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Deans, Cops Meet To Discuss Game

Future tailgates may see more restrictions after this year's alcohol problems

By Rebecca D. O’brien and Joshua P. Rogers, Crimson Staff Writers

The Game’s score may be long forgotten, but the fallout from this year’s Harvard-Yale tailgate may have far-reaching effects on future College social events.

Several College administrators and Harvard Athletics personnel met yesterday with top officers from the Boston Police Department (BPD) and the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) to discuss what went wrong at the Game and to address future alcohol regulations.

This year’s Game saw ejections for underage drinking, a record number of students treated for alcohol-related problems and complaints of public urination and unruly conduct.

“The leaders were called to the meeting to discuss serious concerns Pokaski and Captain Evans had about the Harvard-Yale tailgate,” said HUPD spokesman Steven G. Catalano, referring to chairman of the Boston Liquor Licensing Commission Daniel F. Pokaski and Capt. William Evans of the BPD.

Deputy Dean of the College Patricia O’Brien, who was at yesterday’s meeting, said the police were “upset,” but that it was too early to say what the ultimate results would be. “It was a very tough meeting,” she said.

“[BPD] told us they had cracked down significantly at other schools,” O’Brien said. “This is the first time they were at a Harvard tailgate and they were surprised and disappointed by what happened.”

Representatives from Harvard’s Office of the General Counsel were present at the meeting in addition to Pokaski, Harvard administrators and Boston and Harvard police.

Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71 said the meeting addressed Evans’ concerns as well as planning oversights that plagued the Game, such as the shortage of porta-potties and overcrowding.

“I think [Evans] was concerned that things could have gotten out of control,” Gross said, adding, “he was happy there was no violence.”

This year was the first year that Harvard sponsored separate tailgates: the Athletics department sponsored the alumni tailgate, while the College filed a permit for the student tailgates across the road, with two separate entertainment and liquor licenses.

This measure, for the first time, ensured separate liabilities for students and alumni, leaving open the possibility that liquor licenses could be witheld from students in the future.

Catalano deferred further comment to the College administration and the city of Boston officials.

The collection of University officials and local authorities is expected to convene again over the next few months.

Dozens of Harvard students had their ID cards confiscated at the tailgates. Each student was required to speak to his or her senior tutor or freshman dean and received a letter from the Administrative Board.

Although he could not be reached for comment last night, Evans told The Crimson two weeks ago that he was “embarassed to be a police officer on that field seeing what I had to see.”

O’Brien also noted that the number of students treated for alcohol-related problems and the abundance of hard alcohol at the kegless tailgates was frightening for the police at the game.

“We really feel caught,” O’Brien said. “Their job is to enforce the law and while you and I might not be that worried about a 19-year-old drinking a beer, that’s what their job is. We’re worried about other things.”

Gross said yesterday the planners for the Game had anticipated only 4,000 to 5,000 would come. While no final figures were immediately available yesterday, Gross estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 were in attendance at the tailgate at Ohiri.

O’Brien said over 4,000 tickets were sold, many to alums who made the trip to Cambridge from all over the country. Undergrads at Harvard and Yale did not have to purchase tickets.

—Staff writer Rebecca D. O’Brien can be reached at robrien@fas.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Joshua P. Rogers can be reached at jprogers@fas.harvard.edu.

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