UC to Tackle Harvard-Yale Keg Ban

The Undergraduate Council has committed to lobbying the Department of Athletics, the Office of Student Life, and the Boston Police Department to allow kegs at future Harvard-Yale football tailgates.

The legislation, which the Council passed last night, comes in the wake of last month’s announcement that kegs and hard alcohol would not be allowed at the 2010 tailgate. The College first banned kegs at the Harvard-Yale tailgate in 2002. While the Council did not begin acting early enough to change the policies for this year’s Game, the legislation places the tailgate question as a future priority for the committee, said UC Student Life Committee Chair Senan Ebrahim ’12.

According to Dunster House representative Annemette H. Harnes ’12, a sponsor of the legislation, the Boston Police Department remains the largest barrier in the efforts to allow kegs at tailgates at the Harvard Stadium. The legislation requires the committee to spend next spring working on a report that will examine other Boston universities’ relationships with the Boston Police Department in preparation for their lobbying of the police in the coming months.

The act, co-sponsored by EAC Chair Jackson S. Salovaara ’11 and the chairs of the Quincy and Dunster House Councils, cited concerns about the environmental impact of cans and bottles, the effects of the keg ban on alcohol consumption, and the potential monetary savings of kegs for House Councils.

Ebrahim said that the Council has worked with the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services in the past on the issue of kegs, and added that the college administration has been generally supportive of lifting the ban.

“We’re going to end up buying the same amount of beer,” said Colin J. Donovan ’11, a co-chair of the Quincy House Council and a co-sponsor of the bill. “I don’t think people are going to drink less if it’s in a can than if it’s in a cup.”

Although it remains unclear what exactly the savings would be if House Councils could buy kegs for the tailgate, Harnes estimated that the kegs could save a few hundred dollars per house. Harnes, who is active on the Dunster House Council, said that a successful lobbying campaign would permit Houses to devote more money to decorations and food for the tailgate.

“Not allowing kegs is a financial burden for HoCos and doesn’t really present any serious safety benefits,” said UC Vice President Eric N. Hysen ’11. “We’re looking at this from a sensibility point of view.”

—Staff writer Stephanie B. Garlock can be reached at sgarlock@college.harvard.edu.

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