BPD To Tighten Tailgate Rules

Police captain pledges to curb underage drinking at future Harvard-Yale games

Captain William Evans of the Boston Police Department (BPD) came to the Harvard-Yale tailgate on Saturday expecting an “innocent” beer-only event of 4,000 students. Instead he found Ohiri Field transformed into a 10,000-person bacchanalia with some students “doing anything and everything” to guzzle hard liquor and others peeing on walls.

“I was embarrassed to be a policeman on that field seeing what I had to see,”said Evans.

Evans announced yesterday that the BPD will crack down on future Harvard-Yale tailgates to limit underage drinking and wild behavior. The tailgates will be forced to start no more than two hours before The Game and end no more than two hours after.

Evans criticized the Undergraduate Council and the College deans for mismanaging the party, and said that the Council led BPD to believe that only beer would be served on the field. He said the Council told him that the music would be nowhere near as loud.


“People were just carrying jugs around with Jack Daniels, vodka and tequila,” Evans said. “Nobody was drinking from the beer stands. They were drinking from their own supply.”

But Undergraduate Council President Matthew W. Mahan ’05 blamed the ban on kegs for the extent of hard liquor consumption. He said he never told Evans that students would only be drinking beer.


Mahan also said that the complaints about bad behavior were the result of the heightened scrutiny attending the tailgate. “It was no more rambunctious than in past years,” Mahan said. And despite Evans’ criticism, Mahan insisted that the tailgate obeyed BPD’s regulations about transporting alcohol.

Special Assistant to the Dean for Social Programming Zac A Corker ’04 said that student behavior did not seem to be an issue.

“I think it sounds like it’s more logistical kinks that need to be worked out than student behavior,” said Corker, who declined to comment further.

But Evans said the number of alcohol-related transfers was a serious problem. “Ambulances were coming in and off that field lugging kids it seemed every 15 minutes,” he said.

Steven G. Catalano, spokesman for the Harvard Univeristy Police Department (HUPD), said that University Health Services was still compiling the number of alcohol admits following The Game. The numbers are expected out today.

BPD officers ejected 29 students from the tailgate for underage drinking, 15 from Yale, 11 from Harvard and three from unknown schools, said Catalano.

There were a total of 97 ID confiscations and two arrests, Catalano said.

“The HUPD and the BPD were very restrained in the amount of people they ejected,” Catalano said. “Their behavior set them aside from everyone else around them.”

James L. McKenna ’04, 22, of Darien, Conn., was charged with distributing cocaine, and Michael F. Holland ’04, 23, of New Canaan, Conn., was charged with possession of cocaine at the tailgate.

McKenna and Holland could not be reached for comment.

A person not connected with the University was arrested for scalping tickets, Catalano said.

Evans, who commands the Allston-Brighton district, has a history of cracking down on underage drinking and touts a “zero-tolerance” policy for area schools. But he said that tailgates would not be ruled out entirely. “No one’s going to sign onto this event unless a lot more regulations and restrictions are put in place,” Evans said. “I think we’re going to have to revisit the whole idea of such a large-scale event.”

“Based on what I’ve seen at other schools and their tailgates, this was clearly out of control,” Evans said.

Associate Dean of the College Judith H. Kidd declined to comment.

—Staff writer Margaret W. Ho can be reached at

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