Ever since Harvard announced that the 135th Harvard-Yale football game would be held at Fenway Park, students have been expressing their displeasure with the change. Complications with the venue, ticket sales, and the distance between Harvard Square and Fenway Park have unsettled students. Changes to the Game’s famous annual tailgate, though, have perhaps distressed students the most.
Previous iterations of The Game have included a tailgate outside of Harvard Stadium. However, this year Harvard plans on setting up a "FanZone" near Fenway Park open to the public that will include a space where guests can purchase food and beverages. In response, more than 700 Harvard students and affiliates have signed a petition calling for the Harvard-Yale tailgate to be held in the athletics complex in the hours before The Game, as is tradition. Students advocating for a traditional tailgate have argued that, absent a school-wide celebration, many students will instead choose to stay on campus or attend pre-Game festivities in smaller, exclusive social spaces around Cambridge.
We agree that the tailgate is a crucial aspect of The Game. As we have previously opined, the Game is not just an opportunity for the undergraduate community to watch football, but more importantly, a rare opportunity for students from all walks of life to come together and celebrate with friends as a unified student body. As such, we affirm the aim of this petition and urge the College to preserve a tailgate that is inclusive and available to all.
We believe this might be done by renting out a lot near Fenway Park. But if such an arrangement is not possible, Harvard should accept the student demands made in this petition and arrange for a tailgate to be held outside Harvard Stadium as has been done in previous years.
Either way, the College must inform students of its final decision in a timely manner. With The Game just a little over a month away, students and student groups need time to finalize tailgate plans. While it remains to be seen whether Harvard will succeed on the field on Nov. 17 at The Game, it is well within the University’s power to ensure successful tailgate.
This staff editorial is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.