Dear FM Ethicist,
What do you think of the new party restrictions for the Harvard-Yaletailgate? How should I get around them?
I want to relocate to New Haven
A few years ago, this magazine printed a famed scrutiny—“Should we all have just gone to Yale?”—exploring the just-suck-it-up social sensibility of Harvard students. Showing some gusto, the administration responded to students’ laments, ratcheting up party funds and appointing the Fun Czar. And then Harvard (or, more accurately, Harvard’s administration bowing to the wishes of the overly outraged Boston Police Department) ruined the only party of the year. The only one.
The tailgate restrictions cemented Harvard’s somewhat merited reputation as the place where fun goes to die and students go to die virgins. Our single tailgate became a liquor-less, 21+, wholesome, Panopticon party. Sort of like bible camp. The irony of the situation is, well, sort of hilarious.
So, revel in the humor and know that field ± sporting event + alcohol + defiant community = fun. The utter absence of Yale students means more alcohol for Harvard students and fewer pranks that nobody notices. (It’s like the mime in a forest question. If a prank happens in a stadium, and nobody sees it, does it happen? No.)
And the new restrictions beg for student guerilla-style ingenuity. Line your pants pockets with plastic bags and then fill them with gin or moonshine. Better yet, do this with cargo pants or those big moonboots. Hit the alumni tailgate and steal some massive martinis and roast suckling pig from unwitting robber barons. Or settle for the five beers.
And shed a tear for Harvard’s stellar football team. Nobody will watch them—far fewer Elis, the many students who will party on this side of the river, and the canny students heading to the less-draconian alumni tailgate. Our athletes just might be the biggest losers in the situation.