Game Alcohol Policies Vetted

U-Haul ban, separate section for HoCos and wristbands proposed

In an effort to improve safety and uphold drinking laws, Harvard administrators will set up a variety of stringent restrictions on alcohol at this year’s Harvard-Yale game, including banning U-Hauls entirely.

The tighter regulations come after a student almost died of alcohol poisoning in November, 2002, the last time the Harvard-Yale game was played in Cambridge.

Undergraduate Council President Matthew W. Mahan ’05 attributed the ban on U-Hauls to the Athletics Department.

“Apparently, they spent over 50,000 dollars repairing the field last time,” Mahan said.

He added that the College supported the decision following concerns about student safety.

“[The College] thinks it’s unsafe to have students dancing up on U-Hauls,” Mahan said.

Other changes proposed by the Office of Student Activities include setting up an ID Check tent where students must first secure a bracelet in order to be served alcoholic beverages, moving House Committee tailgates to Ohiri Field, which is a sizeable distance from the traditional tailgate area, and restricting keg orders to a single distributor.

But Mahan stressed that the changes were still tentative and that the Council and HoCo chairs would be working to negotiate loosening of the restrictions.

A handout issued from the Office of Student Activities and distributed to HoCo members at a University-Hall meeting last night detailed procedures to assist each house committee in their preparation for Harvard-Yale. The memo suggested that if HoCos coordinate all keg orders through United Liquors, a distributor that takes responsibility for any student-related accidents, Harvard would allow HoCos to be an exception to the keg ban.

This loophole for HoCos marks a shift from the College’s 2000 keg ban, a restriction also unanimously upheld by House Masters for the last Game held in 2002. But students emphasized that the restriction would still be in place at The Game.

“The keg ban is still in effect, but the University is willing to allow House Committees to pay an outside distributor to bring in beer trucks, which are essentially filled with kegs,” Student Affairs Committee Chair Matthew J. Glazer ’06 said. “This is currently [only] for House Committees,” he added.

Todd Van Stolk-Riley ’06, Lowell HoCo Chair, said that the administration was not willing to concede on the keg ban.

“I think they are pretty much intractable on the keg ban as a general regulation,” he said.

United Liquors would require wrist-bands issued from an ID Check tent in order to serve alcohol, according to the handout.

And while past HoCo tailgates took place in fields adjacent to the stadium, this year’s HoCo tailgate-revelry might relocate to the far-off Ohiri Fields.

Finals clubs, sororities, fraternities and student groups can still set up tailgates in the traditional place on the intramural fields.

HoCo chairs expressed dissatisfaction with the half-mile distance between tailgating areas—and the separation of HoCo tailgates from other College tailgates.

“One of the things that pretty much everyone universally agreed to was that HoCos needed to be with the rest of student groups,” Van Stolk-Riley said. “People are going to be torn between groups they’re affiliated with and their House, and if the House is carding and the group isn’t, the party is going to stay up there.”

Details about where Yale can set up its tailgates are up in the air, according to Mahan. Previously, Yale held tailgates in the parking lot of the Harvard Business School.

And Van Stolk-Riley noted that the proposals come on the heels of increased pressure on Harvard from the Boston police.

“The Boston Police are recognizing now with Havard’s move into Allston, Harvard is becoming a Boston area liability,” Van Stolk-Riley said.

HoCo chairs and Council members will meet with Deans Judith H. Kidd and Paul J. McLoughlin II next week to further discuss the proposed changes.

“We are now looking into an option that would allow for greater overall supervision while still allowing all undergraduates to spend the day in the same locale, which is my top priority at this point,” Mahan said.

—Staff writer Margaret W. Ho can be reached at mwho@fas.harvard.edu.