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Students Face Party Limits

More Game, less play for students seeking to host parties during Harvard-Yale

By Ying Wang, Crimson Staff Writer

As undergraduates look for ways to celebrate Harvard-Yale weekend, they may find fewer options due to efforts made to encourage turnout at several campus-wide events.

In addition to a tri-house party Friday in Pforzheimer, Quincy, and Winthrop dining halls, the College will sponsor Stein Clubs and a Thursday-night pep rally.

Originally, four campus wide parties were scheduled—two in the river and two in the Quad—but the number was reduced to more effectively allocate each House Committee’s (HoCo) resources, according to Campus Life Fellow John T. Drake ’06.

Each HoCo was granted $500 and assigned to help plan one of the three campus bashes, according to Quincy House Committee Co-Chair Melissa M. Trahan ’07.

“I think it’s probably going to be better because we’ll have less risk of having people more spread out,” Trahan said of the advantage of having only three large parties.

Though there are no campus-wide restrictions on registering events over the weekend, select Houses will clamp down on private parties to encourage participation in the College-sanctioned soirées.

Currier House is banning private parties throughout the entire Harvard-Yale weekend, Assistant to the Masters Patricia G. Pepper wrote in an e-mail to the Currier open list earlier this month.

Winthrop House will be on “lockdown” for the whole weekend, with universal keycard access turned off so that only residents can enter, according to an e-mail from House tutor Irene L. Newton to her entryway. [SEE UPDATE BELOW].

Winthrop and Quincy, each of which is hosting one of the three campus-wide bashes, are also prohibiting private parties on Friday night.

Adams House will decline all requests to reserve common rooms during the upcoming weekend because students from its sister house at Yale will be occupying the space, according to Adams HoCo Co-Chair Andrew J. Bestwick ’07.

The College also originally planned to allow private parties on Thursday night but changed it “back to a normal weekend,” Drake said. He added that the decision was made in consultation with various parties, including the Harvard University Police Department, the Office for Alcohol and Other Drug Services, the Dean’s Office, and House masters.

Natasha S. Alford ’08, president of the Association of Black Harvard Women (ABHW), said her organization ran into trouble finding a venue for their party “DejaVu” for the weekend of the Game.

“There was extreme difficulty in finding Houses...willing to cooperate in having parties in their House on Friday night and who did not have space already reserved by the HoCos,” Alford said. She added that ABHW tried to circumvent these problems by reserving the off-campus Democracy Center on 45 Mount Auburn St., but eventually secured Eliot House dining hall for their party.

“Not very many student group events are happening because of the limited number of resources available [during Harvard-Yale weekend],” Bestwick said. “Effort is being put toward providing for the HoCo parties.”

Groups who are interested in hosting Harvard-Yale related events did have access, however, to financial resources from the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Services to subsidize food and other non-alcoholic purchases, according to the office’s Director Ryan Travia.

The money for the student grants comes from the Cambridge Collaborative, a $40,000 grant from the Massachusetts Governor’s Highway Safety Office that supports various Harvard, MIT, and city initiatives. Harvard will be the first to dip into these funds, Travia said.

The Undergraduate Council will also be providing three additional party grants for the weekend.

—Staff writer Ying Wang can be reached at

UPDATE, 1:00 p.m.:
Since Winthrop House will host a campus wide party in its dining hall, universal keycard access has been deactivated to control the size of the event, Winthrop House Master Stephen P. Rosen wrote in an e-mail today. According to Rosen, this will allow for only one point of entry.

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