As Bob Dylan once wrote, the times they are a-changin’.
We’ve been thinking a lot about change as we approach our graduation. There are the personal changes we are about to experience: making our own income, paying our own bills, becoming real adults—all the lackluster events that occur after graduation we attempt to ignore until the day we are actually in a cap and gown.
But then there are the changes we’ve experienced that exist outside of ourselves. The Chronicle cutting a day of print with our ascension to the masthead. The main quadrangle transforming from a spacious and social campus to a maze of construction and mulch paths. Don’t even get us started on Chick-fil-A’s departure from the West Union (but never from our hearts).
It’s for this reason we curated this issue of Towerview to focus on change. Our cover story focuses on how Duke’s social life has transformed dramatically in the last four years—from music blaring on West Campus to a more exclusive, off campus nightlife. An inside look into Duke’s decision to hold a Muslim call-to-prayer from the Chapel bell tower and later reverse its decision provides a closer examination of an unprecedented move. Danielle’s trip to Kunshan highlights the changes happening to Duke overseas and questions whether we should be wary or hold faith. And Dan writes about the loss of a coaching icon and chronicles the history of the property at the center of the Duke lacrosse case and its very new owners.
Change over time is nothing new. Every group of seniors who graduate from Duke’s campus remember how different the University’s culture was when it started. When we began here, Tailgate (RIP) was one of the most contentious issues on campus. Today, we struggle to explain to our younger peers what it even was.
Even party themes find a way to become dated after a while. Good luck explaining to a kid born in 1996 what Y2K was. They were only allowed to stay up until 9 p.m. on New Years Eve at that point.
Of course, not all changes are necessarily bad ones. We’ve learned more than a few things during the last four years. The fact that The Loop added a buffalo chicken wrap to their menu doesn’t hurt, either.
Sometimes, watching monumental changes take place is a sign of a person’s deep investment into something. Spending a lot of time in one place or becoming deeply involved with a group or process gives you both a deeper understanding and a greater sensitivity when it comes to change.
People choose to deal with it in different ways. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of denial. Others choose to moan and gripe about the good old days. We’re probably guilty of both, but hope that with every change we can also recognize its cause and future implications.
Fasten your seatbelts as this magazine takes you through the changes—old and new—that have come to shape the Duke you see today.
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