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August 19, 2019

Are We Ever Going to Stop Talking About This?
Probably not, because no one can make a decision. Duke has been deliberating what to do with the majority of the now-abandoned Central Campus for what feels like eons. Allow us to draw a comparison for you to understand just what this process has been like: Duke trying to decide what to do with Central Campus is like a dorm room full of 15 girls trying to decide what to order for dinner on a Friday night. Chinese? No, we’ve had Chinese 4 times this week. Pizza? No, because we’ll want to order pizza late night. Tacos? No, because Sharon will drink too much tequila. Etc, etc, you get the picture. Central Campus has been studied multiple times over the last 15 years to survey the potential for development, but despite all of this potential, Duke hasn’t yet found any options that sound compelling enough to start building. To slow the process down even more, Duke’s current financial situation won’t allow them to invest in any development quite yet. So, as for now, The Central Campus Task Force is working to tighten up their process for considering and evaluating ideas. If you have any ideas, (perhaps a year-round carnival, another pool, 14 hot tubs), toss them Duke’s way. PS: we know Central was kinda gnarly, but isn’t this a little heartbreaking?!

No Mo O-Week Frat Parties for First-Years 
IFC officially ruled to ban first-years from fraternity parties during O-Week. This change is largely due to the North American Interfraternity Conference guidelines that all Duke IFC frats have to abide by, starting September 1st. These rules include the requirement of substance-free rush events, enforcing guest lists at events, and providing third party bartenders to serve alcohol. So, having first-years at their first parties of the year wouldn’t exactly align with these rules, even though they don’t technically go into effect until the end of O-Week. The biggest challenge here is that the only people who will be enforcing these rules are members of the IFC council themselves, all of whom are in fraternities. Only time, RedBull, and Aristocrat will tell if the self-governance plan will work.

The Real World Sucks
Unless you’re R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson, who are headed off to lead their own franchises, both before reaching age 20. Williamson was the first pick to the New Orleans Pelicans and Barrett was the third to the New York Knicks. The Knicks are infamous for their not-so-accepting attitude towards their franchise saviors, but offered Barrett nothin’ but love when his name was called on Draft Night. That’s the Duke Difference, baby! As for Williamson, everyone knew what was coming when his name was called first…after all, he was the freaking 2018-19 National Player of the Year. Williamson kept his own emotions in check until he reached his mom, who according to him, put all of her dreams aside to make his come true. Cue his tears…cue our tears. 

You’re also probably wondering about a zillion things, most of which we DO have the answer to. So welcome to your one-stop shop for all the things you need to know (or the things that you don’t NEED to know, but, like, it would be cool if you knew them) as you begin the first of what are sure to be four freaking FANTASTIC years. 

Some terms you should know if you want to understand literally anything anyone says on this campus: 

  1. FAC: First Year Advisory Counselor. FACs are super cool. They literally carry all of your crapola from your car to your room for you on move in day. Good deal, right? By this time, you’ve definitely heard from your FAC--the person who’s been reaching out to you via email to schedule meetings for orientation week. Those meetings are mandatory and anyone you ask will tell you how helpful they are for settling in and meeting new friends. New friends!!! We love new friends.

  2. Marketplace: Also known as “MP,” Marketplace is the first-year dining hall on East Campus where you have a designated number of meal swipes per day depending on your meal plan. Likely to be your main source of blame for the freshman 15, since there’s unlimited dessert and french fries at dinner every night. You may think you can us, you cannot resist. And you shouldn’t.

    1. HUMP: An easier (and semi-unfortunate) way to say “hit up Marketplace.” 

    2. DUMP: An easier and even more unfortunate way to say “down under Marketplace,” referring to the cafe/study spot under Marketplace. They have Ghiradelli chocolate and caramel sauce for ice cream sundaes, so’re gonna wanna HU DUMP.

  3. WU: West Union, the big glass eatery on West Campus. It has some of the dankest food that college campuses have to offer, including dumplings, crepes, gourmet pasta, personal thin-crust pizza, gelato...shall I go on? It’s now technically called “Richard H. Brodhead Center for Campus Life,” but if you call it that you’ll look like the biggest freshman (sorry...first-year) of all time.

  4. Pre-O: Pre-orientation programs. For example, PWild, PArts, PWaves, PBuild, PChange. Likelihood is, if you did one of these programs, you absolutely loved it and can’t stop talking about it. Likelihood also is, if you didn’t, you’re gonna punch the next person who talks about it. Both options are totally cool. Just remember not to feel intimidated if it seems like everyone found their friends at pre-o...the majority of students in your class didn’t participate in the programs either and are also looking to make new friends.

  5. Shooters: The bar that Dukies go to on Wednesdays and Saturday nights. The first first-year to ride the mechanical bull gets a prize!!!! Juuuuust kidding. But seriously, get on the bull with your friends. You won’t regret it.

