College To Sponsor Pre-Game

After banning most alcohol from Game, College says it'll fund parties on nights before

Students dreading a sober Harvard Yale tailgate will now have a few more chances to soak up booze at College-sponsored parties. House Committees (HoCos) said yesterday they were planning several campus bashes for the Thursday and Friday nights before The Game—although the same rules preventing underage drinking apply.

“The HoCo leadership and I had the meeting and are working with House masters to plan events for Thursday and Friday nights in the houses for the whole campus,” said Campus Life Fellow John T. Drake ’06, adding that more information would be available after he and the HoCos finish negotiating with House Masters.

HoCos and the College would jointly fund these parties, two or three of which will be hosted per night and divided between the River and the Quad, according to Matthew R. Greenfield ’08, a member of Mather HoCo and the Undergraduate Council (UC).

Drake confirmed that the parties will have alcohol and, in line with College-sponsored events with alcohol, a Beverage Authorization Team (BAT) to ensure that no underage drinking takes place.

Mild uproar over tightened tailgate restrictions that prohibit any student from bringing alcohol onto Ohiri Field on Saturday has spurred students to seek other ways to make the historic weekend fun.

“The HoCos are definitely working together to make the best out of this situation,” said Quincy HoCo chair Melissa Trahan ’07.

Pforzheimer House Co-Chair Katherine S. Wong ’07—who called the alcohol restrictions “frustrating”—said she hoped that adding more events throughout the weekend would reduce binge-drinking among students before heading to Saturday’s tailgate.

“If we make the entire Harvard-Yale weekend very festive then it will take the pressure off everyone to have three hours of really concentrated super-fun right before the Game,” Wong said. She added that her HoCo had discussed plans for a House pre-party before heading to the tailgate.

Dunster HoCo co-chair Jarred D. Brown ’07 said that as of now, his House has no plans for a Dunster-organized pre-Game event, and that HoCo members are rethinking their tailgate plans now that distributing alcohol is not an option.

“We’re going to get HUDS [Harvard University Dining Services] to bake us a moose-shaped cake,” Brown said, and added: “We were thinking of having a poster with all the Harvard football players from Dunster House.”

Last year, former Campus Life Fellow Justin H. Haan ’05, along with HoCos, organized the first pep rally in recent years. The success of the event, which drew about 2,500 students, was indicative of the College’s willingness—and student receptiveness—to increase social planning for Harvard-Yale weekend. HoCos were given funding to hold stein clubs to encourage students to attend the pep rally, according to Greenfield.

Drake has said he was committed to making the November weekend fun while working within the new restrictions laid out by the Boston Police Department (BPD).

The College is still negotiating with BPD for the tailgate permit.

Commenting on the number of drinking-related offenses from the 2004 tailgate, BPD Captain William Evans said, “I was embarrassed to be a policeman on that field seeing what I had to see.”

For her part, Pforzheimer's Wong said: “It is kind of ridiculous how intense we are about the tailgate itself and nothing else about the weekend.”

—Staff writer Liz C. Goodwin can be reached at