Here's what happened:
The Daily Tar Heel received an e-mail from senior Hunter Fritz on Wednesday night saying he had heard that those who picked up bracelets at 4 p.m. Wednesday would start the line Saturday morning.
Fritz, a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, said Sunday that his housemates all knew of the rumor and so did several people in ROTC.
I didn't think much of it, but I was on the lookout when I went down to get a ticket for my last home basketball game.
And what I saw was nothing short of flabbergasting.
I ran into a colleague, and he told me with a beaming grin that his number was only 40 off the original number. And lo and behold, he had picked up his bracelet just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. (He has assured me he had no prior knowledge of the rumor, and I believe him, lucky bastard.)
My journalistic curiosity piqued, I ventured to the front of the line to see who emerged from the will call window. It wasn't a person or two, but a group of fraternity-esque guys giggling like school girls.
I returned from the distribution to find another e-mail from an anonymous person who also had heard the rumor.
The person said he or she went down to the ticket office Wednesday at 4 p.m. and saw a group of what the source took to be fraternity guys. (No offense to you Greeks, but anyone who's been here long enough can spot one of y'all a mile away.)
Still, the source was skeptical. But when the person heard the number called, his or her suspicions were confirmed.
"I just refused to believe that something this big would go down like this," the source wrote. "But it did."
The source had e-mailed me Friday night before "predicting" that the number was going to be about 55,750.
It was 55,774.
Unless our sources are psychic, how would they have known exactly what numbers would be called first?
And why were the group of giddy guys all in the same fraternity, Lambda Chi, which just happens to have several members in CAA?
These are very interesting questions, and they deserve truthful answers.
Now the Lambda Chi kids, in an effort to prevent another "biased" DTH article about CAA and the Greek system, have assured us that 4 p.m. just happened to be the best time for them to go down and get bracelets.
If that was the case, why the widespread rumors about 4 p.m. being the magic time?
They forwarded us two e-mails supposedly exonerating them.
But I know as well as they do that forwards can be doctored quickly and easily. So I'm not buying it until Academic Technology & Networks verifies the e-mails' authenticity.
The bottom line is that something stinks. There are simply too many signs pointing to impropriety that must not be ignored.
That's where y'all come in.
Calls for CAA reform will ring hollow from these pages because historically we haven't been on the best terms with the organization.
It will just seem like us bitching again.
But if you all get in touch with the right folks, we can start a movement to avoid these situations in the future.
Even if it can be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was just one strange coincidence, CAA will never be viewed as trustworthy.
Between its ridiculous internal squabblings and the off-the-record knowledge many of us have about some of its shadiness, its reputation has been sullied. "Coincidences" like these only reinforce them.
It's also unrealistic to grant students power over one of the most valued commodities on campus. Selfish human nature often gets the best of otherwise good people.
For these reasons, I think it is high time that ticket distribution become the sole responsibility of the University and not our fellow students.
CAA's power should be limited to serving as an advocate for students when it comes to access to athletic events (read: men's basketball games).
It should fight for better seating and try to put butts in the stands of less popular sports. It should not have such lightly restricted access to basketball tickets.
If this recent controversy proves to be a red herring, I'll be the first to apologize to Lambda Chi and the CAA for tarnishing their reputations.
But I will not apologize for asking these questions and being skeptical of the shrugging shoulders of those who insist this was all a coincidence.
I urge all of you to e-mail Chancellor James Moeser at firstname.lastname@example.org or Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Sue Kitchen at email@example.com and ask them to investigate this incident and the possibility of reforming CAA.
We'll all sleep a little easier for those few hours on Friday nights before distributions knowing that we don't have to worry about one of our fellow students screwing us over.
Matt Dees is a senior journalism
and political science major from Fayetteville. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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