At 8:00 p.m. Feb. 16, a dozen students slouch against the northern wall of Schimmel, outside the Manna Shop, wrapped in blankets, laughing, sipping hot chocolate, and pretending to read textbooks. At the front of the haphazard queue, a sign reads, “FREE BLAZER TICKETS! LINE FORMS HERE.”
The dozen die-hards, along with the 90 more students who will saunter down from the darkness of campus in the next four hours, are waiting for the midnight giveaway of 130 tickets to the Portland Trailblazers game against Utah Jazz Feb. 21, compliments of ASB.
Last summer, a Blazers representative approached the school about doing promotions. After a successful email ticket giveaway by the alumni offices in the fall, ASB took over.
“The tickets went so quickly last semester, so we knew it’d be something students would enjoy,” says Alyssa Teterud, ASB activities coordinator.
ASB gets the tickets at a group discount, so “they’re not the best seats, but it’s still the Blazers,” Teterud says.
First in line for those tickets, having arrived four and a half hours early, is junior Erin Kropf.
“I like free things,” Kropf says, “and this is a good socializing time. Plus, waiting for something brings people together.”
Senior Rick Saffeels sits beside her, typing on a laptop attached to an extension cord weeded through the sidewalk grate down into the ASB office.
“I don’t have any of my homework with me and I shouldn’t be here and I probably won’t be able to make it to the game,” he says. “However, I am here to enjoy the fellowship of my fellow students – as well as Facebook.”
By 9:00, 30 people have accumulated. ASB Vice President Jordan Lindsey pulls up.
“Alright, Blazer tickets!” Lindsey says, kicking a leg awkwardly in the air.
Freshman Emilee Lloyd, eighth in line, pulls out her camera. “Let’s take a picture every hour,” she suggests.
“Let’s act like it’s really cold so we look like we worked hard for the tickets,” freshman Caleb Ringhand, number nine, says.
Three hours in, Kropf pulls her cherry red Ford Focus up to the sidewalk and blasts some Jay-Z and Hannah Montana for the throng of over 100 students.
“I kind of have to pee,” she says, “but I like being DJ for a crowd,” she says.
Eight minutes before midnight, the students end their card games, close their textbooks, pack up their blankets, discard their empty coffee cups and form a single-file line.
“Oh, oh my leg!” Saffeels says, hobbling on one leg, waiting for the other to wake up.
ASB, dressed in its Blazer best, cheers as the line makes its way into the Manna Shop, where a projector plays game footage.
Freshman commuter Kim Ecker smiles as she receives her ticket.
“I really love the Blazers and I want to marry one someday,” she says. “And I’m not kidding.”