Duke-Durham dividers: East Campus walkways to be replaced with a moat

Following reported, misinformed concerns from students about rising crime rates in Durham, Duke announced plans to destroy the running paths along the perimeter of the campus and replace them with a moat. To exit East Campus, students will now be required to leap or swim. 

“This is part of an ambitious project to keep pollutants off of our campus," University President Pincent Vice said, referring to the residents of Durham. “For too long we have allowed foreign, non-Duke substances to tarnish our facilities. This moat will filter out any unwanted contaminants, while also providing a state-of-the-art practice facility for our esteemed rowing team.”

The moat will cost at least $25 million to construct and maintain, span 12 feet in width and boast state-of-the-art drawbridges that will only drop for the Shooters bus and C1-Swift bus. Coincidentally, $25 million is the exact same amount it would cost to save the herbarium. In an email to the Chronicle, head of facilities Ristopher Kossi insisted that the number “had no connection.”

“We will be very careful about who has access to the drawbridge,” said Ihait Porpeepl, head of security for East Campus. “We are very alarmed by the demographics surrounding East Campus and want to keep our students safe,” she continued, evidently referring to the million-dollar home that was just sold on Markham Avenue (a note to the uninformed reader — that’s the road right behind Baldwin). 

Presently, the East Campus walkways are heavily used and beloved by members of the surrounding community. “We had to put an end to that,” said Kossi, “We cannot be providing services for people who do not pay tuition.” 

“Duke spends half a million dollars on maintaining the East Campus trail every year,” continued Kossi, “These paths are an expensive endeavor that mostly serves outsiders to the Duke community. Thanks to a generous donation by one of our esteemed alumni, we are very excited to bring the Ravid M. Dubenstein moat to life.”

The moat threatens to endanger access to students’ favorite Durham activity: frat parties. The construction of the moat goes hand-in-hand with the increase in police presence at fraternity parties, alienating more students from the beloved Duke-Durham practice of peeing on neighbors’ lawns.  

Some students also expressed concerns that the moat could create barriers to accessing Whole Foods for those who lacked the strong swimming capabilities it took to cross. 

“Where am I supposed to get my hypo-allergenic, gluten-free organic asparagus now? I am literally going to starve,” first-year Sally Bozos lamented. Others shared similar concerns about the new lack of access to overpriced groceries. 

“I sympathize with the moat construction,” said junior Catherine Ma, a senator on the Duke Student Government’s Durham-Community Affairs Committee. “As a born and raised New Yorker, I understand the challenges of balancing community safety and needs with surrounding city culture.” Ma is from Long Island. 

Along with the moat, President Vice announced future plans for an electric fence around the East Campus wall and paying housekeeping staff an extra 50 cents an hour to work as security guards, keeping out anyone whose parents make less than $300,000 a year.

This past weekend, Monday Monday was forced to don their bullet-proof vest and drive their armored vehicle to retrieve a catering order from Monuts. They are still shaken from the experience.


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