I ease myself into a pink lawn chair and look up. My eyes are met by the oddly thirsty gaze of an enigma. His name is Norm, he tells me. No first name and no last, just Norm. He wears khakis, khakis with cargo pockets. A faded Hawaiian shirt that shows just a few wisps of white chest hair. And flip flops. Those ones with the bottle opener on the sole. I remark, saying that my grandfather in Florida has a pair just like those. He responds, telling me that he’s all about “that bang for your buck, you know.” He particularly emphasizes the word bang. I feel uncomfortable. Continue reading “NORM”

How to Scare a Duke Student

Ah, All Hallows’ Eve! The one time of year when it’s socially acceptable for a stranger to give children razor blades candy. We’re that house that leaves a small bowl of razor blades candy outside just so kids won’t annoy us. Sounds a lot like my professor, who just leaves a bowl of TA Contacts at the door with the signs “Take One” and “Don’t Bother Me, I’m Doing Important Research.”

So in the spirit of Halloween, here are 10 ways to scare a Duke Student Continue reading “How to Scare a Duke Student”

The Loop, A Duke Foodie Review

Today, for arguably the first time in my Duke career, I decided I would stroll into the highly regarded “The Loop,” located in the slippery part of the Bryan Center.  Overall, their menu offers much to like, though, truth be told, I found it too wide to process all at once. I ordered the exotic personal cheese pizza and sat down at the nearest open table overlooking the sports bar.  While the innocent pizza resting comfortably on my plate was quite appealing, it was a middle-aged man in a blue and yellow vest sitting in the booth across from me that ultimately captured my attention. He seemed at once so distant, yet of a demeanor and expression all too familiar. His attractive red eyes concentrated intently on his beet salad as several drops of cranberry juice bubbled from his whitish lips in a mad rush to reach his chin.  His elliptical eyes gleamed at me, causing me to quickly withdraw my fingertips from the small plastic jar of to-go mayonnaise that, per my usual habit, I had set out in front of me. The shock of emotion I experienced as we locked glances could best be compared to those sensations I felt when I first set eyes on my high school crush, the very one who caused me so much heartache when she tore my official Duke acceptance letter right before my tearing eyes as she rejected my extensively planned out promposal (“Duke you want to go to prom with me?”).  He stood up, nonchalantly straightened his sensible vest, and walked toward me; the accumulated sweat now seeping through my waistband and marking my seat. As he neared, instinct took over. I closed my eyes and subtly leaned in, my desert-dry lips and personal coal-fired cheese pizza twitching in unison. When I opened my eyes, to my dismay he was nowhere to be found, escaping me like the many frightened guinea pigs I owned in my youth. The pizza was a little too moist for my taste.



Reese is our team’s number one food reviewer who started writing for Department Of in 2017.  About 5 foot 3, Reese can often be found with his grey, noise cancelling BOSE™ headphones, playing imaginary drums with real, limited edition, Metallica drum sticks on the C3 Class Exchange.  He almost got into his fraternity of choice.

Student Common App Essays

If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences as a first year applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you?

As a straight Southern white man, I’ve always felt pressured to apply to a local state school, join a frat, drink 12-packs of beer, and commit sexual assault. Fortunately, I believe Duke will be able to provide me with that same traditional Southern experience while still being able to brag to my future Wall Street coworkers that I went to a top 10 school in the country. Honestly, I was a little worried at first when I was doing my research on what college to apply to – Duke has really been pushing for diversity, equality, and forward-thinking ideas over the past decade. It really seemed that Duke was distancing itself from its roots, but after touring the campus, I was glad to see that was not entirely the case. Between the mac and cheese, salmon-pink Vineyard Vines pants, Southern hospitality, and the occasional hate crime, I felt right at home walking around campus.  Although I’m planning on majoring in economics, I’m very interested in writing on the side, and I feel like Duke offers me many opportunities to loudly express my free speech and opinions to the world. I have been following the Chronicle for a while now, and I love that it gives students creative freedom to speak their mind. I’ve been brainstorming a couple of opinion pieces lately such as “In Defense of Harvey Weinstein” and “Overlooked Values of the South in the 1960s” that will really get the campus thinking. Overall, Duke really seems like the perfect place for me to be able to discover myself and express my views while becoming your next CEO, lawmaker, or supreme court judge.

