Third Annual Young Trustee Interviews

 You know the drill.  Educate yourselves on what the Young Trustee candidates think about Tiffany Haddish, bitcoin, and Tide pods.  Try not to make this a popularity contest or base your vote off of which candidate met you once and smiles vaguely every time they pass you on campus.  Go out and vote this week.

All interviews are edited for clarity and length, but yes, they did say that.

(All illustrations by Wei Tan)


Liz Brown
Entering the race as the obligatory Benjamin N. Duke Scholarship candidate this year, Liz Brown has been milking her Durham connections for all they’re worth and flexing her involvement in poverty-related student organizations since she made the top four finalists. Liz spends her time on campus clinging to the spineless dead husk that is the Democratic Party, pretending that Tri Delta isn’t a white hellscape, and thinking of ways to talk about racially-linked impoverishment without having to conclude that maybe capitalism just doesn’t work. When she’s not trying to downplay her Greek affiliation, she can be found reminding anyone who will listen that only 2 of the past 10 Young Trustees have been women.


Bryce Cracknell
Already sitting atop a mountain of endorsements and dorm window banners, Bryce has further accrued attention by making it a central focus of his platform to promise to be every white student’s “one black friend”, if elected. His time is often split between practicing the respectability politics necessary to survive on Duke’s campus and picking out garish, blue, checkered ties. Many identity groups have already pledged support for him, most adding later: “I mean, c’mon. Not like there’s much of a choice with these things anyways.” Bryce, much like his fellow candidates, has promised a wide-ranging campaign platform for the secrecy-shrouded position that the vast majority of students know means very little outside of the potential opportunity for yet another resume booster for the most insufferably hyper-ambitious among us.


Amy Kramer
With involvement in both ROTC and the American Grand Strategy Program, Amy has already set herself apart in the race by being the candidate most committed to imperialist and reactionary organizations on campus. One of two Robertson Scholars who have managed to, against all odds, make it to the final round of the Young Trustee election process, she’s also one of two candidates really hoping to play off residual white, neoliberal girl power energy left over from the 2016 presidential election. Her visions for the future include expanding her campus commitment to the Board of Trustees, bringing her unique voice to conversations, and encouraging women to finally take the lead in poorly-orchestrated, decade-long military occupations in the Middle East.


Chinmay Pandit
Although his love of Econ 201 should be a major red flag for any well-adjusted human, Chinmay has somehow managed to earn a spot in the final four for the Young Trustee election. When he’s not trying to collect disingenuous pictures with different social circles around campus like Pokémon, he can be found editing his bitmoji and whitening his already blindingly perfect teeth. While his double major of Political Science and Economics is no doubt a condemnation of his character and moral compass, Chinmay has expressed a keen interest in education—and, no doubt, how it can eventually be used to mine Bitcoins or be made into a Silicon Valley startup.

Young Trustee Interview with Liz Brown


Artwork by Wei Tan

Department Of: How do you think President Price has done in his first semester in office?
Liz Brown: I think he’s done a pretty good job. […]  I think it’s like pretty obvious he’s a PR guy. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing for an institution as big as ours. I think that was a big flaw of Broadhead. So, been fairly impressed. But I’m not into the whole dog thing.

DO: Do you hate dogs?
LB: Yeah, I hate dogs. And I don’t like people who like make dogs their thing. Like I wonder if he got them for Duke. You know? Like for his “I’m gonna be president” and “I’m gonna have these two cute dogs and I’m gonna walk them everywhere.” It’s a little much for me. I’ve never seen a picture of him with his dogs before Duke so like, yeah. But other than the dogs, he’s cool, yeah.

DO: If elected, who on the Board of Trustees, would you try to make your best friend?
LB: I think the obvious answer is Tim Cook or Adam Silver because they are pretty famous. And I actually am so intrigued by Adam Silver. I like, can’t believe he’s a real person. He looks like an alien. It’s so crazy. I think there’s some really cool, I think a little more like, low-key people on the Board. There’s a woman named Alison Duncan. She’s the California district court lady. And I’m excited to meet her. Continue reading “Young Trustee Interview with Liz Brown”

Young Trustee Interview with Bryce Cracknell


Art by Wei Tan

Department Of: How do you think President Price has done in his first semester as President?
Bryce Cracknell: Uh, better than President Broadhead.
DO: Care to elaborate?
BC: I think his decision to remove General Lee I mean, shows where he lies on things. Our former president I’m sure wouldn’t have made the right decision.

DO: Okay, throwing some shade. What has been your favorite part of Duke and your least favorite part?
BC: My favorite part of Duke that I’ve been able to get involved with is my environmental justice work. Least favorite part of Duke, it’s complicated, but constantly doing a lot of the labor for the administration around issues of justice and talking about injustice on campus. Always, doing that labor.

