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volume 3, issue 2 • November/December 2007 celebrating the Duke & UNC-CH connection

A HISTORY OF SECRETS

a never-before-seen look at secret societies on both campuses

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INSIDE: a local twist on the conflict in burma • start-up businesses by duke and unc students • climbing mt. kilimanjaro • inside teach for america


{ letter from the editor

november/december p.o. box 99318 durham, nc, 27708

I’m a creature of habit.

To put it bluntly, I hate change. I’ll never forget the utter devastation I felt when my parents told me we’d be moving — get this — 10 miles across Charlotte. How could they do this to me? As a 6th-grader and seasoned veteran at this game called life, I’d already established myself at my school, neighborhood and tennis league. People knew me, and the thought of starting from scratch was almost nauseating. So I presented my parents with the logical arguments: The 10-mile move meant a colder climate and an undoubtedly hostile environment — not to mention my dog’s undiagnosed adjustment disorder they’d failed to take into account. It just wouldn’t be the same. Needless to say, my calculated efforts and daily trail of tears were to no avail. We moved. I was forced to adapt. And I’ll admit it — it worked out just fine. While you might find my train of thought extreme, I know I’m not completely alone. How many of us are completely ready to tackle “the real world”? Who can’t wait a few more years to be financially independent? Who finds the unknown infinitely easier to embrace than the security of the familiar? But like it or not, life is about change, and as college students and young adults in this burgeoning society, we have a remarkable capacity to make some waves of our own. In this issue we’ll explore the current controversy in Burma — a situation that’s not just a continent away. Many people in our own communities are being touched by it and have committed themselves to effecting change. And there’s a new breed of college student to hit the scene: the young entrepreneur. A number of Duke and UNC students have created a few successful start-up businesses of their own. One was even mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. Find out how they did it and what it’s like to double as businessmen and students. But we can’t forget those elusive groups that clandestinely operate under a sense of tradition and ritual: secret societies. Yes, we’ve got them, but do you know anything about them? Get re-acquainted with the ones you’ve heard of and that castle UNC students hear so many rumors about. And find out neverbefore-seen information about an order that until now, only a select few even knew existed. So carve that turkey and relish the trusted traditions that we have the opportunity to celebrate. But don’t forget to embrace this season of transition and support the causes you believe in. Without revolution, amendments or protests where would our nation be? Perhaps this change thing isn’t so bad after all. Best Wishes, Caroline McMillan

content

editor-in-chief caroline mcmillan unc managing editor robin hilmantel duke managing editor kathryn minshew unc staff writers claire bynum katy dow hannah edwards hannah heckner caroline mcmillan deborah neffa sarah schweppe daron sharps duke staff writers jeff ditzler jeremy welsch christina siadak rebecca wong columnists emme glenn mary lide parker staff photographers marianna king kathryn minshew mary catherine penn mary lide parker staff designers brianna foote taylor mcfarlane kelsey morrissy andrew otey lucia parker

business

president public relations chair unc faculty adviser

brint markle marianna king bill cloud

Rival magazine is a joint publication between Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that seeks to reinforce and redefine the historic rivalry. Rival is independently recognized at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is also an independent publication of the Duke University Undergraduate Publication Board. The printing of this issue was made possible thanks to the generous financial support of Julian Robertson, Mental Floss Magazine, O’Neill Properties Group, Enterprising Leadership Incubator Fund and Bassett Fund. All content, pictures, graphics and design are the property of Rival Magazine © 2007-2008. All rights reserved. For questions, comments or other content inquires, email Caroline McMillan at cbmcmill@email.unc.edu. For advertising, e-mail Brint at bjm22@duke.edu.


{ CONTENTS

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november/december

COVER: Secret Societies

We’ve all heard of the Skull and Bones at Yale University and the Sevens at the University of Virginia, but Duke and UNC have a few of their own. Find out what’s behind the elusive names and garb, and learn never-before-revealed information about one society you won’t want to miss.

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In This Issue 8 Hansbrough Conspiracy 10 Women’s Rowing Spotlight 18 Burma 25 Teach for America 28 Undergrad Enterprises

In Every Issue 5 Managing Editor Questions: Rival’s managing editors answer a question posed by the other school’s staff 6 Pre-game: Duke and UNC students are leaving their marks in North Carolina and around the world 12 Tar Tracks: UNC sophomore Mary Lide Parker tells us what’s on her mind 16 Athlete’s Corner: an up-close-andpersonal look at some of swimming’s finest 22 Devil’s Advocate: Duke senior Emme Glenn tells us what’s on her mind 31 Out of the Blue: get acquainted with some campus faces you won’t want to forget

cover photo from the duke university archives

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november/december

LETTERS EDITOR to the

“I’m really glad Rival covered the Adderall controversy in the October issue. I have been appalled at the complacency toward prescription drug abuse that I have witnessed on Duke’s campus. My highly unstable freshmen roommate made a small fortune selling Adderall. In addition to dealing with the messed up emotional/mental/personality side-effects of her addictions, I felt deeply discouraged when individuals in my courses would pick up a few pills before an exam. I’m strong enough to value my mental and physical health, so I shouldn’t have to deal with the loser who crawled to Adderall and ruined the curve. Marion Jones lost her medals when she confessed to doping during the Olympics, and I see no reason to neglect these standards of fair play in academics.”

