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Deans gone wild

(04/06/05 4:00am)

In a statement to The Chronicle last week, an associate dean for judicial affairs allegedly claimed that under the “relaxed” university rules for sexual assault prosecution, the Undergraduate Judicial Board has to be “roughly” 75-percent sure that a non-consensual sex act occurred in order to punish a student. Mere days ago it seemed inconceivable that any dean could out-crazy the one who wrote an essay about how God helped tsunami victims drown, but now someone has pulled it off.

On freshmen

(03/23/05 5:00am)

Living on East Campus didn’t seem like a good idea. After all, it was so doggone far-gone into Heart of Darkness Durham, and the freshmen would probably be mad arrow-shooting savages, crazier than Donald Rumsfeld rolling on Gin and J-e-s-u-s. I remembered the old days when we used to smoke each other out with the fire extinguishers by shooting them under the doors. How do you like the smell of monoammonium phosphate in the morning, biatch?

Arabian nights

(03/02/05 5:00am)

A frequent student gripe about coursework is that what we’re learning has no relevance to our lives. For relevance, fortunately, we can turn to the library. A quick stroll through my favorite section turns up riveting titles like The clitoral truth: the secret world at your fingertips (Perkins Stacks 306.772 C436),” written by Rebecca Chalker with “illustrations by Fish,” an individual whose ability to draw clitorises (clitori?) apparently resulted in enough fame to merit taking on just one name, like Bono or Christo. Other good titles include Gaydar: the ultimate insider guide to the gay sixth sense (Perkins Stacks 306.7662 R447) and Temptations: Igniting the Pleasure and Power of Aphrodisiacs by Ellen and Michael Albertson (Perkins Stacks 641.563 A334).


(02/23/05 5:00am)

“…The mission of Duke University is… to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship… to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies…”

Forbidden love

(02/16/05 5:00am)

Judging from the flyers around campus these days one might think that no kind of love is wrong. From gay posters advertising a “queer trysts” film series to Vagi-na Monologues promotionals oozing phrases like: “it smelled like spoiled milk and was getting on the seat of his car,” the air is thick with the musk of transgressive love, the illicit acts of romance, of lust with people of the same sex and even perhaps between species. But there is one kind of sexual relationship that was recently prohibited by the University. Alarmingly, few have noticed and fewer care.

In loco parentis

(01/19/05 5:00am)

The vilest creature in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens can"t chase you, fondle your breasts, or steal your bling and sling it for crack. As a matter of fact, it can"t so much as budge, unless the wind blows or the Lord drops a squirrel. Yet be not deceived; the Datura stratamonium remains one of the most potent, and dangerous, hallucinogens known to man. Commonly called jimson weed, this plant grows in most states and ingesting a few of its seeds is enough to evoke delirium, fantastic visions and psychosis. On an Internet psychoactive drug forum, Erowid, descriptions of experiences with it bear names like, 'A Dark and Hopeless Hell,' ''Eating Bugs While my Friends Convulsed,' and 'A Tale of Nudity, Arrest, and Insanity.'

Survival of the prettiest

(01/12/05 5:00am)

No matter how much some ladies doth protest, a woman's beauty best predicts her spot in the social hierarchy at Duke, and at no time is this fact more naked than during Sorority Rush. Only at this instant is it possible for the Inquisitors to make their opinions overt, to relegate the un-pretty to the un-groovy bottom Zlans of the popularity pyramid. For those who find Homo sapiens more boring a species than, say, animals with mating seasons one can literally smell, this part of the year scores well on drama. Bursting with frippery, bedecked and baubled, bobbing boobies bulging from bras, nubile East Campus females are a sight. With more than a little feminine anxiety, they have commended their spirits to women who will select them largely on the basis of their attractiveness, pedigree and affluence. Not coincidentally, the principal attribute up for judgment--beauty--is what the Duke Man most treasures.

