Senate debates new line policy

Duke Student Government representatives vigorously debated Wednesday night the proposed line policy for entering men's basketball games in preparation for a vote on the change in the next couple weeks.

The validation process-presented by Head Line Monitor Roberto Bazzani, a senior, and junior Sunny Kantha, vice president for athletics and campus services-would require undergraduates to register online starting three days prior to each game and show up a least one hour ahead of tipoff to claim their spots.

A full senate evaluated the weaknesses of the system as well as its alternatives, some of which were proposed by juniors Barry Wright and Craig Reeson-nonmembers who voiced their opposition to the policy at the beginning of the meeting.

"I'm concerned that the system will cause people to validate just in case, and then have people not show up [to the game]," Wright said, adding that he thought the system would not increase attendance to games.

Some representatives also expressed concern about how to ensure that registered students will attend the game.

Bazzani said a "courteous" e-mail will be sent to no-show students to enforce attendance.

"The first time we're doing it we're going to make it as student-friendly as possible, but punishment is definitely a possibility in the future," Kantha added.

DSG President Paul Slattery, a senior, said concerns about a loss in student spots because of full registration were unfounded, adding that he does not expect a rush to register given the low attendance at past games.

"If you're not particularly fond of this system or you're worried about losing student seats, there is one and only one very easy solution: Get all your friends to go to the games," he said.

Matt Drummond, head of the DukeCard office, demonstrated the online registration process and the "Validation Counter," which counts the number of registered students who swipe into the game and displays the count online.

The new policy was drafted in response to a decrease in student attendance at basketball games over the past five years. The athletics department told DSG that a change in line policy to increase attendance was its only option if it wanted to keep all 1,200 seats in Cameron Indoor Stadium reserved for undergraduates, Slattery said.

"I think the registration policy is the best-case scenario for what could have come out of the demands that the athletics department placed upon us," Slattery told The Chronicle. "Ultimately, if students don't like the new registration system or it's going back to the old [Krzyzewskiville], the best solution is to fill Cameron every time so that the registration system becomes irrelevant, at which point it's very easy for us to go to the athletics department and say, 'Why are you bothering us?'"

Wright and Reeson proposed allowing one person to swipe in for three people-instead of only two-at games, but Kantha and Bazzani said they did not think this would improve attendance.

Another alternative senators discussed was the creation of a waitlist for validation.

"Waitlisting [is] something we might consider adding in future periods, but right now we want to present as simple a system as possible so that people don't get bogged down in the details," Kantha told The Chronicle.

After the meeting, Reeson told The Chronicle he still opposed the policy but understood why it is DSG's only option.

"I don't think this is going to raise attendance, but at least it'll get the athletics department off their back for a while," he said.


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