office and Colin Powell's America's Promise program.Fo r more information call (919) 962-4959 or see
SNOW HEATS UP DEAN DOME;
STUDENTS COVET GOOD SEATS
A blanket of heavy snow had paralyzed University opera- tions for three days, but word
still spread quickly among students:
With a student identification card, any
seat in the Smith Center for the Jan.
27 Maryland game was theirs.
Students slid on icy sidewalks over
to the game, eager to release cooped-
up energy and sit in the coveted
lower-level seats. The energy level in
the stands grew higher as the Tar
Heels came back from a 20-point
deficit to win the game, 75-63. The
students rushed the floor in victory.
But the taste ofbeing so close to
the floor was not enough for some
students, who have begun a lobbying
effort to secure more lower-level seats
for students at every game.
"I think every student at the
Maryland game felt like a vital part of
that win," said Tee Pruitt, president of
the Carolina Athletic Association. "That
game has served as a springboard to try
and reconfigure the Smith Center to
create a more energetic crowd. The
Maryland game proved the students
really can give the team that sixth-man
But the athletics department can't
switch the Smith Center's seating
arrangement on a whim. Many
alunmi received their lower-level seats
as a reward for the donations that built
the 21,572-seat arena in 1982. As a
result, alumni seating dominates the
8,000-seat lower bowl of the arena.
"Ofcourse the students want to sit
as close as they can; everybody wants
to sit as close as they can," said Steve
Kirschner, of the University's sports
information office. "But we're not going
to turn our backs on our conunitments.
And to say the donors that helped to
build this building aren't good fans is
wrong. They just cheer on the team
in different forms than painting their
faces and jumping up and down."
The 2,000 lower-level student
seats are in the left corner behind the
Carolina bench, where students claim
they can't have a pivotal impact on the
game like the notorious "Can1eron
Crazies" at Duke.
The most likely change to the
seating configuration, Kirschner said,
would be dispersing the lower-level
student seating to other sections, so
students aren't concentrated in one
corner. N othing will be changed until
next fall, he said.
"I'm not going to say that remodel-
ing isn't a possibility," he said."But if we
do it, it would have to avoid displacing
the seats that donors paid for and chose
for themselves. Students need to get
their expectations down. There may be
changes, but they won't be dramatic."
Pruitt, Student Body President Nic
Heinke and other student representa-
tives met with Athletics Director Dick
Baddour ' 66 in early February to
explain their position. Other students
have written letters, circulated petitions
and participated in a Feb. 3 rally held
at Hinton Jan1es residence hall before
the Duke game.
Senior Jason Knott, who operates a
UNC sports Web site with his room-
mate, has circulated e-mail petitions to
hundreds of students, urging them to
join in the fight.
"The Maryland game del11.onstrated
how a mob mentality could change
Carolina basketball," he said. "Maryland
and N.C. State have caught on, and
their students are now near the floor.
We shouldn't have any other alternative:'
"We're not trying to fight the
Educational Foundation or the athletic
department," Pruitt said. ''I'd like to
create a seating task force with student,
faculty, alunmi and athletic department
representation to assess the issue.
"People have always told me that if
they built the Dean Dome now, they
would do it differently. My reaction is
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