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Crazies begin official tenting period

Let the tenting begin.

The tent city of Krzyzewskiville was officially established Tuesday, as more than 100 groups of Cameron Crazies registered with Duke Student Government officials. At midnight, about 1,200 students began the nine-day sojourn that will conclude with the Blue Devils' much anticipated Jan. 17 match-up with ACC-rival Maryland in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The impressive turnout dispelled any concern that last week's dumping of snow or the men's basketball team's loss to Florida State University Sunday would deter any would-be tenters.

The first tent of the season set up New Year's Day. By Tuesday morning, 39 tents had arrived, though only the first 30 were allowed to register in the early tenting period.

In the early evening's White registration, more than 70 other tent representatives raced to Uncle Harry's grocery store on Central Campus, where Head Line Monitor Greg Skidmore was waiting to sign up tents. The location of the registration was released at 5 p.m. on the DSG website with some network traffic, but not nearly as much as last year, when DSG servers could not handle the over-abundance of hits.

"I thought it was a pretty fair location," said Skidmore of the Central Campus spot. "It's right in between the two main campuses, so everyone had an equal shot. People got out there really quickly."

Although registration went without a hitch, the early tenting period had several complications, including bad weather and concern that attendance regulations were administrated too tightly. Over the week, five tents were bumped for missing checks, and some tenters cried foul. "I think that what happened wasn't really in the spirit of tenting," said tent captain Allison Eaton. "It was unfair, but we're still in a good position."

The junior's tent was the first to set up, but the member assigned to the tent on one of the first few days was without a car and thought the other three tents would grant some leeway. But the other tents disagreed and Eaton's tent was bumped to number four after a check was missed.

A group of freshmen took over as tent one, and set up a website outlining all policies, grace periods, meeting times and the official tent order. Traditionally, the first tent sets the rules for all early tenters, before the line monitors take over.

Freshman Merrill Roller, captain of the first tent, defended each bumping, stating that all tenters knew the rules and knew there would be no leniency for missed checks.

Skidmore, however, said there were no official complaints regarding the bumps.

"They gave me a list of the top 30 [Tuesday morning], and I asked if there were any objections. There were none, and I took the list as agreed upon," he said.

This is the first of two tenting periods during the men's basketball championship-defending season. Duke will host rival University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill March 3, and students are expected to tent almost all of February for entrance.

Skidmore urged all tenters, especially freshmen, to read the "Tenting Made Easy" guide now available on the DSG web site and distributed on East Campus. The guide, a DSG initiative, explains the policies of Krzyzewskiville, and offers suggestions on how to keep the tenting experience safe.

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