Harvard University issued new and, in many ways, stricter rules for the Harvard-Yale game tailgate Wednesday, leading Yale student organizations to consider eliminating their tailgates altogether.
New regulations include a ban on U-Haul trucks, or similar sized vehicles, a ban on kegs or other devices that “promote the rapid consumption of alcohol” and a forced end to the tailgate at the start of the game. In past years, the tailgate ended at half-time. As word of the new rules spread on Yale’s campus Wednesday, student groups expressed frustration that the new logistics would make organizing tailgates overly burdensome.
Harvard Campus Life Fellow Jason McCoy, better known to Crimsons as the “fun czar,” said the city of Boston has been pressing for tailgates at The Game to follow city statutes regarding tailgating. While Harvard itself is in Cambridge, the Harvard Bowl is located in Allston, which is within the boundaries of Boston.
“There’s a set of restrictions that Boston uses for all the major tailgates throughout the city, and this year Harvard has finally been brought into the fold with those restrictions,” said McCoy. “The lightening and tightening of different areas are pretty much all in response to the new tailgate agreement we have with the city of Boston.”
But Jean Lorisio, counsel to the Boston Board of Licensing, said Harvard was not required to implement additional limitations in order to receive the requisite one-day tailgating permit.
“We do not usually get involved in the specific management of the event,” she said.
The Boston police department did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2005, Yale first required that the tailgates be shut down at halftime, whereas previous tailgates continued throughout the game. This is this first Harvard-Yale game in which tailgates will be shut down at kickoff, almost two hours earlier than ever before.
In a movement towards leniency, Harvard’s new rules allow beer and wine to be served to those 21 or older at the Harvard house committee tailgates. House committees and residential colleges will only be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages to students with bracelets, acquired the morning of the tailgate, showing that they are at least 21 years old. This means that the area in which alcohol can be served has expanded — in 2006, Harvard allowed alcohol only in designated roped-off areas.
According to the rules, individual students will not be able to bring their own alcohol into the tailgate area.
Although McCoy said he does not think that the early shut-down time will overly upset students, Yale student activities committees said Wednesday that the new restrictions would force a more creative, and perhaps more expensive, approach to tailgating — if they decide to hold them at all.
“We’re sort of up in the air about whether we’re going to do a tailgate at all just because with the policies so strict, there’s no way we can do it now,” said Berkeley SAC chair Rachel Taylor ‘11.
With such tight time constraints and no U-Haul to aid the process, a tailgate might be unfeasible, Taylor added.
Courtney Pannell ‘11, who is in charge of planning Morse College’s tailgate, said her main concern about the rules was the shortened duration of the tailgate, which would start at 10 a.m. and end at noon. At only two-hours, the event is too short, she said.
But the new regulations on alcohol are less worrying, Pannell said, since the Morse tailgate will not center around alcohol. (Pannell is a staff reporter for the News.)
Both Pannell and Taylor said they were more worried about possible regulations on other substitutes for U-Hauls, like vans and tents.
Saybrook and Silliman colleges are planning on skipping the tailgate, organizers said.
“[The regulations] make it such a big hassle for us so it’s just not really worth is,” said Bryan Twarek ‘10, who is in charge of planning Saybrook’s tailgate.
Saybrook Master and incoming Yale College Dean Mary Miller is “very much in favor” of skipping the tailgate, Twarek said.
Saybrook also skipped the Harvard tailgate two years ago for the same reason.
Both Saybrook and Silliman are instead planning to hold large tailgates one week earlier at the Yale-Princeton game, which Yale is hosting this year, the organizers said.
At Harvard, McCoy says, students are not overly concerned.
“The reaction I’ve had on campus from students has been pretty positive,” said McCoy. “I don’t think it’ll have major repercussions as far as attendance goes.”
The ban on U-Haul trucks was enforced by Harvard for the game in 2004, but eliminated in 2006.
A similar movement by the Yale administration to ban U-Hauls for the 2007 game was met with student resistance and eventually scrapped due to concerns that Harvard houses and Yale residential colleges would not be able to set up or shut down the tailgates quickly enough without the trucks.