Yalies will be forced
to overhaul their pre-Game party plans for the upcoming
Harvard-Yale weekend—traditionally known as much for its
festivities as for its football—to comply with Yale’s recently
The new restrictions will ban on-campus gatherings of more than 20 people and will prohibit tailgating after the game’s third quarter.
Before the announcement of the new restrictions, Yale senior Mike L. Dunham, who lives in the party suite known as the “Sextet” in Jonathan Edwards College, said he and his roommates had discussed throwing parties in coordination with other party suites.
In the wake of the new regulations, however, the “Sextet” and many other suites have decided not to host parties, Dunham said.
Dylan A. Stern, a Yale sophomore who lives in a party suite known as the “12-Pack” in Saybrook College, said he and his roommates have not decided yet if they will throw a party.
“We might do nothing at all,” he said. “We’ll just have to see where things are going.”
Many Yale students say they plan to abide by the rules.
“Once we heard about the regulations, we didn’t want to do anything to sour relations with our [college] master, who has been very accommodating and helpful as we’ve thrown parties throughout the semester,” said Max R. Engel, another member of the “Sextet.”
Others are more skeptical about whether students will be able to control their party numbers.
“What I expect to happen is that party suites and other suites at Yale will try to host their own smaller gatherings for 20 or so people, and whether they intend for it or not, some of those parties will blow up into something bigger,” Dunham said.
The only large sanctioned on-campus party the night before The Game will be alcohol-free. The Yale College Council (YCC) will sponsor the dry party in two of the residential college dining halls, according to YCC President Steven C. Syverud.
The YCC hosted a similar party, which attracted 1,400 people, before the 2003 Game.
In addition, the YCC is compiling a list of events the night before The Game, Syverud said. The list, which will be posted on YaleStation.org, will include information about New Haven clubs, restaurants, and transportation.
While Syverud said the new regulations aim to prevent the damage that Yale residential colleges incurred two years ago, some students said they think the new restrictions will cause even more problems.
“Regardless of whether or not policies are in place, parties are still going to happen on campus,” Engel said. “Since they won’t be preregistered, my concern is that if problems occur, the university won’t be able to anticipate them.”
Syverud said that although he recognizes the impact the new party rule will have on pre-Game festivities, he said the tailgating rules will not have a large effect on the weekend.
But other students said they find the tailgating regulations frustrating.
“I think tailgating is a big part of the whole Harvard-Yale experience,” said Ian M. Gore, a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale. “The weekend is a time for all the students to bond together, and I feel like the new restrictions are just making that more difficult.”
Gore added that while his fraternity is not planning to throw a party the night before The Game, he suspects other fraternities will provide off-campus alternatives open to more people.
“I think it will be very confusing for both Yale and Harvard students who want to drink because they won’t know where the parties are going to be,” Dunham said. “I think a lot of people will just end up wandering around.”
Yale’s new party restrictions apply not only to the upcoming Harvard-Yale Game but to all football games at Yale. The new restrictions will go into effect starting this weekend with the Yale-Brown game.