Camping: It’s more than just (getting good seats for) a game

1L Andy SteinTen minutes before tip-off, I receive a familiar text from my dad: “B or T?” This is short-hand for “beak or tail,” a reference to the Jayhawk on the basketball court at Allen Fieldhouse. I respond “B,” letting my parents know that I am sitting on the “beak side” of the arena and add “first row, just behind the bench.”

Rewind a few days. I drag myself out of bed, shut off my alarm, and out the door I go. It’s 5:40 a.m. and I’m one of hundreds of students headed to the Fieldhouse, hoping to draw a low number for my camping group. A low number, barring an occasional and oh-so-unfortunate slipup during the proceeding week of camping in the Fieldhouse, will directly translate into great seats for the upcoming game. And that is why we do it. However, camping for basketball provides some unforeseen perks as well.

Neil’s Atomic Fireballs is the official law school camping group. In my experience over the past season, it is also the official “friend finder” at KU Law. Coming into law school, you can pretty much count on having one thing in common with other students. However, discussing whether a conveyance to an unborn widow violates the rule against perpetuities can only carry a budding friendship so far. In joining the KU Law basketball camping group, you immediately find yourself discussing Marcus Morris’ stat line for the previous game or where your new friend was on the night of April 7, 2008.

KU Law camping group at KU basketball gameThanks to a full course load of 1L-exclusive classes, it can be pretty difficult for a first-year law student to branch out into the second- and third-year social circles. Through camping, I have developed some very close friendships with students whom I otherwise most likely would not have met. These friends have provided me with advice about law school, invited me to hang out on weekends and screamed themselves hoarse next to me in the Phog.

As a Jayhawk alumnus, and now a KU Law student, I can attest to the power of KU basketball to bring people together. If you are looking for a way to meet some great people and to get some great seats in the best venue in college basketball, look no further than the KU Law camping group. Tortious feoffment will be a conversation topic of the past between you and your new law friends. And the next time someone watching the game asks where you are sitting, you can text back, “beak side, just behind the bench!”

Andy Stein, 1L and Student Ambassador