Durham County

How far would Duke students go for basketball tix? This far, one group decides.

Students who lost their place in line argue that the Krzyzewskiville line policy is unfair to deep sleepers and the hard-of-hearing.
Students who lost their place in line argue that the Krzyzewskiville line policy is unfair to deep sleepers and the hard-of-hearing. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Men’s basketball tickets at Duke University are serious business, particularly when they’re for what’s shaping up as a revenge game against UNC-Chapel Hill on March 3. So perhaps it’s no surprise they’re sparking some drama on campus.

Said drama is playing out in Duke’s student court, which is trying to sort out a complaint that claims the policy that governs the Krzyzewskiville ticket campout discriminates against the hard-of-hearing.

The group of tenters that lodged the complaint lost its place in line for the Carolina game when two of its members missed a 2:45 a.m. “line check” on Feb. 14, allegedly because one’s a heavy sleeper and the other has hearing difficulties, according to the Duke Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper.

Neither heard the bullhorn one of student government’s appointed line monitors used – four times – to wake campers for the early-morning check.

Relegated to a waiting list for a place in a tent city, junior Charlie Pearlman’s group now says the policy violates student government’s promise that each student has “the right to equal protection under the law,” including against discrimination on account of disability. Moreover, they contend the policy itself was improperly adopted early this semester.

Pearlman and his fellow tenters are ultimately targeting a provision of the K-ville policy that says “digital evidence will not be accepted as proof of location.” They want it stricken so they can use cell-phone location-tracking data to show that seniors Sanjeev Dasgupta and Logan Laguna-Kirkpatrick were actually in their tent outside Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Line monitors have noted that it’s easy to spoof location tracking by leaving a phone in a tent.

In any event, Krzyzewskiville is “a meritocracy” where “students can earn their entrance to the game through their own work,” the Chronicle quoted Sara Constand, one of the two head line monitors, as telling the court.

This semester’s K-ville campout has been unusually attention-getting.

The court complaint follows an earlier investigation by the student court that criticized the way student government handled the policy-setting process this school year, and a temporary closure of the tent city the campus administration ordered because of a rapidly spreading flu bug.

Pearlman and his fellow campers are waiting to see how the court rules. They’ve opted “to decline to offer comments” until the judgment is in, Laguna-Kirkpatrick said.

The upcoming game with UNC is a chance for coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils squad to atone for a 82-78 road-game loss on Feb. 8 to the Tar Heels.

Ray Gronberg: 919-419-6648, @rcgronberg

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