Despite the Council of Masters’ decision to limit gatherings in the residential colleges to fewer than 20 students on Friday night, both Yale and Harvard students will host large parties in New Haven on Friday night in honor of Harvard-Yale weekend.
The Yale College Council is sponsoring an alcohol-free dance called “The Party: Heaven & Hell” in the Commons Dining Hall, while a group of Harvard seniors will hold a party, “The Takeover,” at Gotham Citi Nightclub on Crown Street. Although both events were planned before the masters created the new rule, organizers of each party said they hope to provide a place for both Yale and Harvard students to celebrate in light of the restriction.
YCC President Steven Syverud ’06 said he expects “The Party” to attract crowds similar in size to that of the YCC’s 2003 event called “The Fusion,” which drew approximately 1,400 students.
“It’s likely to be the biggest thing gong on that weekend,” he said.
The Council of Masters has given $4,800 to the Yale Student Activities Committee to underwrite the cost of the dance, Master’s Council chair Judith Krauss said.
“We thought it reasonable that we give YSAC some major financial assistance since we’d all like to encourage our students to attend the event,” Krauss said.
Krauss said the funding was intended to ensure the presence of refreshments and a disc jockey at the event. The dance will cost $3 at the door, although several masters are subsidizing tickets for their students, said Alice Shyy, the organizer of “The Party.”
Shyy said the dance will feature a dancing cage, fog, screens and laser light equipment. Organizers will hand out party favors to the first 100 to 150 attendees, and YSAC has hired the same disc jockey and production team that provided entertainment at this year’s Safety Dance, she said.
“Expectations are riding high, but we feel confident that we can deliver a totally sick party worthy of representing Yale,” Shyy said.
The brainchild of four Harvard seniors, “The Takeover” may also draw a large student crowd, organizer Kwame Owusu-Kesse said. He said the group has sold a few hundred tickets, but expects to sell over 1,000 by Friday night.
“We want to be excited about Harvard-Yale in light of all the restrictions,” he said. “It has been very well received here on campus.”
Gotham’s capacity is 2,000 people, and if the students do not sell the full number, the club will be open to the public as well, Owusu-Kesse said. The club will be open to students who are 18 and older, although only those will proper identification will be served alcohol.
Shyy said she is not worried about losing business to the Harvard event because “The Party” is cheaper and more centrally located.
“We’re not terribly concerned with ‘The Takeover’ eclipsing ‘The Party’ as the premier dance party of Harvard-Yale weekend,” she said. “Although ‘The Takeover’ will draw many people because of its alcohol, we expect that most of its crowd will also want to stop by ‘The Party’.”
Shyy said that while students will be allowed to come and go freely from Commons, students who are obviously drunk should avoid the YCC-sponsored event.
“The administration has requested that we advise students not to attend the party visibly over-inebriated, as they would risk refused admission,” she said.
Owusu-Kesse said he and his roommates originally planned “The Takeover” as a private party for Harvard students, but after the Council of Masters announced the restriction on parties for the night before The Game, the group decided to open the event to Yale students as well. Owusu-Kesse said that while he understands the council’s concerns, he thinks the restriction will lead to groups of Harvard students roaming the campus streets instead of celebrating responsibly.
“There need to be more outlets for students to be able to enjoy the Harvard-Yale weekend,” he said.
Earlier this fall, the Council of Masters voted unanimously to restrict parties to fewer than 20 students within the residential colleges and Old Campus on the eve of The Game to prevent reckless behavior and property damage, Krauss said.
“If you think about it, we really haven’t banned parties,” she said. “We’ve simply restricted their size in order to avoid the large, anonymous groups that tend to gather in some of the colleges on Harvard-Yale weekend, resulting in out of control drinking and significant property damage. People are still free to gather in their suites with a small number of their friends.”
Krauss said the masters hope students will take advantage of other large events outside of the residential colleges, including the YCC dance.
Despite the party restriction, both Yale and Harvard students will find somewhere to go on Friday night, given that many student organizations will also be hosting parties, Adam Metzger ’08 said.
“At least for Yale students, there are going to be a million other options,” he said. “For people from Harvard who don’t have connections here, I think it is really respectable that Yale is providing some options for them to go party.”
Metzger said he thinks the YCC dance will provide a suitable alternative for those who will not attend an off-campus party.
“As a fall-back there is ‘Heaven and Hell,’ which will always be fun as long as you can drink within the confines of your own dorm rooms with your friends,” he said. “What else do you really need to have a good time? I’m not really worried about Friday night at all.”
In addition to “The Party” and “The Takeover,” some Yale fraternities and local bars will host parties for both Yale and Harvard students.
Toad’s Place will be open exclusively to Yale and Harvard students and alumni on both Friday and Saturday nights, and Hula Hank’s will host “Seniors’ Night” on Friday.
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