Tandoor, A Curry-Filled Experience

Last week, I called the man behind the counter at Tandoor “Dad.”  It definitely wasn’t on purpose, but I would be lying if I said it was a complete accident.  I’m not sure what came over me, maybe it was the stress of having to choose only three toppings out of the plethora of hot wet meats and moist yet dry vegetables; maybe it was the slight glisten of sweat above his mustache which reminded me of my late night wrestling sessions with my uncle or maybe it was those strong, calloused, experienced hands that told me, “you’ll never be as good as your brother.”  So I said it: “dad.” He gave me a look, the one of confusion and disappointment that told me to say it again, louder and clearer, one that convinced me that I should call him “dad” again. I paused, straightening my back whilst clearing my throat, this time adding a little swagger to my step. “Father,” I said with a little more confidence, however the intensity of the situation causing me to leak out a small streak of urine down my thigh.  I have since returned each day, mixing and matching different combinations of my order, hoping to gain his approval, hoping that one day, he’ll proudly call me “son.” I guess West “Union” really does bring us all together.



Jaida is our team’s number two food reviewer who started writing for Department Of in 2016. About 5 foot 2, Jaida can be found with his navy blue, noise cancelling BOSE™ headphones that he bought before, not after, Reese, playing imaginary drums with replica, limited edition, Metallica, drum sticks on the C3 Class Exchange.  He is in the same fraternity as Reese but occupies a lower position in their hierarchy.

What Should your Halloween Costume be Based on your Personality?

What is your go-to fall beverage?

A. The blood of your enemies
B. Drops of dew
C. Pink drink
D. A coffee from Joe van Gogh

What outfit do you reach for when you’re trying to feel your best?

A. Pointy shoulder pads, hair bleach, a scowl
B. Muted brown and grey colors
C. Garish mix of neon colors garnished by a face mask
D. Suit and tie with freshly-pressed shirt and questionable loafers

Which best describes your favorite catch phrase?

A. “So many men have tried to kill me, I don’t remember all their names”
B. N/A, you’re not much of a talker
C. “Last night I switched her birth control with Tic-Tacs…I believe in us and all, but I just want to make sure that she can’t go anywhere.”
D. “CaN yOu TuRn tHaT iNApProPriaTe mUsIc oFF?”

How would your friends describe you?

A. Scarily-intense
B. Focused
C. Cringe-worthy
D. Prejudiced

Who is your fall crush?

A. Your biological brother
B. Lamp
C. Your ex-fiancé
D. White privilege

Who/What is your mortal enemy?

A. Assassins
B. Insecticide
C. Well-fitting clothing and general hygiene
D. Rap Music

What is your spirit animal?

A. A dragon
B. Yourself
C. A micro-pig
D. A common crow

What is your favorite color?

A. Iridescent Dragon Scale
B. The warm yellow of the light from a lamp
C. The purple of your under-eye bags
D. The color of a scorn-laden vegan muffin

What is your favorite pastime?

A. Betrayal
B. Pursuing Bae
C. Making inappropriate jokes
D. Getting people unnecessarily fired

What is your worst characteristic?

A. A little bit crazy
B. Has a death wish
C. Jumps into things too quickly
D. You are generally trash



If you answered mostly As, your perfect costume is Khaleesi! Dump on some hair bleach and eat some horse organs, and you’ll be the Mother of Dragons in no time!

If you answered mostly Bs, your perfect costume is a Moth! At this point, you should give up all your primary function and pursue after only one thing: that sweet, sweet lamp. May the moth memes live on forever.

If you answered mostly Cs, your perfect costume is Pete Davidson! Grab some purple eyeshadow to create bags under your eyes and go get some regrettable tattoos that you will have to cover up in mere weeks, and you’re set. For extra points, make really insensitive jokes on live TV! No one will be able to tell the difference!

If you answered mostly Ds, your perfect costume is Larry Moneta! Must we explain? Long story short, check yourself and steer clear of the BC Plaza!

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.