Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cameron Crazies a Myth?

We've all heard about the Cameron Crazies, the best basketball fans in the world. And I've seen them in action many times. But they may be in decline.

"undergraduate attendance at men's home basketball games has shown an inexcusable dip" according to this article from DukeChronicle.com

It's no secret that undergraduate attendance at men's home basketball games has shown an inexcusable dip in recent years-a fact made quite clear by former Duke Student Government President Elliott Wolf in e-mails sent to the study body last year.

Whereas at one time students had to be squeezed into the bleachers, last year's bare wood in Cameron stood as testament to the declining number of Crazies.

Most surprising and appalling, however, is the fact that we barely filled up the Duke-UNC game last spring. Everyone in the walk-up line was admitted, which is unheard of.

Indeed, the Athletics Department points out that these decreasing numbers are no recent anomaly. They are actually the continuation of a five- year trend of decline in basketball game attendance. Understandably the department had to act, and as a result we stand as the guinea pigs of a new attendance policy.

The policy, a top-down effort from the Athletics Department to DSG, essentially proposes a validation system that lets students reserve a spot in Cameron without waiting in line for days.

Before the die-hards criticize, though, the system still guarantees that those who are willing to wait for the best seats can obtain them by getting into line first along with their online validation. In addition, K-ville is not going anywhere; the policies surrounding tenting remain the same.

A negative stigma attached itself to basketball game admittance policy for the incoming freshmen last year, presenting the idea that it was virtually impossible to get into regular ACC matches without sacrificing days to ensure a spot. Obviously this was not the case, but it deterred many students nonetheless.

The new policy will raise the awareness that admittance is possible, and highly likely. With this new validation system, moreover, a much-needed element of communication is introduced to the student body, but most importantly to the freshmen on East Campus.

Because it originated from the top, the new admittance proposal could have easily turned contentious. After all, it essentially constitutes administration meddling in historically student-run affairs. More...