‘Heckle responsibly’: Basketball players, line monitors speak at first-ever K-Ville DEI town hall

Tenters in K-Ville brave cold conditions for weeks every winter waiting for the Duke-North Carolina men's basketball game.
Tenters in K-Ville brave cold conditions for weeks every winter waiting for the Duke-North Carolina men's basketball game.

Line monitors and players and coaching staff on the men’s basketball team spoke to tenters about promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in Krzyzewskiville at K-Ville's first-ever DEI town hall.

The Wednesday event was held by K-Ville’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and began with a presentation led by K-Ville Director of DEI Sonia Gazula, a senior, and line monitors Juliana Alfonso-DeSouza, a junior, and Chanté Davis, a sophomore.

“The goal of the line monitors is to enhance the undergraduate Duke experience in Cameron and keep the spirit and traditions of Duke basketball alive. In order to do our job effectively, we are trying to keep diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of those things,” Davis said. “We hope to build a better K-Ville for everyone.”

The line monitors began by emphasizing that tenters should “treat others the way [they] want to be treated.” Other major points included barring the use of slurs inside Cameron Indoor Stadium and asking students to refrain from letting stereotypes make a first impression.

The presentation also touched on rules specific to tenting. Line monitors reminded tenters to respect boundaries, be mindful of different identities and ensure that their tent names are appropriate. They also applied the “Vegas rule” to tenting, stating that “what happens in K-Ville, stays in K-Ville.”

“We spend a long period of time that we’re all kind of in harsh conditions, and lines can get blurred,” Alfonso-DeSouza said, explaining the rule. “When someone confides in you [while] in a vulnerable position, you keep that in mind, obviously unless they pose a threat to themselves or K-Ville in general.”

The monitors also discussed game day etiquette, reminding tenters to be respectful of rival teams and to “heckle responsibly.”

Director of Player Development Justin Robinson, Assistant Director of Athletics Debbie Savarino and men’s basketball players Jaylen Blakes, a junior, and Jeremy Roach, a senior, took part in a question and answer session following the presentation.

The moderators focused on DEI practices followed by the basketball team and coaches.

Responding to a question on how cultural differences are perceived and addressed among players and coaches, Blakes said that sports is a “great example of inclusivity.”

“At the end of the day, there is a winner or loser in basketball, so you're doing your best to work together as a unit to successfully reach that goal,” he said.

Savarino spoke on Duke’s specific role in implementing DEI practices, stating that the number of women working within the men's basketball program is higher than that of the majority of the country. 

Students focused on asking the panel what could be done to encourage more members of the student body to attend basketball games. 

Robinson suggested that students reach out to people unfamiliar with sports or basketball and encourage them to take part in something integral to the Duke experience.

Savarino presented the idea of possibly organizing a “basketball experience” to persuade students who are not familiar with basketball to attend games. Savarino suggested that the experience could include watching game film and doing a few basketball drills on the court.

“You guys have an unbelievable talent base, because this school is full of amazing people and so tapping into one another is special,” she added. 


Ishita Vaid | Associate News Editor

Ishita Vaid is a Trinity sophomore and an associate news editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.

Discussion

Share and discuss “‘Heckle responsibly’: Basketball players, line monitors speak at first-ever K-Ville DEI town hall” on social media.