The Maneater

Zou Crew sign-ups draw dedicated fans

Students started camping out Saturday night to join the basketball cheering section.

Taking over the first and second floor of the north side of the MU Student Center, 500 fans queued up Sunday to become members of Zou Crew, the official cheering section for the basketball team.

The first 500 students will receive all their tickets at once as opposed to waiting for tickets to be released. Sign-ups, which were scheduled to start at 3 p.m., began at 12:45 p.m. when the line reached 400 people. For those not among the 500 fans Sunday, online sign-ups began at 9 a.m. Monday, according to the Zou Crew Facebook page.

Signing up in person is new this year, Zou Crew director Aaron Sternecker said. Last year, students went online to become members, and being a part of the first 500 was left up to chance. Sternecker said he thinks this new way is fairer.

Due to the new sign-up process, many students camped out on a night forecasted to get as low as 39. Senior Wade Proffitt, who was 62nd in line, said he got to the Student Center at 4 a.m. The 500th person in line arrived around 2 p.m.

Sternecker said he thought the students who camped out were dedicated fans.

Junior Jenna Friesen was the 500th person. She said this is the first year she will get all the tickets at once.

“It’s nice to wait in the line once rather than five or six times,” Friesen said.

Friesen did not have nearly as long of a wait as others. To pass the time, freshman Luke Weakly watched NFL games on his computer, as did some others. One student even brought the board game Battleship.

To make the whole process more fair, Zou Crew ambassadors gave people in line cards with their numbers so no one could cut in line, according to the Facebook page.

Zou Crew ambassador Stephen Smith was one of two handing out cards in front of the Student Center. He said he participated in the organization last year but became more involved this year.

“I just really wanted to be involved in a program that made my freshman year what it was,” Smith said.

Freshman Steven Austin said he wanted to join Zou Crew for the spirit. As a Tiger’s Lair member, he said he likes the spirit and thinks that, with the smaller basketball arena, the basketball spirit would only be greater.

Senior Emily Terrell said she has a few reasons for joining the spirit organization.

“I like the seats, atmosphere Zou Crew provides, and being close to the players,” Terrell said.

Weakly said he saw good opportunities in Zou Crew and wants to take advantage of them. Being in Zou Crew also guarantees him a seat.

Sternecker said he does not foresee any changes due to the move to the Southeastern Conference.

“Same thing as always. Be there, be loud,” Sternecker said.

He also said the group is planning to take more road trips this year.

“We are gonna be louder and better,” Smith said.

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