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We’re one week into the Biden administration, and I can confirm that my colleague Reiss Becker was correct in his evaluation that the President is a “political opioid.” At the time, I thought that my fellow columnist was speaking figuratively to justify voting for Donald Trump. Now I can see that Becker was being literal—Biden has drugged America.
I’m just as annoyed by all the election reminders as everyone else. But the time is running short—so enough standing grand with your horses that got high. The election is just. One. Days. Ago. We need to get out and vote in the most important election of our lifetime since the one four years ago and until the one in four more years away.
In the wake of Justice Ginsburg’s passing, the President and Republican-led Senate have been scrambling to fill the vacancy. Yet given our proximity to the upcoming Presidential election, Americans should have a say in the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court through their votes this November. Even more important than the Supreme Court is VLearn, Duke’s new virtual experience which connects students with faculty over video-conferencing software. It is my firm belief that rushing a Supreme Court nominee so close to a Presidential election is deeply inappropriate; at the same time, everyone has got to try VLearn.
I know that many Duke students are feeling bored, homebound and isolated with virtual classes just like me. It’s only been five weeks since I was living with my parents in New Jersey, and already I feel bored of my monotonous environment in Durham. Looking for some adventure, my two roommates and I (and seven of our other friends in our “quarantine pod”) set out for a weekend trip to Asheville, NC. We were all struck by the great spots to eat, the gorgeous hiking trails and by how easy it was to ignore public health guidelines from the state of North Carolina and Duke alike.
I see it in the lackadaisical eyes of masked teenagers, their zombified bodies passing by as I head to Brodie Gym for my weekly COVID test. Brown, blue and green windows to despaired souls tell of the pained destitution of a student body resigned to endless hours of playing skribbl.io with social organizations or sharing icebreakers with orientation groups over Zoom. Never before has the Duke community so needed a social outlet for their internalized anxieties, and never before have our campus bars been so inaccessible to so many.
Like most college students, I believe that the university’s primary mission is a noble one: to educate a youth hungry for knowledge and to lead the academic community by standing at the forefront of inquiry and discovery. Surely, Duke must take some risks at times to achieve these means to the furthest extent possible. But when Duke announced that they were planning to reopen (that cursed Egyptian amulet), I was seriously concerned about the implications of such a decision. It’s clear now that the public health detriments and mass chaos wreaked on our society outweigh the potential benefits of reopening. This decision was a grave mistake that seriously endangers both the Duke and Durham community.
First Aziz Ansari, then James Charles and now the American university system. It seems that liberals are unfazed in their attempt to silence all that dare share any idea that doesn’t conform to their narrow set of politically correct principles. Over the past few weeks, I’ve grown increasingly concerned about online outrage and its demands that everyone think and act in the same liberal way. Given that Duke has moved to “cancel in-person undergraduate classes for [the] remainder of Spring semester,” it’s clear that cancel culture on college campuses has gone too far.
Happy Super Tuesday! Today North Carolinians head to the Poles to vote in primary elections, which makes this a topical time to discuss an issue I’ve experienced lately: namely, the American voting system. I’m afraid that the Poles, while certainly nice people with a rich culture and history, are too inaccessible for most voters.
The United Methodist Church is embroiled in controversy about its regressive stance against gay marriage. Duke’s Divinity School, a United Methodist Church seminary, has long found itself in the crosshairs of UMC’s tradition and student advocacy for better progress on queer issues. Lately, the school has considered its future given the possibility that UMC may split into different factions based on different congregations’ social values. Student advocates calling for condemnation of “UMC’s discriminatory LGBTQ policies” are important; however, they do not go far enough. It’s time for the Divinity School to come out as gay.
Duke students of late have wrestled with the proper relationship between the University and our expected contributions after graduation. Steve Hassey sparked debate in 2018, writing that student donations may make more of an impact at other organizations than they can at Duke. In a 2019 column, Ethan Ahuna argued that students should “give because you care about Duke students, because you want the institution to do better, because you are proud of your alma mater.” Now that graduating seniors face increasing pressure from the University to make meaningful contributions, it’s worth reaffirming: you should absolutely donate your organs to Duke.
This past semester, I studied in Copenhagen, Denmark. I was scared heading in—what if I couldn’t make any friends, or felt too homesick? But walking along the city’s historic cobblestone paths and engaging with Danish culture, I found myself, and by the end of the semester, it was Denmark that feared me. Because I became a ginormous, human-eating monster.
During an interview with The Breakfast Club, Senator Kamala Harris confessed that she smoked weed in college, and “did inhale.” It’s a tale as old as time: Charlamagne Tha God asked what music she listened to, and she responded “definitely Snoop. Tupac for sure.” Controversy erupted when reporters pointed out that Harris graduated from undergrad in ‘86, and both rappers didn’t debut their music until the 90s. Her critics have it wrong—I would know, I smoked weed with her.
Avid Chronicle readers are familiar with the paper’s classic vignette articles. A brave author stakes out at some corner of the Duke world, carefully observing how Duke students live. Inspired by Rose Wong’s recent piece set in Pitchforks, and devoid of any other idea of what to write a column about, I set out for the C1 bus in hopes of chronicling the rich nighttime conversations I overheard. What better location than this all-important intercampus connection to see Duke students in action?
Finals week for most Duke students is a time defined by long nights of studying, stress and tests. Or so I hear. Somehow, I ended up with no finals last semester and instead used that time to travel to New York with my boyfriend. The concrete jungle where dreams are made of, New York was our idyllic paradise; an Eden of sorts 400 miles away from Edens Quad for a figurative Adam and Steve who can’t populate the world on account of being gay men. But like the biblical garden of Abrahamic lore, my Eden too was liminal, accessible now only in memories of my once innocent state of mind. And like the outcome for the inhabitants of that allegorious space, my bliss was ended by a snake.
I was sitting in lecture the other day. Planning the route I would take on my run after class, I caught just a few words of my professor's lesson. As he repeated his conclusion, my professor muttered “not to beat a dead horse, but…” And that’s when I began to ponder: why, exactly, does our parlance stigmatize the beating of dead horses? What’s so wrong with that?
A recent Chronicle article outlined the line monitors’ plan to “kill” the walk-up line for the home basketball game against UNC. I agree that Duke isn’t perfect, but the mob power demonstrated in the 2018 UNC game walk-up line was surely the closest thing to an idyllic culture on our campus in recent memory. Without walk-up line, after all, how will Duke students feel the rush of anarchy?
My bar mitzvah was an event for the ages. Picture a night at Shooters, with a greater percentage of Jews, less sexual harassment, and, of course, all attention directed solely towards me.
It all started with an Instagram post. On February 4, 2018, Kylie Jenner announced the birth of her daughter, Stormi Webster. I was working on a group project when I saw the post, and I excused myself to watch the 12-minute YouTube video she shared to document her pregnancy. As soft piano chords underlied intimate sonogram footage, I cried to myself in the Trinity Cafe bathroom at the beauty of motherhood. Little did I know then that my life would never be the same.
It’s October, 2010. The cool breeze, a harbinger of the fast approaching autumn days, brushes against your pre-pubescent body. That’s what the goosebumps lining your arms must be from, you conclude. And yet, as you turn the minivan radio volume knob up from the front seat (a privilege granted to you now that you’re 11) a new realization emerges. We R Who We R by Kesha. That’s where this chill, now spreading to your fingertips and extremities like newly oxygenated blood, is coming from.