A STRING OF SETBACKS
The list of artists who were unavailable for or too expensive for April's Cameron Rocks! and Last Day of Classes concerts reads like a who's who of the world's most popular performers. Fall Out Boy. Justin Timberlake. Gnarls Barkley. Nelly Furtado. The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
One band which was in Duke's price range and had availability was The Killers-that is, until the University's bureaucracy got in the way. Sources say the that Grammy award-winning band was all set to perform for Cameron Rocks! until Student Affairs dragged its feet in approving the funding. By the time all the administrators had given their OK, The Killers had moved on. A belated attempt to sign them for LDOC then failed as well. But there is a silver lining to this story. RM has learned that Snoop Dogg is a serious possibility for LDOC, provided that the committee can lock up another few thousands of dollars of funding. Paging Aubrey McClendon, anyone?
WHICH OF THESE DOES NOT FIT?
The secretary-general of the United Nations, a former secretary of state, the president of Chile... and a former Duke professor. Say what you will about John Hope Franklin's impressive academic credentials, but the selections for commencement speaker have clearly been in a downward spiral in recent years. Sources tell RM that the Class of 2007 is going old-school in their search for a graduation speaker by looking outside of the ranks of the faculty. And celebrity wattage is not a consideration-although some say former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani and Oprah Winfrey are possibilities because of their current ties to the Gothic Wonderland (Guiliani's son is a sophomore and Winfrey's best friend Gayle King is a Duke mother, as well). No word yet on whether a big name would want to associate themselves with the Duke name in light of recent media coverage.
"We're definitely reaching outside the University," said one source familiar with the dicussions. "Just because someone has a prestigious name doesn't mean they're going to deliver the best speech." It sure doesn't hurt though.
The International Olympics Committee will choose the site of the next Winter Olympics in July and RM would like to submit officially a bid on behalf of the West Campus Plaza. When the first snow of the year arrived on January 18th, the plaza made a strong case for consideration as a luge course.
Where good things happen? Only if you're training for the bobsleigh. Innocent students walking to the Bryan Center found themselves wiping out after a few steps on the plaza, and the bags of salt applied by maintenance workers lost their fight against the structure's icy surface. Worst of all was a devastating frozen metal stairway, which proved harder to climb than an alpine slope. Mercifully, the $800,000 water misters stayed off.
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