Hillbilly beavers and frat boys

(12/01/04 5:00am)

The next time a Navy recruiter calls you and asks, “If your life was a book, would anyone read it?” refer him to the third spot on the New York Times bestseller list. As you may know, Tom Wolfe—a realist fictioneer and former Duke parent—just produced a novel about a university with lush gardens, quarantined freshmen, abutting slums, Gothic spires and basketball monomania. Judging from the hack reviews it inspired, Dr. Wolfe appears to have pinched the nipple of truth way too hard and got the liberals squealing. But by having done years of field research, he has more credibility than his so-called “factual” critics. After reading I Am Charlotte Simmons, many of you will agree that he has produced an honest—and riveting—rendition of undergraduate life.

Work and madness

(11/10/04 5:00am)

Before deciding what—or whom—to do with your time on earth, you ought to see statistics that relate lifetime happiness to job choice. While career counselors work tirelessly to place you in graduate schools, consulting firms and corporations, they are less disposed to reveal data that reflects levels of insanity among the different professions.

A global conspiracy

(10/27/04 4:00am)

Only fools deny that a powerful establishment with exorbitant privilege controls Duke University, the United States and the world. Agents of this entity are shockingly overrepresented wherever life may be found, influencing all actions, policies, ideas and beliefs. Four billionagenarian elders—Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine—lead it, and they have successfully infiltrated all organisms.

Divestment not the answer

(10/06/04 4:00am)

In a recent guest column on these pages, Fayyad Sbaihat, the national spokesperson for the Palestine Solidarity Movement, claimed that critics have avoided discussing what he sees as the principal aim of his movement—persuading universities and other institutions to sell their shares in companies “that provide the Israeli army with weaponry that are used to kill innocent civilians and violate the basic livelihood of others.” He is correct. To date, no one in our community has publicly evaluated the probable effectiveness of this sort of sale. He makes three main factual claims on the subject.

The iPods of the future

(09/15/04 4:00am)

Next year, instead of receiving 158 gram, 20 GB, 4.1 x 2.4 x .57 inch iPods preloaded with Duke-related content, freshmen should receive 1400 gram, 9 x 19 mm TEC-DC9 assault pistols preloaded with 50 rounds. With four gunpoint robberies in our community already this semester, drastic solutions must be devised to protect future classes. Situated near downtown Durham, a city crawling with 3,000 gang members, which is home to 1,663 acts of violent crime during 2003 alone, we face unique security challenges and must respond with a bold solution. Now that President George W. Bush has allowed the 1994 girlie-man ban on assault weapons to expire, the University ought to seize this historic opportunity and strike first in our war against domestic terror by arming its students with the best modified sub-machine guns available.

Love at Duke

(09/01/04 4:00am)

Y ou did not come here to find love. But rest assured—it will find you. Do not be surprised when it appears at uncommon hours or in uncommon forms. Friendship, after all, is the truest sort of love. And do not be surprised if that person is unimaginably different from you. It may be someone you meet late one Saturday night by the sushi bar at George’s or someone you meet on a Wednesday afternoon over steaming beakers in your chemistry lab. If you are a scholar, that person may be an athlete. If you are an athlete, that person may be a scholar. It may be your neighbor.

COMMENTARY - Enemies in our midst

(05/13/04 4:00am)

Isn't it pretty to think that students at Duke University are not bigots or fools? Unfortunately, some are both, and invariably other students suffer the misfortune of living beside them. Last week, as a friend and I were leaving a nearly vacant residence hall, we saw a cooler sitting in a fraternity commons in plain view from the public hallway featuring a painted Confederate battle flag on its top above some lettering advertising an "Old South Party" that certainly brought joy and gonorrhea to the fraternal order of rednecks and their misuses sometime during early April. Tempers shakily in check, we started looking at the pictures on the wall, discovering an unsurprising paucity of pigment and an equally unsurprising abundance of men with Roman numerals after their names. But as time passed, I had second thoughts about my reaction. Could it be possible, as one of my white friends suggested, that the Confederate flag is simply a symbol of Southern heritage?

Letter: Wealth accumulation should be considered a virtue

(01/13/03 5:00am)

Emily LaDue writes that we should value "equal opportunity, and environmental respect over exorbitant wealth." I do not. Nothing in the world is more sacred than exorbitant wealth. Vast sums of money are accrued through effort, thought and production. Opposing wealth means opposing work and creation, the means by which man lives. Exorbitant wealth gives us all something to aspire to, and in many instances, jobs. Hating money means embracing death.