By: Raymond Humienny ~Campus News Editor~
With the Crosstown Shootout just days away, Cintas Center is waiting for the Xavier Nation to arrive. In recent weeks, however, a petition has surfaced from unknown origins, calling for the return of a past Shootout tradition: the Crosstown Campout.
During the past decade, the Crosstown Campout has been an on-and-off tradition accompanying the Xavier-UC matchup. Students would camp outside Cintas Center the night before the 8 a.m. ticket pick-up. This practice has been inconsistent primarily due to university liability for students’ health and academic success, according to Student Government Association (SGA) President Andrew Redd.
“Coming into our office over the course of the summer, we were kind of planning to have the campout, something to keep with traditions, since it’s been three or four years, and there has not been a campout,” Redd said. “We were trying to implement this during 1831 Week.”
Attempts to raise support for the campout lost momentum during extended discussions with administration, according to Redd. In those conversations, the timing of the Crosstown Shootout right before finals week raised concerns regarding the boundaries between academics and athletics.
“It’s finals week (preceeding Crosstown Shootout), so we need to have a conversation about this,” Redd said. “What do we really need? Is keeping this tradition beneficial for the students?”
“In the end, even though Athletics and myself wanted the campout to happen, to uphold the academic excellency that our school so desires, we all kind of got to a notion where we can’t ask students to camp out at a spot in line all night for a spot in the Cintas Center on the weekend before finals,” Redd said.
This conclusion has not prevented supporters of the campout from voicing their opinions. Senior Michael Lynch, an administrator of the @XavierXooligans Twitter page, chimed in on how he, and others like himself, are promoting the campout petition’s goals. Lynch has primarily advertised the petition through social media and outreach on the Musketeer Report, an online Xavier basketball newsletter.
“I’ve been trying to get it out to anybody, because I was actually curious about the history of (Crosstown Campout),” Lynch said. “There were people that were talking about their stories back in the day (on the Musketeer Report forums). One guy said that in ’05 they encountered the same problem, but they let it go and let it happen. Same with 2011. In many stories, I was hearing about that (problem) as well, but it was cool to see. Even alumni back in the day were like ‘We were working hard to stand in those spots to get tickets. It’s Xavier basketball.’”
“It seems like from people in the past that this is one of those memories that will last forever,” he said.
Lynch also talked about the time when the Crosstown Shootout took place at U.S. Bank arena after finals. This created a dilemma for students who had purchased tickets unaware of vacation plans, according to Lynch. He said he understands the hardship of acquiring Crosstown Shootout tickets.
“It’s just about time. I mean, at least for me, my dad went here, two uncles, one aunt, three cousins,” he said. “One of my cousins is a freshman here, and he was one of the first people I saw on the list. I said, ‘Hey, I will pay you for your ticket. You’ve got three more years here.’ He ended up getting back to me, saying ‘If you don’t happen to find anything, I’ll give you my ticket’ and I was like ‘You are just great.’ I ended up finding someone else, but it’s just a struggle, you know?”
The recent X-Pulse initiative has been a topic of discussion surrounding this year’s Crosstown Shootout for some time. Some believe the system works as an incentive to increase student attendance at athletic events besides men’s basketball, while others criticize it for being unfair to students with busy schedules. Originally, X-Pulse was designed to award Crosstown Shootout tickets based on students’ level of involvement, according to Redd.
“Initially I thought it was unequal, but again, with conversations, I got to see (Xavier Athletics’) side a little more,” Redd said. “What they’re trying to do is award people who do show up for those games, who are athletically driven and support the teams, who do know the cheers, who do know the chants, and are really devoted with athletics.”
Despite frustrations with X-Pulse and Crosstown Shootout ticket sales, Lynch offered his advice regarding the new reward system and Xavier’s mission as an academic institution.
“If you willing and work hard, you will make the time to go out to a game,” Lynch said. “I agree with the idea of academic excellency. It just becomes a matter of who is willing to work hard enough to make that time happen.”
The Crosstown Campout petition currently has 332 supporters, 168 short of achieving its goals. The petition is available online at change.org.