-Joy Basu, Duke ‘08

“It sounds like Robin Hilmantel needs a Duke-UNC history lesson. She takes at least two shots at Duke in her article: Duke's supposed thuggery and Duke's loss to VCU last year. Has she really forgotten about Phil Ford's repeated drunk-driving? Ed Cota's assault? The dozens (if not hundreds) of charges against UNC football players in the past 10 years? Do I even need to mention Rashweed Wallace (not a typo)? How about Makhtar Ndiaye, who spat on, elbowed and cried racism (falsely) against a Utah player? Oh, didn't he also choke and threaten to kill the man who gave him a ride to court? Oh, and didn't he then lie in court that very same day? As far as making fun of Duke for losing to VCU, I have two words, three numbers and a hyphen: Weber State and 8-20.”

-Nate Jones, Duke’09

“I would like to express my disappointment in the cover article from the October '07 edition of Rival magazine. The article purports to be about Adderall and anabolic steroid abuse, both serious health issues; however, the article contains no information about anabolic steroids. The author instead addresses the use of dietary supplements, specifically Creatine and Muscle Milk, a brand of protein supplement. There was a good idea behind this article. Drug abuse is a danger to college students, and they should know about it. Had the article actually talked about the dangers of steroid use, I likely would have agreed totally. Unfortunately, it managed to confuse two categories of chemicals that are essentially unrelated.”

” ”

-Warren Ashley, UNC ‘09

“I just read the October 2007 Rival magazine, and I loved it! Great job.”

-Andrea Coravos, Duke ‘10


{ managing editor questions

november/december

Each issue, Rival’s managing editors answer a question posed by the other school’s staff.

UNC Staff Question: Duke athletes are spotted on Franklin Street a lot. Is Durham really that boring? Kathryn Minshew is a senior political science and French double major at Duke. She can be reached at kathryn. minshew@duke. edu.

Duke’s Response: Word on Ninth Street is that some UNC girls are easier (to talk to) than their Duke counterparts, but I’d like to think the average Duke athlete’s occasional trip down Tobacco Road has higher, nobler goals. For example, a Duke athlete might want to set aside his fame for a night and go incognito far away from any serious basketball fans. His motives might also be driven by the desire to stand out intellectually among his peers for a night. Or he could just want a temporary self-esteem boost. Catty humor aside, there are plenty of reasons to hop over to Franklin Street. We here in the Gothic Wonderland don’t dispute Chapel Hill’s status as a fantastic college town, and we’re not too proud to take advantage of your stellar restaurants, diverse nightlife and crazed street atmosphere — occasionally. I’ll admit that I’ve spent Halloween on Franklin Street, although having all of my male friends rejected at the doors of each frat house is a uniquely UNC experience I could have done without. But that’s not to say that a “boring” Duke social scene is what drives me eight miles down the road. With coffee houses, jazz nights, wine tastings and — yes — even clubs and foam parties, Durham has more than enough to satisfy. Franklin Street is more about going outside the box and taking advantage of everything the Triangle Area has to offer, whether or not it’s within 500 yards of campus. And I think our athletes should be commended for making the trip; when was the last time you saw a Tar Heel on Ninth street? Maybe Duke doesn’t entirely deserve those elitist stereotypes after all …

Duke Staff Question: What the heck is a Tar Heel? And what’s the deal with the goofy-looking ram at games?

Robin Hilmantel is a junior journalism major at UNC. She can be reached at rfhilman@email. unc.edu.

