On any other day, Harvardians would be embarassed to admit that New Haven was their destination.
But the grimy Connecticut city, sometimes known as the home of Yale University, will become Mecca today and tomorrow as more than 12,500 Harvard fans converge in anticipation of The Game.
Nearly 4000 undergraduates will form part of the contingent that travels to Yale for the 104th edition of the Harvard-Yale football game as well as other athletic events, concerts and parties.
And with the exodus from Cambridge will come the biannual transportation crisis, with Harvard students forced to discover new and creative ways to make the two-and-a-half hour trek to New Haven.
The Undergraduate Council has filled three buses to Yale and will possibly send a fourth bus filled with students from the waiting list. The buses depart this afternoon with approximately 150 students aboard, said Deborah J. Slotnick '90, Council coordinator for the Yale migration.
Pre-Game revelry for Harvard students will include a tailgate party sponsored by the council, said organizer Ron S. Lee '90. Almost 1600 students signed away their Saturday meals, allowing the money to be transferred to the Yale dining services for the tailgate, said Lee.
"Yale will use the money to provide a tent and hot dogs and hamburgers," Lee said. "The tent is right next to the stadium, and last year it was a lot of fun."
But the Undergraduate Council is not the only campus organization with buses heading south.
The Freshman Council has signed up two busloads full of freshmen, leaving for their initiation into the Harvard-Yale mystique tomorrow morning and returning on Sunday. Allen P. Webb '91, who organized the bus trip, said most freshmen are "really psyched for the game. It is cool that the team is going for the Ivy League Championship our freshman year, especially when the team wasn't supposed to have a good season."
Harvard Student Agencies is also sending a bus to Yale, for those students who want to spend no more time than necessary--only 12 hours--in New Haven. The Black Student Association is providing transportation for the Kuumba singers, who will perform at Yale, and any others who wanted to purchase a seat.
The Harvard Business School will send 450 students on nine buses. Bus coordinator Deborah L. Devedjian, a second-year business student who graduated from Yale, said the reason for encouraging students to go to The Game is to "show people that they went to the wrong school. I definitely will sit on the Yale side."
Many Harvard students chose, however, chose to leave the driving to themselves. They rented a car. The Cambridge Avis Rent-A-Car, one of the only rental companies in the area that rents cars to students under 25, had weekend reservations for 60 cars as of yesterday afternoon. The average number of cars rented on a typical Friday is 40.
A representative from the Harvard Square Avis said that for an added surcharge of $5 per day, students with a major credit card and a driver's license could rent a car.
A few students chose to buck the trend, however. Several students said they planned to rent Winnebagos and Harvard shuttle buses for luxurious cruises to Eliville.
But not all those who travel to Yale will be mere spectators at The Game. Harvard house intramural teams will travel to Yale in force to take on their counterpart teams in events ranging from touch football to soccer.
Kirkland House has chartered a bus for intramural players, other House residents and their friends. "It is a tradition for at least one team from each house to play at Yale during the Yale weekend. Other teams are going down in vans or cars," said Michael Z. Guth '88, intramural secretary and house treasurer for Kirkland House.