Tenting season ends with mixed reviews

Senior Chinedu Okpukpara arrived in Krzyzewskiville an hour before the men's basketball game against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Saturday night.

Okpukpara had not been tenting for weeks or even sitting in the walk-up line for 48 hours, but by tip-off, he was seated in prime territory, three rows back near the UNC bench.

Instead of braving the elements, he jumped in at the end of the walk-up line 10 minutes before the game began.

"I saw there weren't that many line monitors around, and so I just went to the end of the walk-up line when 20 to 30 people were left," Okpukpara said. "I was the only single in a bunch of groups, but no one stopped me. It helped that the senior line monitors had gone in to watch the senior ceremony."

He also said several of his friends snuck into the game "just to see if it would work" and that by the time he entered, monitors were not checking identification carefully.

The confusion Saturday capped off a tenting season marked both by improvements and shortcomings.

Head Line Monitor Lauren Troyer, a senior, said she was pleased with this year's procedures.

"I think it was a great success," she said. "K-ville is improved upon every year, and I'm sure it will be even better next year."

The distribution of water to tenters, the absence of medical emergencies during personal checks and the use of grace as an incentive to bring tenters to women's basketball games and tennis matches were all major victories, Troyer said.

Senior Jeff Ackerman, a member of Tent 1, agreed with Troyer's sentiments.

"It was the best of all four years," said Ackerman, who has blue-tented since his freshman year. "The line monitors were responsive to student needs, and I didn't think there were issues like in the past where you felt that line monitors didn't care."

Ackerman said he was happy that when Troyer granted grace, she would do so at 10 p.m. instead of waiting until after the buses had stopped running.

His only complaint was a lack of security, but Ackerman said that was not the monitors' fault.

But not everyone was so pleased. Many students were especially upset about controversy surrounding Senior Night and the walk-up line for the UNC game.

A raucous crowd of seniors, fueled by University-supplied beer, nearly turned violent during the distribution of wristbands for the Feb 19. Senior Night game against the University of Miami. The next day, some students with wristbands were turned away from the gate.

"Basically, I didn't feel like anyone was really on our side," said senior Rebecca Pomeroy, who had a wristband but was not allowed into the game. She said she had attended very few games because she was confused about the rules.

"I'm really upset," she said. "I thought this was the only the night where I couldn't [mess] it up."

The UNC walk-up line controversy centered around the line monitors' decision to accept a student-made list of the individuals in line for the game. Some students in line said the list's creator, senior Josh Solera, did not do an adequate job of checking identification for those in line. They also complained that the line formed before the 9 p.m. start time listed in the rule book.

Troyer said she attempted to communicate through various channels that the early line-up would be permitted. She added that the informal list was similar to the method used by blue tenters who arrive before the official start of the tenting season and make a list among themselves, which line monitors then adopt.

Freshman Chris Jones said mistakes were understandable, but he noted that monitors were slow to solve problems and seemed to have lost interest by Saturday night.

"I would have liked to see more effort at the end," Jones said. "It seemed like a lot of them were more concerned about getting into the game than keeping order in the line."


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