Why you should probably thank the OSL if you have a fun time at The Game this year.
It’s that one time of the year when Harvard students get to be normal college students –not without some help from the Office of Student Life (OSL), of course.
As Harvard football gets ready to crush Yale at the Game this weekend, the OSL is getting ready to ensure that the student body has a jolly good time. The respective Offices of Student Life at the two universities are responsible for planning the logistics of the game each year.
Harvard’s OSL has navigated several changes to Harvard-Yale events to ensure that students are not only getting to the Game, but they are doing so safely. Now that the game starts later this year at 2:30 PM, several students voiced concerns about getting back to the Yale campus from the football stadium at night. (Yale’s central campus is about a thirty-minute walk away from the Yale Bowl.) Accordingly, the Yale and Harvard OSL’s have collaborated to ensure more frequent shuttles between the stadium and the main campus, in addition to collaborating with Harvard Student Agencies and the Undergraduate Council to ensure early shuttles back from Yale to Harvard.
Early into the fall semester, Harvard’s OSL began corresponding with its counterpart at Yale to strategize social programming for the Game, along with overnight accommodation for Harvard students. Each House has been matched with a ‘sister’ Yale residential college, and residents of individual Houses can stay in designated spaces at their respective ‘sister’ colleges. All of the upperclassmen house committees have been working alongside the OSL to ensure that Harvard students have place to sleep.
Marking a major break from the Games of years past, the OSL has also worked to keep the Yale dining halls open for brunch the morning before kick-off. Yale dining halls usually close Friday night before the Game, since students leave soon after for a weeklong Thanksgiving break. But the dining halls will remain open Saturday morning for Harvard affiliates with a student ID.
The OSL is also responsible for organizing the official tailgates before the Game. After tailgate space is allotted to the College, it lotteries off tables to individual Houses in a manner similar to the Housing Lottery, said Pilar I. Fitzgerald ‘15, one of the fellows for student life at the OSL.
Fitzgerald also said that the location for this year’s tailgate is smaller than that of previous years but with greater inter-college interaction. “On one side, there will be the Harvard students, and on the other side the Yalies, with a DJ in the middle,” said Fitzgerald.
Student groups can also register with the OSL to organize their own tailgates outside the tennis courts, which will be hosting the official college tailgates.
For a game that has historically been preceded by a night of drunken revelries, student safety figures high on the OSL priority list. “For a lot of students, it is their first time of encountering such unbounded drinking,” Fitzgerald said.
The OSL will be sending a team of HUPD officers who will stay on hand through the Game and the night before to help out with any incidents or unforeseen circumstances. To this end, the Office has also printed out a handy little booklet with a compact schedule of the contact details of the relevant authorities and resources at both Harvard and Yale, in addition to a list of events (and locations) that will take place over the two days.
Additional details can be found on a dedicated website and a Yale Events app that has been created for the purposes of the Game.
Aditya Agrawal ’17(email@example.com) wishes every weekend could be Harvard-Yale weekend.