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After signing a contract with a vendor last week to provide the alcohol at Saturday’s Harvard-Yale football game, the Undergraduate Council voted last night to share the tailgate cost with the House Committees (HoCos) and the Undergraduate Dean’s office at Yale.
The initial legislation, drafted last week, called for the Undergraduate Council to collect $450 from each HoCo and $2,000 from the Yale College Council (YCC), and cover the remaining $2,000 itself. But YCC declined the council’s request to split the cost of alcohol and food last week.
YCC Treasurer Andrew W. Schram ’06 said yesterday that the council cannot “legally” purchase alcohol with money from its budget. He also said that Yale has “never had a communal supply of alcohol for either Harvard or Yale,” and that Yale’s residential colleges traditionally plan their own “massive” tailgates.
“They thought they’d rather spend money on individual tailgates as opposed to funding a general tailgate,” Schram said.
Council President Matthew W. Mahan said the Dean’s office at Yale stepped in to shoulder the burden after YCC refused to offset the $9,400 tailgates expenditure.
The beer distributor, which Mahan has repeatedly declined to name, will reimburse the council for any leftover alcohol, and the council will redistribute the money to HoCos if the returns exceed $1,000. Otherwise, the council will keep the remainder.
“With a free barbecue, a ton of advertising, and security, HoCos have to share the costs if they want to be a part of the tailgate,” Mahan said.
Representative from Pforzeimer House Andrew C. Stillman ’06 introduced an amendment to give more money back to the HoCos, which collectively pay the majority of the cost, calling it a “good faith effort.”
“A lot of HoCos were disgruntled about this,” Stillman said. “HoCos are spending a lot here, and the amount [returned] should be based on how much they paid to begin with.”
Though the Stillman amendment failed, Mahan said later it was “definitely possible” that HoCos would get some money back.
“The point is, it’s definitely possible, because we did buy quite a few kegs,” Mahan said.
Mahan said the council had purchased an “ample supply of beer,” but declined to be more specific, because he said he did not want to alarm the Boston Police Department.
In addition to the communal supply, students of legal drinking age may carry up to 20 gallons of beer, one handle of hard liquor and three gallons of other alcoholic beverages to Ohiri Field.
But unlike past tailgates, students over the age of 21 will be required to wear wristbands in order to be served alcohol from the centralized distributor. Alumni and guests may access the tailgates on Ohiri Field by purchasing a $10 ticket from the Harvard Box Office.
In other business, Council Treasurer Clay T. Capp ’06, along with Mahan and Secretary Matthew R. Greenfield ’08, introduced a bill to amend the council constitution and cement changes passed by a termbill fee hike referendum last spring.
The changes would ensure that the Grant Fund, which provides money to student groups, receives at least 67 percent of the yearly budget, and that the Operations Fund—strictly for council expenses—receives no more than 5 percent of the yearly budget.
The new legislation, which must sit with the council for one week before it can be voted upon, also calls for a permanent reserve account starting at $5,000.
Mahan said that the situation the council found itself in last spring, when 93 checks bounced, was not due to over-spending or over-budgeting, but rather to a transfer problem between the council’s $330,000 account with the University and its Fleet bank account, which currently contains $120,000.
“We would make this [$5,000] extra-budgetary, so it would sit in this account forever,” Mahan said. “We will not bounce checks this year.”
—Staff writer Elena P. Sorokin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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