Retain Coffeehouse culture

Fittingly tucked behind East Campus in the most unassuming of locations, the Duke Coffeehouse’s place on campus is not only one that offers an alternative and unique option to greek life but another that is often overlooked: Its vital role as a link between Durham youth and the University. Writing as a Durham native who enjoyed the Coffeehouse during high school as a great venue to hang out, perform and watch bands play, and later as a four-year student volunteer booking shows for the Coffeehouse, I agree with The Chronicle’s position regarding its future in its Sept. 9 staff editorial, “Revitalize the Coffeehouse.”

I caution, however, that the Coffeehouse’s role in attracting nationally recognized independent and underground musicians as well as Durham youth is very much important to its success and fostering a culturally vibrant campus. While not well known by many students or faculty members, the Coffeehouse’s ability to attract a myriad of national musicians of all genres and offer a fertile venue for developing local high school talent is critical to the University’s ongoing efforts to better integrate Duke within its Durham surroundings. Many also do not know that the local high school and Chapel Hill music scenes regard the venue as one of the best places to play in the Triangle area, one that has hosted sold out performances by Beck, Hot Water Music, Cave In, Dismemberment Plan and many other nationally recognized acts.

On behalf of both the Durham underground music scene that grew and thrived in the Coffeehouse as well as the loyal and diverse set of patrons that defined it for years, I second The Chronicle’s position and strongly urge the Office of Student Activities and Facilities to provide the necessary resources and allow those who know it best to maintain the culture and revered role the Coffeehouse has played for over a decade.


Nagendra Chuck Jayanty

Trinity’ 03


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