  6. Devine’s: Duke students’ Thursday night spot that has a nice outdoor area. It’s also THE SPOT to watch basketball games that you inevitably will have difficulty getting into...unless you’re a true Cameron Crazie and plan on sleeping outside for a month.

Some stuff you should always have on you, especially during O-Week (WOOHOO!):

  • Student ID: Always keep your Duke ID on you. Keep it in your wallet. Keep it in your phone case. Staple it to your shirt when you’re on your way to Shooters. Whatever you gotta do. Just make sure you always have it because it’s your only way into your dorms, gets you into buildings on campus, and most importantly, has all your freaking FOOD POINTS. Also, it’s a real hassle to replace, so just don’t lose it.

  • Room Key*: Our advice: do the Duke version of Zoey 101’s key necklace... slip it on a hair tie and wear it on your wrist as a bracelet. You could also put it on a lanyard and wear it around your neck - or use a lanyard. Trust us, RA's will like you sooooo much better if you don’t have to call them every night to let you into your room. *Some dorms use card key access - see above:  don't lose your student ID!

  • Water: In college, hydrating is COOL. But seriously, it’s insanely hot in Durham in August, so make sure you drink lots of water so you don’t have to miss out on any activities. 

Stuff to do (do it!!!): 

  • Make new friends: We know, it’s super awkward at first, but it’s awkward for everyone, so who cares!! Introduce yourself to people on your hall and orientation groups, meet mutual friends, ask someone to HUMP, ask someone to DUMP (let’s hope they read this guide), etc.

  • Download the DukeGuides app. It has the whole O-Week schedule (so you don’t have to carry around that massive planner they give you) as well as other fun events and talks you can go to. It’ll be worth your data, we promise.
  • Take the class photo! You get a free T-shirt, you’ll meet people and you’ll see the picture everywhere until you don’t want to have FOMO every time the picture pops up on your newsfeed for four years, do you?

  • RA/Floor conversations: Your RA will reach out to you about setting up meetings with the other people on your floor. Go to these! It’s so much fun to be friends with the other students on your hall, and having a good relationship with your RA is guaranteed to make your year better. Also, it’s important to establish basic hall etiquette with your peers so that you don’t end up having to do the “please stop stealing my toothpaste” talk three months into the year.

    • Bonus tip: there’s usually some sort of candy or treat at these meetings. How can you pass up a treat?!

  • Make an appointment with your adviser: Even if you think your academic schedule is perfect, one of a kind, unmatched, crafted by a god, etc, you’re most likely wrong. And when you want help switching classes, you’re gonna need to call on your trusty adviser. 

  • DUI Show: Duke’s premiere improv group. They are freaking HILARIOUS. Their O-Week performance is one of the only times they perform on East Campus for free, so don’t miss out on it. Plus, laughing until you cry/pee with a new friend is a great way to establish a bond. Be like Ryan Gosling. Laugh.


  • Late Night Carnival: This is the carnival on East Campus the first night of O-Week. There are tons of delicious desserts (candy apples, hello, nice to see you) and it’s a great way to meet new friends. Trust us, ramming into someone in the bouncy castle makes for a great ice breaker.

  • Tommy Orange: He’s the O-Week special guest speaker and author of "There There, A Tale of Being Caught in Two Places" which was nominated for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize. He’ll be talking to you about the class of 2023 summer reading book (which I know you all read and annotated diligently and also wrote a 6-page essay on just to be safe). Also, he has a really fun name, so you should go. Duke alumna and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad will also be speaking towards the end of O-Week as the Delta Gamma Lectureship for Values and Ethics.

  1. Late Night Carnival - Class of 2023, come meet and mingle with your new classmates with carnival games, music and some authentic southern dishes. Tuesday, August 20th from 10-11:30 PM on the Main Quad, East Campus. 
  2. Brodie Blowout - Join Duke Recreation & Physical Education for an evening of fun activities, games, free food from local vendors, free Duke swag, inflatables, a photo booth, music and more! Wednesday, August 21st from 9-11 PM at the Brodie Recreation Center, East Campus.
  3. Travel to Durham Performing Arts Center - Ride a bus to DPAC for programming related to the summer reading book There There by Tommy Orange, and enjoy the musical excellence of the John Brown Band. Snacks will be served. Buses will depart from east campus at 6:30 PM on Thursday, the 22nd.
  4. Duke Men's Soccer - Support your Blue Devils at Koskinen Stadium on West campus. Friday, the 23rd at 7:30 PM.
  5. First Art Night at the Nasher - Exclusive Neon Glow Party for new Duke students! Come get your glow on and be ready to mix and mingle with your classmates at Duke's renowned art museum. Saturday, the 24th, from 9-11 PM at the Nasher Museum of Art.
(a fun take on the week’s news - every Thursday) at

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