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Roughing it at U-Hall

Most students like to write their papers in the quiet of the library or in the comfort of their rooms.

But yesterday, Mark Straub, a first-year College student, chose a different place - the lobby of University Hall.

Straub, who leads the all first-year Hoos in the Hall, is one of a handful of students who camped out five days in advance for the basketball game against Duke this Wednesday.

He wasn't the first to arrive, though. That distinction belongs to second-year Engineering student John Steck, who proudly staked his claim outside U-Hall at noon on Saturday.

Steck is the leader of the Tie Guys, a student fan group, and expects 10 other members to show up for the basketball game.

Straub explained how groups camping out for the game sign in as they arrive.

"It's kind of a makeshift system," he said. A homemade poster board hangs inside the U-Hall lobby with space for groups to sign up. This effectively holds their place in line until game time at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Related Links
  • Cavalier Daily coverage of Virginia men's basketball
  • The official website of Duke athletics

    "You're on your honor to have someone in your group here at all times," Steck said.

    Straub agreed, and said signing up and then leaving an empty tent in front of U-Hall "defeats the purpose" of camping out for the game.

    "It's just not right," said T.J. Zitkevitz, a fourth-year Engineering student and leader of Hoos Your Daddy.

    But the hard-core basketball fans that get in line early are getting help from Andrew Rader, the associate director of sports promotions.

    Rader will make power strips available to campers starting today.

    The Cage in Onesty Hall will be open every night from midnight to 8 a.m. as another place where students can sleep.

    Camping out won't guarantee you a front-row seat, however.

    "We always sit in the same spots" in the arena, Steck said.

    Fan groups like Hoos Your Daddy have their own self-designated spaces in U-Hall.

    "The first-timers don't understand the seats are taken," said Straub.

    "We all know where everyone else sits," Steck added.

    Compiled by Sam Bresnahan


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