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Yale Bans Parties Before The Game

No gatherings of more than 20 will be allowed Friday night before The Game

By Matthew S. Lebowitz, Crimson Staff Writer

On-campus parties with more than 20 attendees will be banned on the Friday night before the Harvard-Yale Game, according to a new rule instituted by Yale’s Council of Masters.

The new policy aims to prevent property damage and disorderly behavior, hallmarks of past pre-Game parties, said Branford College Master Steven B. Smith.

The newly-implemented limit on party size comes on the heels of several other restrictions on game-related festivities this year.

Last Monday, Yale announced that all tailgates will have to end before the start of the third quarter and that all drinking games and related paraphernalia will be banned.

Smith said that in the past, without restrictions in place, parties held the night before the Game have tended to swell to uncontrollable size.

Smith recalled “massive, roving parties that sort of move from college to college and leave a trail of destruction and damage and chaos in [their] wake,” and attributed this unruliness only partially to drunkenness.

“Part of it is, frankly, fueled by hordes of students from another university who not have quite the same level of respect for the property and the college as students at the host university do,” Smith said.

But the lack of large on-campus parties will not leave students without any means of celebrating the night before the game, Smith said.

“There is a big Harvard-Yale party that is sponsored here by the Yale College Council for students of both universities to attend,” he said. “Students are going to be encouraged to go to that instead.”

The scheduled student council-sponsored dance will be alcohol-free, according to an article in the Yale Daily News.

According to Smith, property damage is “a huge issue” that has caused him “so much worry” when Yale has hosted the game previously.

“It’s gotten to the point where, as the master of a residential college, I look forward to the years when the game is not here,” he said.

Smith said he is optimistic about the new rule’s potential to improve the atmosphere surrounding the game.

“I’m hoping it’s going to make the general experience of our competition more enjoyable for everybody,” he said.

Marion E. Mahone ’06, co-chair of the Leverett House Council, said she does not think the new rule will have a major effect on festivities held on the eve of the game.

“It kind of limits the number of room parties you can go to the night before, but there are enough sanctioned events throughout Yale,” she said.

Mahone said she believes that the new regulation will make students more cautious in the way they choose to party but that it will not have “serious ramifications,” adding that tailgating will play a greater role in shaping students’ experience at the game than pre-parties will.

“This rule will get broken countless times,” Mahone said. “If people want to party, it will happen.”

—Staff writer Matthew S. Lebowitz can be reached at

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