UNC’s Response: Rams and Tar Heels are synonymous, actually. Our tale dates back to the days when the Old Well area was a tar pit and local farmers took their rams there. To protect the rams’ hooves, farmers coated them with bubbling tar and let it dry; it was a horseshoe of sorts for the livestock. Rams were prevalent on campus at the time, as were some Duke females in desperate need of suitors. Not only did they find the men on their home campus inferior, but they also couldn’t get them to close their books long enough to go on a date. But unfortunately for the Duke women, the UNC men preferred the rams, so they began to name and visit them when they made their daily trips to the tar pit. As the mutual fondness grew, the school’s mascot committee decided that the Tar Heel — or ram — was the most appropriate choice, as they were the most popular non-student staples on campus. That being said, I’ll admit it: UNC girls are easier (on the eyes) than their Duke counterparts. OK, seriously now, UNC supposedly adopted Ramses as a mascot after a cheerleader decided to bring a ram to the game to motivate the crowd. The choice of livestock was based on a star football player at the time nicknamed the “battering ram.” Ever since the team won that game, Ramses has been our mascot. And the Tar Heel comes from a group of North Carolina soldiers in the Civil War who stayed on the front lines when the relief troops never came. It was as if the admirable soldiers had tar on their heels. And that’s why North Carolina is the Tar Heel state, not that Duke students would know that since they’re all from New Jersey …


pre-game happy campers

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by Rebecca Wong & Steven Steele, Duke

Dana Kropf, a breast cancer survivor, said Camp Kesem NC is a “mini miracle.” For the past four years, Kropf ’s daughter has attended the free one-week sleep-away camp for children whose parents have or have had cancer. CKNC has grown tremendously since it was founded five years ago. With the enthusiasm of three Duke students and support from the Hart Leadership Program at Duke’s Sanford Institute of Public Policy, CKNC held its first camp with six campers and 10 counselors in the summer of 2003. The following year, Kesem became a joint Duke-UNC effort, and in August, CKNC’s fifth year saw a record 101 campers and 47 counselors. The week is filled with everything from camp songs to a rock wall, but as 15-year-old camper Becky Thompson said, “Camp Kesem is more than just a camp.” The campers’ common backgrounds make

discovering change

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the week a unique experience for all involved. For some of the kids, Kesem provides a muchneeded respite from watching a parent struggle through chemotherapy. For others, the week is a chance to meet peers that understand the struggle to beat cancer. For Kropf ’s 11-yearold daughter Ariana, CKNC is a place where campers “can cry and laugh and be together and understand what each other are going through.” Duke and UNC students who have worked at Camp Kesem rave about the experience. For the past three years, UNC’s William Maixner, a senior heath policy and public health double major, has been involved with CKNC as a counselor and a student leader. “Camp Kesem has truly changed my life,” he said. “From playing with the kids to interacting with the parents, you can see that what we do changes the lives of many.”

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by Sarah Schweppe, UNC

This summer, Duke sophomore Anjali Bhatia danced with orphans in the streets of Rwanda while listening to Akon. At 16, Bhatia decided that she wanted to raise awareness about the situation in Darfur, Sudan. She began by speaking at her own school, and as buzz grew, Bhatia formed a group. When people started donating money to the cause, Bhatia and her fellow activists opened a bank account and established themselves as the student-run nonprofit organization known as “Discover Worlds.” Bhatia has represented “Discover Worlds” across the country by giving presentations on global issues at schools, leadership conferences and student council gatherings. Today, there are 57 active chapters in the U.S. “Teenagers and college students are the biggest untapped resource in the country,” Bhatia said. “If we all used our own talents to work

toward change, we could actually change the world.” One of her summer 2007 projects was to take the “Discover Worlds” format to other countries. She traveled to Rwanda to train kids in leadership and public speaking. Bhatia believes native kids can have a greater impact than U.S. students, especially concerning issues like HIV/AIDS, nutrition and civil rights. “It’s not some Westerner coming into their country telling them how to live,” she said. “It’s kids from their own country.” A large part of Bhatia’s reasoning behind going to Rwanda was to set up more positive relationships between North Americans and Africans: “It’s helping kids understand that they can be the ones to make the change now. They don’t have to wait until they become adults.”

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} quick, pick-me-up shorts a climb to better mankind by Daron Sharps, UNC

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As the team of six friends from UNC and Duke reached the highest point in Africa, their bodies were wracked with exhaustion, but their spirits soared with the extraordinary accomplishment that was the culmination of months of hard work. At the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, more than 19,000 feet above sea level, the team — consisting of Duke and UNC juniors Varun Gokarn, Kevin Hwang, Chetan Jhaveri, Nandini Kumar, Lee Miller and Jason Pate — could barely catch their breath in the thin atmosphere. The expedition known as climbWISER benefited the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research, or WISER, a Duke-based nonprofit currently sponsoring the first girls’ boarding school in Muhuru Bay, Kenya. WISER has a variety of plans to benefit Muhuru Bay, from improving community resources to microfinance. For the climbers, the journey to the top started over a year beforehand. “We thought it would be pretty cool if we could climb Mount Kilimanjaro before the snow melted,” Kumar said. “We talked about it more and more, and at the beginning of fall semester (of our sophomore year) it became a concrete plan.” To prepare for the climb, the team spoke to others who had climbed Kilimanjaro and ran stadiums to build endurance and strength together. “Altitude training would have been the best thing to do, but that’s not really available around here,” Pate said. They raised funds by contacting friends and family, getting local and corporate groups involved, and creating

