The second semester officially begins, and with it, a process known as Rush. Students have fretted about Rush being a life or death process for years, but this is the first year in which their cries and complaints are actually justified. The need for every existing Greek and non-Greek organization to replenish its forces, combined with the lack of a central monitoring authority such as the IFC (which used to do an excellent job of ensuring that no dangerous or illegal activities occurred at anyRrush events), makes this year’s Rush particularly dangerous and competitive.

For the first time in its history, DSG conducts a formal Rush of its own. Previously, DSG only engaged in an informal process known as “dirty Rush.” This meant that the Executive Board befriended people similar to them and either rigged the elections in their favor or made them “senators-at-large.” Truly patronage at its pinnacle!

After inducting its new members, DSG meets in the Chapel and decides to overturn every FOAC and SOFC recommendation and debate several small budgetary statutes, as is tradition. Despite knowing that the meeting won’t end until 2 a.m., Duke’s Finest are in high spirits. The Weis-man, in an act of astounding magnanimity, ordered enough Enzo’s pizza for the entire Senate (with discretionary funding, of course). Other than this, several major plans and reforms were discussed and then promptly tabled indefinitely.

Far away from West, Kappa Alfafa Order has its first Chapter meeting of the semester. Despite already having the most territory and members of any Greek organization on campus, the Order desires further conquest. Kappa Alfafa is unique among student organizations though, for it does not consult The Chronicle for advice. When an important decision needs to be made, it consults its spiritual founder. After performing their opening rituals, always so meticulously carried out, the members of the Order select a freshman (pre-closed since September) to be the vessel. This soon-to-be-pledge drinks the ceremonial concoction and briefly passes out. A few minutes later, he arises with incredible energy and screams a terror-inducing yell. With a Southern drawl slower than molasses, he rants about the good ole days of Duke and announces that “THE YANKEES MUST BE DESTROYED!” After contemplating this oracle response during an hours-long dipping tobacco session, the brothers conclude that they must oust the Northerners from Duke. They begin planning the extermination of all Duke students who are from the Tri-State Area, starting with the most obvious targets: the Duke lacrosse team and the Brotherhood of Snew (essentially the same organization).

The Brotherhood of Snew, unaware of the danger which awaits them over the coming weeks, holds its first Rush event. The organization officially has many members due to an unusually large fall pledge class (because the organization is becoming more inclusive and definitely not because it needed to wait to officially register its previous year’s pledges due to sanctions). On a completely unrelated note, Skittles have completely disappeared from shelves at all stores for miles around Duke’s campus.

Meanwhile, Duke’s new Student Health Center is being pushed to the max. Many organizations know they will not survive in the spring, and thus many take extreme measures to acquire new members and to sabotage other organizations. For example, Chips contacted several Duh Tuh Duh Rushees and, posing as Duh Tuh Duh members, told them that they would be having a mandatory Rush event that night in Alaska. The Rushees, only able to endure in the comfort and safety of the Duke Bubble, did not return from the barren tundra.

Additionally, the stress brought on by the upcoming Rush has increased the calls to CAPS a hundredfold. Now, instead of having to wait two months for an appointment, it takes two years. Fortunately, only about 100 students were EMS’d this year! (Though technically, the majority of students probably should have been but weren’t—as not everything has changed since the Fall of Trask.)

However, one positive change was that social life has finally been brought back to campus. The combination of student conduct being officially abolished by IFC and the quarantining of Duke by the Durham Police Department, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement branch (which has the ironic acronym of ALE) and various homeowner’s associations of Durham makes the hosting of large non-dry events on campus semi-feasible for the first time in years. Party monitor shirts are burned for warmth, punch bowls abound in the open and miles of funnels span the various dorms on West and Central. Every student who complains about noise during “quiet hours” is forced to board the Robertson Express and exiled to UNC.

On East Campus, all notions that the concept of a “dry campus” being able to even exist outside of the state of Utah have been completely dispelled. Sir Guarcamole, in his benevolence to the first-yearlings, has let the taps flow. Sam’s Quik Shop and the gas station near East have been struggling immensely to keep up with demand. While many assume the Keeper of East is merely being lazy in his responsibilities, he actually has a strategy in mind. If he can gain the trust and loyalty of the first-yearlings, he may have the numbers to finally gain control of the University. Unfortunately, his optimism has blinded his ability to see that he has enemies in his ranks, and they are growing. The RAs and RCs have just about had enough with the leniencies he has taken in enforcing Duke’s Housing and Residential Life policies. It is difficult enough that he is allowing alcohol on East, which constitutes the first time alcohol has been on East since it became “dry.”

Now, he is even allowing refugees from the schools destroyed by UNC to find shelter at Duke. Duke’s housing policy on overnight guests used to be rigorously enforced, but no longer. Sir Guarcamole has turned East into a sanctuary campus, with students from what were formerly known as Wake Forest, Davidson College, and N.C. State living in tents on the main quad. The RAs and RCs plan to remove him once and for all after Rush, right after the hectic process ends yet before the burdens of extracurriculars and summer internship applications resume.

And what of Anniekin Liewatcher? Not much has been heard from her since she was ousted from DSG. Many assumed that the army she was building would be used to reclaim her rightful place on the throne. However, like Richard Nixon in 1960, she did not want to cause further chaos by challenging a fraudulent election result. She quietly disbanded her forces and is now living off-campus, where she can reside in relative peace in a high-rent apartment, perhaps writing her memoirs. Queen Ban-all relishes that she has one less threat to deal with. Little does she know that a small but zealous faction is plotting to put an end to the debauchery at Duke University.

After a long period of uncertainty, it seems that there is once again hope that the prophecy may be fulfilled. There have been whisperings that the most powerful of the basketball players are healing well and almost ready to quash the enemies of Coach K and the university (despite several severe setbacks). However, nobody is sure exactly how Coach K plans to reunite the Three Campuses, or whether he can actually do it himself. While he is expected to serve for at least five more years, he is an aging elder. Some are beginning to believe he may simply support the candidacy of another, then retire to the countryside. Time will tell.

This is the fourth installment of The Pledgemaesters.