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GPSC campout promotes service

Correction (9/25/2002): Due to misinformation, a page one story in the Sept. 24 edition of The Chronicle incorrectly stated that over 4,000 graduate and professional students registered for their basketball campout. Only 1,700 students registered.

The graduate and professional student men's basketball ticket campout will have a few new twists this year, including a push for charity and more promotion for women's basketball, with past game highlights and appearances by players.

Over 4,000 graduate and professional students registered last week for the campout, which will take place during the Sept. 27 weekend in the grass fields behind the Blue Zone parking lot.

The Graduate and Professional Student Council--which promotes the event not just as a means of getting into Cameron Indoor Stadium, but also as a major bonding and social event for various post-undergraduate communities--will emphasize community service during this years campout. The Men's Basketball Ticket Committee is requiring that students bring at least one canned food for charity in addition to the $5 registration fee.

As in the undergraduate tenting process, monitors make random checks. Once the students complete a weekend of tenting, however, they enter into a random lottery for the 700 spaces. Lottery winners then have the option to purchase season-long passes for $150. Students who have camped for previous seasons, but have not ever been selected, have more entries in the lottery than do first-year tenters.

"I thought it sounded like a fun way to hang out and meet new people," said Kristin Rider, a first-year graduate student in the physicians assistant program. "My department is very small. We have about 20 people tenting though, so my class had a meeting to decide who would bring what, so we could all be prepared."

Jessica Casaletto, this year's campout co-chair, estimated that only 1,400 to 1,500 of the registered students would actually take part in the 36-hour event. Many students with previous camping experience received exemptions to attend conferences, work on-call rounds at the Duke University Medical Center and in a few cases, get married.

The committee selects a different charity every year to receive profits from the event's raffle. Last year, the annual campout raffle raised over $10,000 for the American Red Cross 9/11 Fund. This year, the committee decided to bring the charity closer to home, selecting the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center in Durham.

"Duke and Durham don't have the best relationship and we thought it would be nice to give support to [Head Men's Basketball] Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] and his efforts to make improvements there," said Casaletto, a fourth-year graduate student in cell and molecular biology.

"We change the charity every year so that we can recognize all different efforts."

Liz Reed, a first-year public policy graduate student, who is also the raffle ticket contact for public policy said sales have been slow, but attributed that to the cost for graduate students who are already on a tight budget. "I was planing on camping out, so I found out about the committee meeting and saw that later, upper members of the committee can get [benefits for their commitment]," she said.

Tom Mullarkey, a second-year business student, will camp out for his second year. Like many other students, Mullarkey chose to rent a Rider truck for the weekend. He said the trick to preventing boredom is bringing lots of food, drinks and board games. "We just throw some cots in the back," he said. "We grill out, barbeque, things like that. The first 24 hours is fun, but then it gets tedious. It is essentially a 36-hour-long tail gate with hour-long naps."

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