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Duke 2022: What’s in and what’s out

It is no secret that Duke is often given a bad rep for being too rigorous, not caring about its students, and so on and so forth. But, if anyone knows how to harp on this school the best—it's Duke students. A trend that was circulating on Instagram as of late was people posting their “ins” and “outs” for the new year—ins being things that they hope to keep or things that they hope happen during 2022 and outs being things that they want to leave behind in 2021. So, in the spirit of the new year and the start of a new semester, I have curated a much-needed list of ins and outs specific to Duke for 2022. 

Ins

Conserving food points until the end of the semester

Duke’s student body can easily be split into two categories: those who don’t have food points at the end of the semester and those who use their extra food points to ensure their friends in the former group don’t starve. As much as we love gloating on our private stories about these small acts of charity, dropping 20 food points a day on people who decided excessive visits to WU was a good idea means less Il Forno visits for us. Obviously, if you gotta eat you gotta eat, but if anyone’s in need of a new year’s resolution…this could be a good place to start. 

Free Laundry

I did not question that Duke students have to pay for laundry until I learned that the majority of my friends in college elsewhere weren’t paying for their laundry. I already spend a few hours every other week doing it and as they say, time is money, so aren’t I already paying for my laundry enough without the extra $1.25 per load? If anything, the rates should be lowered because our pals over at UNC are paying 25 cents less than us per load and that simply isn’t okay.

Replacing the C1 with the Shooters bus

Something about strobe lights and Jack Harlow’s verse on Lil Nas X’s Industry Baby playing while you’re on the way to your surely dreaded 8:30am class just seems appropriate. There could even be themed rides like Mamma Mia morning and EDM evening. Although this move might take away from the mystique of the Shooters bus seemingly appearing out of thin air right when you need it most on a night out, if anyone could make this happen, Duke definitely could. At the very least, this switch is a splendid idea for LDOC festivities.

Tenting

It’s back! The most beloved Duke tradition has returned for the first time since COVID and with over 70 groups registering for blue tenting, it is clear that people are ready to fight their way into the coveted UNC vs. Duke men’s basketball game. There has been pushback on tenting due to the rise of Omicron, but it’s time to give it a go and if cases spike due to K-ville, Duke can act accordingly. Tenting is the hope we need in these dark times of remote learning and gives us all something to look forward to, even if not partaking in the activity ourselves.

Honorable in mentions include Zoom classes, booster shots and bringing back Kit-Kats to the vending machines.

Outs

The Plexiglass in Marketplace

One of the more inconsistent COVID measures of last semester were those of the dining halls. Once indoor dining was allowed, WU was entirely back to normal with groups of people eating together—no plexiglass in sight nor had there ever been plexiglass in WU. Even though the majority of first years eat at WU often, Marketplace kept plexiglass in between each person. The plexiglass must be bulletproof because no one could hear a word the person directly across from them or beside them was saying. By the end of the semester, students were moving the plexiglass to the floor while they ate in order to emulate the pre-COVID camaraderie of the dining halls. Indoor dining is prohibited currently due to Omicron, but once Duke opens up the dining halls this semester, taking down the plexiglass in Marketplace should be at the top of the list.

Not having a proper arts requirement

Yes, Duke technically has an arts requirement through their Arts, Literature, and Performance (ALP) Area of Knowledge code. Trinity students are required to take two credits under ALP, but Pratt students are given the choice of choosing ALP or other Areas of Knowledge for their requirements. Thus, not everyone will even take an ALP coded course and the majority of these courses are seminars or studies on the arts. But solely studying art is not the same as creating art. The art requirement should pertain to all Duke students and entail only courses that really get your hands dirty creatively like photography or sculpting. I’m a firm believer that everyone could benefit from a hands-on arts class as it teaches you how to think outside-of-the-box in ways that can be conducive in STEM, business, engineering, and arts fields alike.

QuadEx

What a better way for Duke to promote freedom of choice and happy living by restricting our ability to choose who we surround ourselves with! When QuadEx was first announced, no one was too miffed (perhaps due to the confusing nature of the concept), but as time went on and bridges were burned, there has been increasing distaste in living with the same people sophomore year as you were freshman year. I understand this system is all about “building community” and creating a stronger bond between students, but there is something to say for random placement in second-year dorms that allows students to meet new people and diversify their community which QuadEx does not provide.

Duke’s Ivy League Complex

Duke loves to play monkey-see, monkey-do when it comes to Ivy League practices. The previous mention of QuadEx is a perfect example as Harvard and Yale have had a similar housing system for almost a century now. Duke students’ obsession with the university’s national ranking and calling Duke “the Ivy League of the south” just adds fuel to the fire. In the wise words of Regina George, “Stop trying to make Duke an Ivy. It’s not going to happen.”  

Honorable out mentions include Duke’s $80k and rising tuition, union busting, and Golden Gooses.  

Olivia Bokesch is a Trinity first-year. Her column typically runs on alternate Wednesdays. 

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