a Web site where donations are still accepted (www.climbwiser.com). The climb lasted five and a half days, but the team agreed that the last leg of the journey to the summit was the most challenging. “The scariest moment of my climb was the thought that about 200 meters from the top I wouldn’t be able to go any farther,” Kumar said. But she and the rest of the team did finish, and she videotaped a victory dance for her father at the top. Reflecting on their experiences, the members of the climbWISER team said they are proud of their accomplishment and grateful for the support of the university community. “The most rewarding part of the climb was not only reaching the summit but seeing all six of us up there and knowing that our cause was supported by so many people all over the world,” Pate said. But even though they finished the climb, Pate said their mission isn’t over. “We will continue to bring awareness and scholarship funds to WISER.”

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In summer 2006, a group of Duke and UNC students developed the Women’s Institute of Secondary Education and Research in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, or WISER.

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Hansbrough Conspiracy Hansbrough Conspiracy By Jeff Ditzler, UNC Photos by Youtube, Tarheelblue, Draft Express

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Like most sports fans, particularly those of us on Tobacco Road, I’ve seen the official story of Gerald Henderson’s infamous “technical foul” on Tyler Hansbrough. Quite frankly, it doesn’t add up. How can one elbow do that much damage? Are the authorities really telling the truth about this vital matter? I watched the play countless times, and I didn’t need to go out of my way to do so, seeing as SportsCenter replayed it roughly 20 times per hour for the next week. That said, the countless playbacks (and multiple YouTube viewings) allowed me to come to several startling conclusions. Put simply, the attack on Hansbrough’s nose was an inside job — a conspiracy bigger than Duke, bigger than Carolina … even bigger than Ivory Latta’s eyeballs.

The Nose Knows

Let’s face the facts about Tyler Hansbrough’s face. Supposedly all of the destruction was caused by the impact of Gerald Henderson’s elbow on Hansbrough’s nose, but pictures of the incident clearly show blood all over his mouth and even on his jersey. To find out whether the force of an elbow would be enough to break Tyler Hansbrough’s nose, I attempted to break my own nose with my elbow. Not only did I not break my nose, I couldn’t even reach it. This proves that Hansbrough was injured not by an elbow to the face but by a controlled demolition involving explosives in his sinuses and mouth. ESPN’s Web site also said that Hansbrough

injured a tooth during the game and might have had to get a root canal. But Henderson’s elbow went nowhere near the teeth. Suspicious, isn’t it?

Roy Remains Coy

“But what about the basketball?” you ask. Hansbrough was obviously about to shoot the ball when it suddenly went flying out from his hand instead of up toward the basket. Are we supposed to believe a National Player of the Year candidate made such a stupid error? This magic basketball theory is absurd. There are many unanswered questions

ABOVE: Tyler Hansbrough hit the floor hard after the incident.


LEFT: Hansbrough and Henderson. BELOW: Hansbrough going in for the rebound on his own free throw. Henderson looking at the damage. regarding who had prior knowledge of these events. I think Roy Williams knows something we don’t — why else would he have remained so tight-lipped after the game? The trajectory of the ball clearly indicated that someone standing on a grassy knoll outside the Dean Dome launched a new ball at the players while a co-conspirator vaporized the old ball using secret Illiminati/ Zionist technology. And even Eric Boateng, a former Duke basketball player from Great Britain, seems to have suspected something was amiss. Why else would he have transferred at the same time Gerald Henderson came to Durham? He is currently at Arizona State, 2,000 miles out of the range of Gerald’s elbow. Did the British know something we didn’t?

Dan Brown’s Insight

Let me take this opportunity to remind you that the incident may be to cover up Hansbrough’s true lineage. According to Dan Brown’s newest novel “The Sean May Code,” Hansbrough is the illegitimate offspring of Dean Smith and Mary Magdalene, a fact the Catholic Church has been trying to suppress for years. But there are signs that the attack on Hansbrough’s nose may be only the beginning of a conspiracy by Neo-Heels to establish complete control over the ACC. This “technical foul” was used to justify a tournament run against Eastern Kentucky, which would give UNC access to … um, whatever natural resources they have in Eastern Kentucky — coal, perhaps? If nothing else, I’m sure Dick Cheney is involved somehow.

Layout by Kelsey Morrissy

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athlete’s

corner {women’s rowing}

by Claire Bynum, UNC photos by Claire Bynum, UNC

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The Carolina Women’s Rowing team.

