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DSG hears new basketball tenting policies, considers updating tenting bylaws

Duke Student Government Senate kicked off the spring semester discussing policy changes for one of Duke’s most well-known traditions—basketball tenting.

At the Senate's first meeting of the year, line monitors gave an unofficial presentation of their rule updates that will be officially presented and voted on next week at the Jan. 17 Senate meeting even though the tenting season begins Jan. 12. The Senate also considered a proposed bylaw change that will enforce a deadline that has been ignored in recent years and will prevent similar instances in the future in which line monitors present their policies after the beginning of the tenting season. 

President Pro Tempore Jackson Dellinger, a junior, said the bylaw change would go into effect for the 2019 tenting season. 

This year's rule changes, presented by co-head line monitors David Duquette and Sara Constand—both seniors—feature an increased emphasis on participant wellness and a change in hours classification. 

Previously, the “night hours”—when more tenters have to be present in Krzyzewskiville—ran from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Sunday to Tuesday and 2:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. from Wednesday to Sunday. To give students more studying time, they decided to make the night hours begin at 2:30 a.m. on all nights.

The new emphasis on wellness includes mandatory wellness contracts for tenters and programs like sunrise yoga being held in K-Ville throughout the tenting season. The line monitors are also undergoing party monitor training geared towards tenting.

DSG President Riyanka Ganguly, a senior, called for a round of applause for the line monitors for the new shift towards promoting wellness.

Although DSG will vote on the policies next week, Duquette, said the rule changes will still go into effect by the Jan. 12 beginning of tenting season.

“This is the first year the line monitors have been this focused on wellness,” she noted.

In addition to hearing this year's line monitor policies, the Senate considered a bylaw change that will require that annual line monitor policies be presented to DSG for approval in the November before each year's tenting season. In recent years, DSG did not enforce that November deadline, and the line monitors presented their policies closer to the beginning of tenting seasons. 

“The critical problem is that in the past couple years, it wasn’t passed by the deadline and the constitution didn’t say anything about what happened if it wasn’t passed by that deadline,” Dellinger explained.

The goal of the change is to clarify the process and the possible consequences of not meeting the November deadline. Dellinger said that DSG has not yet agreed on those potential consequences. 

“Internal affairs is going to go through a further process to iron out the rest of the kinks in the tenting law and come up with a mechanism for understanding what should happen if the deadline isn’t met," Dellinger said. 

In other business

DSG Attorney General Sabriyya Pate, a junior, presented a new guide that DSG will put out to aid students who are interested in running for DSG positions. 

“The Blue Devil’s Guide to Joining Duke Student Government” is a “strategic manual” for students looking to join, and will be available on the organization’s website. It includes a step-by-step guide to developing a campaign and advice from DSG members. 

Among the 17-page long manual's list of goals is to “increase representation for students underrepresented in DSG” and to “empower all students with the confidence to successfully run for DSG positions.”