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Harvard has changed The Game—again. House Committees are bracing themselves for lackluster turnout following significant changes to this year’s Harvard-Yale tailgate rules.
Some HoCo chairs said that the shorter tailgate—the festivities will start at 10 a.m. and end promptly at the noon kick-off—will discourage students from attending and potentially encourage binge drinking.
“We haven’t had a tailgate yet when we’ve had to shut down at 12, so we don’t know how it’s going to impact people,” said Winthrop HoCo Co-Chair Kelley A. Humbert ’10.
HoCos and their counterparts at Yale, College Committees, are the only undergraduate groups allotted designated parking space in the student tailgate area.
“I’ve heard a lot of people are not even planning on going,” said Rafael A. P. Miranda ’09, co-chair of the Pforzheimer HoCo. “I know that some HoCos are doing extra things, but with the tailgate being only two hours long, there isn’t too much we can do.”
Even so, some students say they will try to make the most of this year’s pre-Game entertainment.
Mather House HoCo Co-Chair Troy C. Murrell ’09 said that the Committee may organize a “giant walk-over” from the House’s morning festivities to the field as a means of further extending the revelry and ensuring that at least some students attend.
The new rules indicate that while the tailgate will still be entirely keg-free, HoCos will be allowed to serve beer and wine to students who are over 21 years old, a change from the last Game at Harvard, when alcohol could only be purchased in designated spaces.
Even this allowance of legal alcohol consumption, some HoCo chairs said, may not substantially affect students’ drinking habits.
“It’s kind of silly, I think a lot of beer balls instead of beer kegs doesn’t make a lot of sense since they’re basically the same thing,” Murrell said.
Some have indicated that the new rules may actually exacerbate the situation.
“Restricting the time to two hours is a bit dangerous to undergraduates because it sort of encourages people to cram as much drinking into a small amount of time,” said Co-Chair of the Eliot HoCo Louis K. Kang ’09.
Kang said that Eliot House is still planning a fully themed affair.
“We’re going to have a country theme set up,” Kang said. “We’re going to get a cardboard cut-out cow, and its udders are going to dispense wine.”
While PfoHo does not plan to have a themed tailgate, Miranda said the Hoco will serve the winning recipe of the House’s recent chili competition.
—Staff writer Abby D. Phillip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Charles J. Wells can be reached at email@example.com.
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