Harvard Prepares to House Thousands of Yalies for the Game

As Yalies descend on campus this weekend for the 133rd Harvard-Yale Game, many of them will be trading in their New Haven dorm beds for air mattresses, couches, and even floors at Harvard.

Houses, student organizations, and individual students are preparing to host hundreds of Yale students who will be congregating in Cambridge for this weekend’s events.

Most commonly, organized hosting for the Game manifests through the sister relationships between Harvard’s Houses and Yale’s residential colleges. From origins dating back more than 80 years, Houses and colleges have reciprocally provided housing for each year’s game.

At Harvard, Houses work to create a comfortable environment for incoming Yale students, Faculty Deans say.

Adams House has a welcome event for students arriving on Friday night from its sister school, Saybrook College, as well as a joint breakfast on Saturday, according to Faculty Dean Judith S. “Judy” Palfrey ’67.

Mather Faculty Dean Michael D. Rosengarten noted a number of initiatives between Mather House and its sister college, Morse College, to improve conditions for visiting Yale students.

One tradition, started four years ago, involves a large brain break on the Friday before the Game for hungry Yale students who might not have had the opportunity to eat dinner while traveling. In a new tradition beginning this year, Mather affiliates have encouraged individual residents to sign up as a host for a Morse student to provide a better experience as compared to sleeping on the common rooms' floors. On Game day, as always, breakfast will feature celebratory mimosas for those of drinking age.

To Rosengarten, the sister relationships are not only about “forming a closer bond and showing respect, but also ensuring that when Harvard students are at Yale, they are also received [well].”

Many students also choose to host Yale students outside of the sister relationships, both through efforts organized through student groups and through friendships with Yale students.

Hirsh Jain ’17 will be hosting two of his friends from high school for the weekend.

“They have never been to Harvard and have been meaning to visit for a very long time, and they figured this would be a good time to do so,” he said.

Jain lives in the 10-man suite in Currier. According to Jain, he and his suitemates will be hosting 13 people in total. Jain says the students will be sleeping on couches, in sleeping bags, and even in his own bed.