be in place at November’s game, there is a new loophole this year. Harvard house councils are permitted to purchase kegs if they do so through the one approved distributor, United Liquors, which has agreed to take responsibility for any student-related accidents.
Damon Benedict ’06, social chair of Yale’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity, said the keg ban could be dangerous to students who substitute hard alcohol for beer.
“They’re going to have more people drinking hard liquor and getting drunker,” Benedict said.
Annemarie Baltay ’05, an organizer of Saybrook’s Harvard-Yale tailgate, added that the ban on kegs would increase the amount of trash generated at the game.
“I think [the ban] was just a stupid idea on their part. They’re going to have cans and bottles all over the place,” Baltay said.
All three Yale students said they did not believe the new rules would significantly put a damper on the weekend’s atmosphere.
“It might turn out that not as many people go,” Baltay said. “But I think there’ll still be a group of people who will go and be really dedicated.”
The proposed changes are still tentative, Corker said. Negotiations with Harvard Deans Paul McLoughlin and Judith Kidd will continue for another two weeks before a decision is reached. The next meeting is scheduled for this Thursday.
The stricter regulations on alcohol distribution come after a student nearly died of alcohol poisoning after the 2002 game in Cambridge, Mass.
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