The Duke Women’s Rowing team has made a strong start this season. The first competitive event of the season was in Oklahoma City, where they took second, third and fifth places in small boat races, while the varsity 8-plus crew took seventh-place out of 19 boats. With a full season ahead, the 34-member team will compete in more than nine races all over the country different places ranging from Tennessee to Ohio to Texas. The Carolina Women’s Rowing team got off to a great start this season with three firstplace finishes and a handful of third-place finishes at the Occoquan Chase race on the Occoquan river in Virginia. After placing ninth in the South Region at the end of last season, the girls said they are ready for another great run. Both the 28-member team and 45member novice team will participate in at least

eight races this season. Up Close & Personal with Liz Martin Martin, a senior French major at Duke, walked on the rowing team her freshman year and said she’s loved every minute of it. As an athlete in high school, Martin ran cross country and track. She contemplated walking on to the N.C. State track team, but Martin changed her plans after being accepted to Duke. She decided to try something new, making the women’s rowing team her sport of choice. “I thought it would be a great way to continue with athletics, and it seemed like a good fit for me,” Martin said. Martin spends more than 20 hours a week attending rigorous practices. The team practices on a lake in northern Durham three afternoons a week and every Saturday morning at 7 a.m. On top of the practices on the water, the team also meets three times a week to do weight training and work on the erg machines, or rowing simulators. Martin said it’s definitely a sizable time commitment but that it’s forced her to strike a balance, a skill she said will be beneficial for years to come. “We’re gone a lot,” she said, “but if you make use of the time you do have, it’s definitely doable.” Martin said rowing is not as well-known “down South,” so she and the team travel a lot. Martin said her favorite trip was to Seattle. “It was a long flight, but I had never been there before, and it was a really great city.” Martin doesn’t plan to pursue rowing after college, but she does want to work in the athletic field. She said she wants to go to graduate school for athletic administration next year.


TEAM STATS The Duke Women’s Rowing team.

34 28 48

Number of women on Duke team Number of women on UNC varsity team Number of women on UNC novice team

OCTOBER - MAY Women’s Rowing season

This season marks Martin’s final year on the team, and she thinks it could be a promising one. Martin said that the first race of the season was a little harried, and the individual boats were thrown together quickly, but that they managed to do just fine. She said she’s excited to see how the season will turn out. When asked about the team as a whole, Martin said all 34 members surprisingly get along really well: “We have a lot more team chemistry this year than we’ve ever had.” Up Close & Personal with Maeghan Sill She was tricked into it, and her life hasn’t been the same since. For most, the thought of being tricked into anything does not sound like fun, but for Maeghan Sill, it has resulted in a group of best friends, and an experience that has helped to shape her future. Now a junior, Sill has been a member of the UNC women’s rowing team since her freshman year when a friend talked her into “running errands” with her. Little did Sill know she was being taken to the rowing coach’s office, where she was talked into walking onto the novice team after the coach let her have a special tryout. Being a member of the rowing team takes up a lot of Sill’s time; they have practice on the water five days a week as well as erg machine training and weight training. Three days a week practices start at 6:30 a.m., when the average college student is fast asleep. “You get used to it more or less,” Sill said.

“When you really like what you are doing, and you know its going to pay off, it is worth it.” The team has become part of Sill’s extended family. She says they have a lot of fun with each other, whether on the water or during team meals. When asked who the goofiest person on the team was, Sill took a while to answer. “We are all really goofy,” she said. “It’s awesome to have a group of girls that you are with all the time and you actually feel like you fit in with.” Traveling is a big bonus to being on the rowing team for Sill. She said her favorite place she has been so far was a tie between New Jersey, which is where she was born and Tennessee, where they competed in the “Head of the Hooch” race. Sill sees the influence of rowing in many aspects of her life, one of the most prominent being her career path. She has known that she wanted to do something with athletics since high school, but now her choice has become much clearer. She is considering trying to coach a novice team. “Novice is first-year rowers, generally someone who walks on in college.” She went on to explain that her first year was memorable, and she wants to be able to do the same for girls who will be in her position. Sill is glad that her friend talked her into rowing freshman year, and she is even happier she has stuck with it this long. It has become part of who she is, and for that, she is grateful.

