Fourth Annual Interview with Young Trustee finalists

Here we have it, what some would argue is the most insightful analysis of the Young Trustee candidates: Department Of’s own interview with each finalist. Once again, we asked your fellow classmates questions to really understand who they are and what they stand for. Read each interview, and then go vote February 12 and 13.

And yes, these are real interviews. We really did ask that and each candidate really did say that.


Trey Walk

Trey joins the semi-finalists as the perfect intersection of several different marginalized identities and fully prepared to embrace the meaningless and exclusively self-serving role of Young Trustee. While he is known on campus for being an activist with People’s State of the University, this just goes to show that even the wokest among us still can’t resist the allure of that sweet, sweet YT resume booster. What sets Trey apart from other candidates is a more demonstrable commitment to progressive values—and the boldness to appropriate revolutionary verbage for a campaign to get on the trustee board at a private PWI.

Luke Farrell

Luke—an off-brand, generic Nate Silver—has started out the race for Young Trustee with a compelling argument: he already sits on numerous useless, bureaucratic committees, so what’s one more? With his graphic design color scheme and love of buzzwords, Luke nails the “obnoxious, DNC-backed freshman senate candidate” vibe. Plus his diverse campaign staff almost made us forget he’s white! Almost. While his propensity to take credit for over large-scale policy changes that were a result of grassroots student organizing makes us go “yikes!”, his interest in machine learning makes us go, “oh God is that like the stuff in Blade Runner?”

Brian Buhr

Brian—still the only student with a Brian Buhr Facebook profile picture—has taken the unique strategy of doing very poorly immediately. Like, we couldn’t find a Facebook page? Or a website? You good, dude?

Archana Ahlawat

Archana is setting herself apart from the crowd by boldly being a woman. Good for her! Beyond that, her campaign messaging is indiscernible from her competitors. But, rest assured: her work with Business Oriented Women proves that she’s the most committed to corporatized, neoliberal feminism. While her campaign teams consists largely of uninspiring Poli Sci kids who think they’re Sam Seaborn from The West Wing, her passion for computer science is a subtle, effective reminder that if you don’t vote for her she will automate your job.

Trey Walk

Just a reminder that these are real quotes from the real Trey Walk.

Department Of: Fuck, marry, kill: Norm from the barn, the bull at Shooters, the Robert E. Lee statue?
Trey Walk: Mmm. Okay, the Robert E. Lee statue has to die so that’s first. Um. (long pause) I guess fuck the bull cause it’s kind of a sexual experience, like riding it. And then um, I guess I’m gonna marry Norm.

Continue reading “Trey Walk”

Archana Ahlawat

Just a reminder that these are real quotes from the real Archana Ahlawat.

Department Of: Fuck, marry, kill: Norm from the Barn, the bull at Shooters, the Robert E. Lee statue?
Archana Ahlawat: Definitely kill the Robert E. Lee statue. What were the first two?
DO: Norm from the barn and the bull from Shooters.
AA: Ooh, Okay. Uh, fuck Norm. and then marry the bull. Honestly, I really enjoy the bull.

Continue reading “Archana Ahlawat”

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.

Second Annual Department Of Young Trustees Interviews

It’s that time of year again: the Facebook cover photos are changing, the endorsements are rolling out, and the student groups are being pandered to with increasing intensity.

That’s right, Young Trustee elections are upon us. Department Of will once again be casting our votes for the Durham Bull’s nutsack as a write in candidate, but we decided to interview the students running for the position anyways and ask them the tough questions. They are the best of the best, weary warriors on a quest to serve our lord and $avior, David “Daddy” Rubenstien and bring honor to the Duke investment portfolio.



Steven Soto is a first generation student looking to turn the campus into one giant safe space. His interests include being all-around better than legacy kids and wearing orange checkered shirts.

Uzoma Ayogu is a mechanical engineering student that is excited for Duke’s future as a multinational corporation. In his free time, he enjoys being handsome and more likable than you.

Anya Ranganathan is an energetic leader on campus that is physically unable to live further than 10 miles from a prestigious university. Make it through rush and she’ll co-found a company with you.

Tanner Lockhead is from the far off town of Durham and is studying both Public Policy and Political Science, making him a tad more tolerable than an Economics major. His passion is campaign photoshoots.

Department Of interviews Young Trustee finalists

Arguably the most important election of 2016 is finally here. It’s Young Trustee election season at Duke, or what we like to call “my whole Facebook feed is full of the three same pictures.” In light of the gravity of the election, Department Of decided to research each of the candidates, only to realize three identical campaign websites and Chronicle profiles later, we had no idea who these frat bros were. Sure, Jamal is black, Max is Jewish, and Wills is Catholic, but there had to be more.

Department Of, by the Grace of King Trustee David Rubenstein, Protector of this Realm and of Its other Realms and Territories, Servant of the People, Defender of the Blue Devils, went ahead and interviewed them. Asking the tough questions, getting the real answers on the most important issues facing students, like the Drake and Meek Mill feud. We encourage you to check out the three interviews, and then go out and vote on February 9 and 10. Lord knows no one else will.

(All illustrations drawn by Courtney Fehsenfeld.)

Max Schreiber is a senior Electrical Engineering student who grew up a mile and a half away from Pauly D.

Wills Rooney is a senior at Duke majoring in self-directed program called “Market, Society, and Personalism,” which basically means he was too Aristotelian for the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics program.


Jamal Edwards is a senior double majoring in Global Health and Journalism. He spends far too much time at UNC than is socially acceptable.