DO: If elected, who on the Board of Trustees would you try to make your best friend?
DC: Ooh, um, probably Adam Silver. I have some ideas about the NBA. Like he proposed a new tournament to happen in the middle of the season similar to how soccer is. I think that’d be great. Also, because my team, the Hornets, are struggling right now. If there’s any way we can help make them better, I’m for it. Continue reading “Young Trustee Interview with Bryce Cracknell”

Young Trustee Interview with Amy Kramer


Artwork by Wei Tan

Department Of: How do you think President Price has done in his first semester as president?
Amy Kramer: I think he’s done a great job. I think taking swift action with the statues on the Chapel was, I think, the right move, showing that he’s willing to take action when necessary and I think some of the other things, like housing reform, he’s moving more slowly on, shows that he’s pretty deliberate about his decision making and thoughtful. I’m going to try and get a selfie with him this weekend.

DO: What has been your favorite part about Duke? And your least favorite part about Duke?
AK: My favorite part of Duke is easily, the learning I’ve done outside the classroom.
DO: And your least favorite part?
AK: It’s part of my platform in terms of access and equity.  I think, financially, Duke has to balance some long-term financial solvency of the university. But I think [there are] different ways to continue investing in students.  […] We celebrate at this university how many students are first in their families to go to college, but I think Duke can do a better job at investing in that academic support. I spent a semester at UNC, so I’ve seen things that Duke does really well and often doesn’t get credit for. Particularly with disability services, with that said, they can still do a better job. Continuing investing in students, continuing supporting students, so there is that access to opportunities and equity across the Board.

DO: If elected who on the Board of Trustees, would you try to make your best friend?
AK: Oooh, any of the strong women. I was just looking at some of their bios, like the head of the WNBA, who’s turning [the WNBA] around. Just some powerhouse women, just a coalition helping to change the conversations. Continue reading “Young Trustee Interview with Amy Kramer”

Young Trustee Interview with Chinmay Pandit


Artwork by Wei Tan

Department Of: How do you think President Price has done in his first semester as President?
Chinmay Pandit: I think he has done a good job. He has big shoes to fill, but um, I think he’s kind of handled the transition well and has articulated a good vision for the university and also brought two really cute dogs to campus which is a pleasure for all of us.

DO: What has been your favorite part of Duke?
CP: Like physically? Or just like, anything about it?
DO: Whatever you think that question means.
CP: Okay, um I think the relationships I’ve formed with people have been the best part. I think the classes that sucked or the classes that weren’t great –  I think the people or the relationships that I’ve formed throughout have really kind of given Duke value.

DO: What is the part about Duke that you hate the most?
CP: Mm. That’s tough. Really crowded buses. Or not being able to get just past like that yellow line on the bus and having to wait for the next one. That’s kind of a bummer. Continue reading “Young Trustee Interview with Chinmay Pandit”

Classic Duke Exercise Regimen

Warmup: Edens 2C- You can spend your four years at Duke looking for the non-existent elevator to get to the third and fourth floor or you can use the stairs up to the third and fourth floors as a perfect warmup routine for the grueling workout ahead.

Shoulders and Back: West Union-Why do pushups when you can just do 10 reps of pushing open and closing West Union’s (Richard Brodhead Center of Campus Life) doors? Designer that constructed the West Union doors apparently also designs the doors in Game of Thrones.

Cardio, Legs, and Glutes: Gross Hall- Woke up at 8:20 for your 8:30 chemistry lecture in Gross Hall? Spring out of bed, put on whatever clothes you have stacked on your chair, and channel your inner Usain Bolt for the attendance points.

Lower Body: Bus stop- You make eye contact with the bus driver. The driver smirks and the doors begin to close on you. You and the driver both know that there are only two possibilities moving forward: You make it on that bus or you tear your hamstring trying.

Core: Shooters – Fun Fact: after a night here, you’ll lose up to 90% of your water weight. You are going to be sweaty—you just won’t know if it’s your sweat or someone else’s sweat. Random people might come up to you here and ask you to “spot” their workout—ignore all requests…or accept them because life is too short for worries.

Agility: Bolt- You work out your mind, your thumb (depending on console), and your eyes…yeah, it’s not a workout unless you’re playing Wii sports and we get it…you’re not at the bolt to play Wii sports.

april 2017

The pastel button ups and Lilly Pulitzer dresses are out in full force, the weather has returned to unbearably humid, and there are more sobs in Perkins than usual, which means that the year is finally coming to an end. Whether you’re drinking to drown your sorrows or drinking to pre-game for LDOC (and also drown your sorrows), Department Of has some bitter satire to round off your semester.

Duke Madness 2017
Reasons We STINF
What Duke Students Gave Up for Lent
EXCLUSIVE: Shocking Revelations about Coach K’s Retirement