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The great Camp Crean compromise

12/8/2011

The Indiana students who hoped to form Camp Crean outside Assembly Hall in advance of Saturday's showdown against top-ranked Kentucky were told by the athletic department that they would not be allowed to pitch their tents because of a new policy. That doesn't seem like lot of fun for a storied program, but the school had its reasons. Indiana cited the safety of its students camping out in cold weather. It mentioned that final exams start next week. Another reason Camp Crean wasn't allowed to set up shop? According to the Indiana Daily Student, there was concern that allowing basketball fans to camp out could have drawn the attention of the Occupy Bloomington movement.

While the students had different motives from the current Occupy Bloomington movement, the campus policy was the same for both parties. However, Occupy Bloomington is not taking place on University property, which meant allowing students to set up tents on campus would allow Occupy Bloomington participants to follow suit. "We didn't just want to say, 'Yes, you can camp,'" [student association president Justin] Kingsolver said. "I would love to say that, but that's very hard to restrict that to just the athletic facilities. If we would've said, 'Yes, you can camp,' that would've also extended to all the Occupy Wall Street people, and they could’ve camped anywhere on campus."

So Indiana came up with a solution. Students unable to set up camp and instead were left to stand or sit outside Assembly Hall were given vouchers that would allow them to enter first when doors open for the Kentucky game. These students were then asked to leave the area outside Assembly Hall, and spending the night outside would no longer be allowed. Students willing to camp outside in the cold hoping to see Indiana stun Kentucky and rush the court afterward will get to save their energy for the game.

"This was an overwhelming show of support by these students whose passion and excitement for the Hoosiers is shared by many," deputy athletic director Scott Dolson said in a statement. "We can't wait for Saturday, but in the meantime, we want their focus to be on their academics and we want their safety and well being to be at the forefront."

"We expect a terrific student crowd on Saturday with the Red Out and a national television audience and we want everyone to be at their best. The rest of this week and next week are so critical academically for so many that we do not want to take anything away from their ultimate goal, which is to graduate with a degree from Indiana University."