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Yale tightens tailgate rules

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  January 20, 2012 12:50 PM

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Kegs of beer and large box trucks to transport party supplies have been banned at Yale University sports events and functions, a school vice president told students in an email yesterday.

The move is in response to the death of a Salem woman at the Harvard-Yale football game in November. Nancy Barry, 30, was killed and two other women were injured when they were struck by a U-Haul truck carrying beer kegs into a tailgate party area. New Haven police are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Large trucks had been used for years by students to bring party supplies to the areas surrounding the Yale Bowl. Now, only trucks used by pre-approved vendors will be allowed.

Yale also said student tailgating would end at the time of the game's kickoff, and all students will be required to leave the tailgate areas at that time. A special "vehicle free" tailgate area will also be created for students.

Below is the text of an email sent to students by Yale vice president and secretary Linda Lorimer.

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To: Yale Students, Deans and Directors, Yale College Dean’s Office Staff, Student Affairs Staff, Masters and Deans of the Residential Colleges, Athletics Colleagues

From: Linda Lorimer

Subject: Changes to Tailgating Rules

Immediately following the tragic accident at the Yale Bowl last November, President Levin constituted an ad hoc committee to review Yale’s existing tailgate rules and to focus particularly on the presence of beer kegs and oversized vehicles in tailgating areas. Associate Vice President for Administration Janet Lindner led this committee, which also included Director of Athletics Tom Beckett and Yale College Dean Mary Miller.

After reviewing Yale’s tailgating policies and the policies of other universities, and conducting site visits to other university stadiums, the committee made the following recommendations, which the President and the other Officers have accepted:

1. Kegs will not be permitted at University athletic events or functions. This policy is consistent with practices at many other universities, including Princeton and Harvard.
2. Oversized vehicles, such as box trucks or large commercial vehicles, will not be allowed in University lots at athletic events, unless driven by a pre-approved authorized vendor.
3. Student tailgating will end at kickoff, and all students and guests will be required to leave the student tailgating area; we hope they will enter the stadium to watch the game or otherwise they will need to leave the Bowl area.
4. A new “vehicle free” area for student tailgating will be created. Students who must bring a car will be able to park in another area at the Bowl.

These regulations will go into effect immediately.

As the next step of the review, President Levin has asked Janet Lindner to continue working with Tom Beckett and Mary Miller, as well as experts in sports stadium safety, to review Yale’s tailgating logistics, including parking, traffic control, crowd control, tailgating locations, police, security, shuttles and signage. As part of this assessment, the committee will seek counsel from the residential college Masters and Deans; students, including graduate and professional school students; the AYA leadership and the Football Y leaders; Athletics colleagues; Yale’s General Counsel; and the Yale, New Haven, and West Haven Police Departments. Together, I am certain we can continue the tradition of tailgating at Yale in a way that is safe and enjoyable for all.

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