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FIRST RACE: DUKE Head of the Charles Boston, Mass. Oct. 22, 2007

FIRST RACE: UNC Occoquan Chase Occoquan, Va. Oct. 14, 2007

COACHES: DUKE

Head Coach: Robyn Horner Assistant Coaches: Jim Lister and Emily Egge

COACHES: UNC

Head Coach: Sarah Haney Assistant Coach: Carrie Komar Novice Coach: Stephen Arthur-Wong


tar tracks Mary Lide Parker is a sophomore journalism major at UNC. She can be reached at pmary@email.unc.edu

Awkward situation syndrome

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“Ohmygod, it was like, the most awkward thing ever.” When was the last time you heard someone say that? Yesterday? Five minutes ago? Our generation is diseased by what I will henceforth refer to as Awkward Situation Syndrome. ASS is a new phenomenon — awkward situations have not always held a significant position in our society. ASS persists because of its entertainment value. Declaring a situation as awkward during the actual incident is always amusing. You know what I’m talking about — the highpitched “awkwaaard” chime that rings out from someone who is not directly connected to the situation but still recognizes the level of ASS. Where did all this come from? The cause of ASS augmentation is obvious. We rely so heavily on electronic communication that we can no longer engage in natural face-to-face conversation. We use Facebook to initiate friendships. We send love notes through text messages. We talk to our roommates on AIM. We sign petitions on Web sites. Is it possible that the spoken word will eventually be rendered obsolete? ASS is contributing to the degradation of language. We are no longer capable of expressing our ideas with equanimity when we engage in debate or discussion in person. But it’s a different story in a chat room. Some (i.e. the computer nerds, the Facebook junkies and anyone that owns an iPhone) might argue that our newfound reliance on electronic communication is simply the way of the future. But I think we’re on a one-way street to the destruction of authentic dialogue. The all-too-

quotidian habit of checking your Facebook account three times a day is ruining the real connection you have with your friends. Electronic communication leads us to irrational and unnecessary etymological interpretation. Just the other day, my housemate asked me to decipher the meaning of a Facebook wall post from her latest male acquaintance. The next five minutes were spent determining the most contemporary meaning of the phrase “what’s good.” Now, if we had heard the aforementioned boy say these words in person, his meaning would have undoubtedly been clear and straightforward. But because his tone, body language and flirtatious blue eyes were all concealed by the glowing light of a computer screen, my friend and I were forced to engage in the age old girls-discuss-boy routine. But once again, this element of mystery only adds to the appeal of electronic communication. We actually like the ambiguity. What did he really mean by that photo comment? Was that text message sarcastic? This constant second-guessing and uncertainty will surely increase the casualty rates of our generation; we’re in danger of drowning in giant pool of insecurity. But seriously, let’s stop killing our intellect and natural communication abilities. We need to connect with each other as human beings, not as highlighted screen names. Spend less time with the profiles and minifeeds of your friends and more time in their actual company. Try, just try, making all your weekend plans without the aid of a computer or cell phone. Don’t worry. It won’t be awkward at all.

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BURMA

The fight against oppression in our own backyard by Christina Siadak, Duke photos by Alex Finch, UNC

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My heart beats so fiercely that I can hardly hear my sobs. The monks are marching because they would rather sacrifice themselves than see ordinary people die. They are chanting prayers and blessings on everyone as they march. This is no ordinary protest. The only communication with my family in Burma is through Facebook. My brother left me a message today, saying that the Internet was going to be shut down soon. That anyone violating the curfew would be arrested or shot. That he needed to remove me as a “friend” because I am posting too much about the pro-democracy protest. Even as I write, the Burmese police are sneaking up to arrest monks and protestors in the middle of the night. Please help. The 56 million Burmese are dangling on the hope that you will help.* An anonymous Duke student from Burma emailed her above plea for help to anyone who would read it. In the past month, media outlets all over the world have been struggling to cover, debate and even digest the recent protests in Burma. Triggered by a 500 percent increase in government-controlled gas prices, Bur-

mese monks and citizens took to the streets in peaceful demonstrations, publicly voicing their outrage with the oppression and violence of the current military regime. In response, the military junta violently suppressed the protestors — arresting, beating and even killing hundreds of innocent people. The U.S. watched in horror, confused by the poignant history of a country many had never heard of before. The existing Burmese government has been in power for the past 19 years. A civilian rebellion in 1988 left 3,000 innocent people dead, an early indication of a public dissatisfied with the military regime. People lived in a constant state of fear and insecurity, terrified by the very real danger of arrest and interrogation. When Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy won popular elections in 1990, the military junta promptly placed the leader and activist in detention. Since that time, international discussion has focused on pressuring the military regime and its leader, General Than Shwe, to agree to talks with Suu Kyi and her opposition party.

“The U.S. watched in horror, confused by the poignant history of a country many had never heard of before.”

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“This time there is also hope. Refugees here hope they can create change.”

An abandoned cave shrine in Burma. Caretakers lit candles in the caves upon a visitor’s arrival.

