12-hour primal scream


This is a totally real ad paid for by Duke Student Government. 

Sick of waking up to headache-inducing fire alarms during your Wellness Days? Wanting to burn down a building after accidentally reading another incel-forum post on Duke GreekRank? About to send a message to your professor with some choice words because no, this email - and 9 p.m. curfew - does not find you well

We see you. We hear you. We’re with you. We’re listening. Inspired by traitors to the British Monarchy, we’re tallying the days of this lockdown on the walls of Edens 3A with our own blood and tears. And we have something else to offer amidst the absurdity of it all. Hear us out: 

DSG will be hosting a 12-hour primal scream at Main Quad on Friday evening.* 

So mask up. We’ll mark a 6-foot distance between every student (with renewable tape, so as not to damage the grass). There’ll be water stations and maybe some CaFe Kombucha if you’re lucky. If you wear a Duke shirt and appear somewhat not-depressed, DUWELL will compensate you with a droopy succulent for your surprise appearance in our alumni magazine. 

Screaming is healthy--it offers catharsis, even if only temporary, during a time when many of us feel alone. In fact, "it [screaming] creates a chemical reaction that is similar to the one you get when you exercise—you get a dopamine hit and some endorphins going," psychotherapist Zoe Alston says. (We want to confirm that she was not, in fact, paid by the University to make this statement.)

Screaming also allows a release of rage that many of us may be experiencing. DSG cannot condone any type of burning, sadly, whether it be of a bench (not that bench-burning could even be an issue this year) or a cardboard cutout of the Durham IFC logo, but a primal scream is a healthy alternative. 

Honestly, we’re just sick of listing campus resources when students express concerns about their mental health. A real transcript from one of our representatives during a real meeting with Mental Health Student Advocates, Duke (SAD): “Maybe direct people to CAPS? Most people have had pretty horrific experiences with them. It’s not like the Duke University Police Department responds to mental health emergencies, though. Oh, wait.” 

So, we could tell you to meditate.  Or go to that fancy CBD shop across the street. Or buy marked-up HI CHEWS in the Duke Store. Or partake in strictly essential drinking. Or decimate your cuticles. But primal screaming is an inexpensive, accessible option in which our community can collectively participate. Scream at the violently selfish frat guys. Scream at your professor who refused to move that midterm. Scream at the sky; scream at the world. (You can also just cry, but please turn away from the campus photographer when doing so.) 

We understand that you have tried other options. And we’re sorry, but extorting wealth from those translucent kids still partying in Miami violates the Duke Community Standard. While we appreciate the dedication of those of you writing the names of every Duke fraternity member on the East Campus Bridge and submitting those photos to CNN, unfortunately, we are not able to endorse this action. No, “Abolish Men” cannot replace the Duke motto of Eruditio Et Religio. On another note, who the f*** blasted the emergency RA lockdown meeting on a speaker on Main Quad to “let the people listen?” 

Look, we don’t have all of the answers. We’re just students, too. But we’re not the cause of this outrage. As far as we know, not one of us has wanted to get COVID so we could possess antibodies and “go hard” over winter break. To our knowledge, none of us are responsible for Durham residential COVID cases (although we’d rather not investigate, just to be safe).

Until we can talk to our friends again, try to “take care of yourselves” (we don’t really know what this phrase means; Duke just told us to use it). We’ll see you on Friday.

*If you’ve tried to hop the newly-constructed fence around Duke Gardens for a Tinder smoke date or whatever, you’re not invited. HRL keeps a running list; we know who you are. 

Lily Levin is a Trinity sophomore. Her column normally runs on alternate Thursdays. 


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