It’s easy to consider the events in Burma far removed from life in the Triangle — merely a distant battle that can only be witnessed from a television screen. But local residents Flicka Bateman, Min Khaing and Alex Finch know that isn’t the case. Flicka Bateman, a Duke graduate and principal of the UNC Hospital School, became intimately involved with the strife in Burma eight years ago, when a family of Burmese refugees moved in across the street. Bateman began tutoring the three adolescent members of the family, encouraging them to succeed in school and eventually go to college. Today Bateman works with a number of local refugee families in a variety of ways, from

helping them open bank accounts to giving weekly English lessons. Bateman said the refugees’ horrible previous living conditions make them completely unfamiliar with the everyday conventions of U.S. life. Bateman told of giving a 4-year old Burmese girl a birthday present: “I got her a present for her birthday, and when I gave it to her, she held it and stared at me. She didn’t understand what a wrapped present was. She had no idea what to do with it. That’s the life these people are coming from.” But Bateman talked about the refugee families’ resiliency, spirit and newfound

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hope. “When the protests began there was a lot of fear among the people because they’ve witnessed that the government always wins and the people get punished,” Bateman said. “But this time, there is also hope. Refugees here hope they can create change. That they can provide support, and something will get done.” Bateman said she hopes that the heavy media coverage of the September demonstrations will help. “There can’t be this ‘we-never-knew’ reaction anymore.” Once a Burmese guerilla fighter, Min Khaing has also found a way to weigh in on Burmese issues here in the U.S. As president of the Burma Democratic Action Committee, Khaing helps lead protests outside the United Nations building in New York City as well as the Indian, Chinese and Russian embassies in Washington, D.C. He said these embassies are notorious for their continuing relationships with the Burmese military junta and their failure to use their influence to promote peace in the region. Khaing is now part of the peaceful protest of Burmese oppression, but he once played a much more dangerous role. Khaing participated in Burma’s 1988 demonstrations against the military junta and also spent 10 years fighting for democracy in the Burmese jungle. Eventually, Khaing had to flee his country and live in Bangkok for three years before moving to Chapel Hill. Now Khaing said he wants to pressure the international community to action. “The people cannot win on their own,” he said. “They have no protection. A force is needed to protect the people so they can have their freedoms, even to at least have the freedom to choose.” Khaing said the Democratic Action Committee is urging the United Nations to put pressure on countries like China that have influence in Burma but don’t promote freedom by continuing to support the military junta. “They are only interested in business, not peace,” Khaing said. Both Bateman and Khaing promote a boycott of products made in India, China and


Russia, as well as a boycott of the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. They both said they hope economic pressure will finally inspire these countries to action. UNC student Alex Finch experienced Burma as an outsider looking in. He moved to Burma in 1998. But he said in an e-mail that this era of hopeful reform lasted only a few years. Finch was one of only a handful of U.S. citizens allowed to remain in the country after the sanctions. Finch spent eight years in Burma, time he said he spent learning how to balance frequent power outages with a normal adolescent life. Finch said living in such a repressive environment gave him a greater respect for the freedoms of his own country. When Finch moved back to America he had to readjust to life in a democracy at his new high school: “It felt really good to be able to talk openly about politics, especially in front of other people. Political talk in Burma is very secretive.” Finch said he has mixed feelings about the recent protest in Burma. He said it’s a positive sign that a protest even took place, which could show an increased vulnerability within the Burmese government. But Finch said the military junta is still extremely good at quelling any uprisings. “People are really afraid of what the government will do to them,” he said. “If you’ve grown up in fear, it is hard to decide when is the best time to overcome your apprehension. And if everyone doesn’t reach that point at the same time, then it’s like very small groups one at a time battling a giant.” Finch said diplomacy is the key, namely through the U.N. Eliminating trade partners would only lessen U.S. influence in the conflict. For Finch, economic interaction, not economic regulation, is the answer. Bateman, Khaing and Finch said they hope the “Saffron Revolution” made an impact for change. But there’s no guarantee. A continued civilian response globally may be the pressure the Burmese need to finally bring peace and freedom to the region. *Name withheld to protect family in Burma

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ABOVE: Chief monk in a monastery outside Mandaly. BELOW: Buddhas in an overgrown field outside Mandaly, Burma.

* If everyone doesn’t reach that point at the same time, then it’s like very small groups, one at a time, battling a giant.”

Layout by Lucia Parker

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athlete’s

corner {men’s swimming}

by Hannah Heckner, UNC photos by Hannah Heckner, UNC

T

Chip Peterson, sophomore swimmer for UNC.

The swimming Tar Heels won’t stop working until they reach perfection. Finishing third in the ACC last season and 27th in the NCAA tournament, the UNC swimmers are hoping to cut the distance to the top. The program is very strong but not without foes in the ACC and NCAA vying for the same titles. While the season may have gotten off to a rocky start with a loss to Georgia in early October, the Tar Heels aren’t discouraged and said that they haven’t lost sight of the goal. Some events sure to boost Tar Heel scores are the long distance and open water events, the specialized field of sophomore Chip Peterson. And while Duke might not be known as a swimming powerhouse in the ACC yet, the swimming Blue Devils are trying their hardest to turn the tides and make an impact. Finishing the 2006-2007 season with a decent record and important wins over UNC-Wilmington and the University of Maryland, the team has already started to make waves this year. On Oct. 21, they had a commanding victory over the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks and the University of Richmond Spiders in their home waters in Durham. Their schedule for the remainder of the season will be a challenging one, but it will surely offer many chances for Duke to spread the word that they’re now a force to be reckoned with. One swimmer that hopes to herald in the new age of Duke swimming is sophomore J.D. Coppel.

Up Close & Personal with Chip Peterson I asked Chip Peterson what three things he would bring on a deserted island and felt stupid once the words had crossed my lips. As a renowned open-water swimmer, escaping from a deserted island would probably qualify as an easy morning workout for Peterson. The sophomore swimmer laughed and thought a while before saying he’d bring a friend, his iPod and candy. But modesty can’t hide the truth. When asked what his personal goals were for this season, Peterson said, “I’m really hoping to make it to the Olympics.” Peterson spent a portion of last summer in Rio DeJaniero, representing the U.S. as a member of its open water swim team. As one of the youngest members of the team, Peterson said he has high hopes for a long future of competition swimming. But Peterson’s aspirations certainly don’t stop at the personal level. His goal for the team is to win the ACC title this year, a goal he said might be attainable if the team can beat the University of Virginia and the University of Florida, the other schools that have made a recent bid for the title. My conversation with Peterson showed me that the Tar Heel swimmers surely have the team camaraderie it takes for success. “Almost everyone lives in the same apartment complex, except for a few upperclassmen,” Peterson said. “We’re definitely always together going out, getting dinner, or seeing movies, especially this time of year during recruitment.” This team togetherness, as well as the wonderful coaching staff, was what set UNC apart from all the other schools Peterson visited as a high school student. On his trips to the


FAST FACTS J.D. Coppel, sophomore swimmer for Duke.

PRE-MEET SNACK

University of Georgia, University of Florida, the University of Michigan and Stanford, Peterson saw great programs, but he said none stood out as much as UNC’s. Peterson also had a connection with the Carolina coaches because Catherine Vogt, the current assistant coach, was Peterson’s coach at West Carteret for his first three years of high school. “I missed her as a coach,” Peterson said. “When I also saw how great all the people on the team were, I knew I had to come here.” For that connection, the Tar Heels are thankful because Peterson is an integral part of the team both in the water and out of the water and will surely continue to make an impact until he graduates. Up Close & Personal with J.D. Coppel When J.D. Coppel jumps into the lane of a pool, he knows exactly where he’s headed, and fast. Out of the water, he was also quick to answer my questions about his goals for this season. The sophomore from Columbus, Ohio, hopes that Duke will become known in the ACC for their swimming program, not just the usual basketball hype. Coppel thinks that this move up in the ACC will require victories in the dual meets, and he aspires to have a hand in these wins, with his personal goals of being a big part of the relays and scoring

points in his individual events, the 200 IM and the 100 and 200 in breaststroke. Coppel’s ability to make a big splash in Duke’s swimming program was something that aided in his college decision. When looking at other school’s swimming programs like UNC, Miami of Ohio, and Northwestern, Coppel was looking for both up-and-coming programs as well as illustrious academics, and Duke turned out to be the perfect fit. Since joining the Duke program, a moment that has stood out in Coppel’s mind was when the team beat the University of Maryland last year during a dual meet, an event that surely established Duke as a force to be reckoned with in ACC swimming. This year the team is looking forward to the Georgia Tech invite. The event, which will be held in the same natatorium used in the 1996 Summer Olympics, will certainly be a time to see and be seen by other programs. Coppel’s also excited to share the same water that has been occupied by champions of the past. “It’s a pool that was used for the Olympics, so I’m just excited to use the facilities,” Coppel said. Other than traveling together to meets, the Duke swimmers do many things together. Breakfast after morning practices, dinner after evening practices and just the practices themselves are bonding experiences. The swimmers also have fun on the weekends at social functions and never pass up the chance to poke fun at their fellow swimmers, whether it be at practice or on their e-mail listserv, where funny YouTube clips are also shared. “Lately, we’ve been really into the random imitations of the ‘Soulja Boy’ dance,” Coppel said. Whether it be bonding with the team or winning races, every day Coppel is working towards his goal of becoming a major contributing member of the Duke Swim team.

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Chip Peterson goes for junk food J.D. Coppel prefers Powerbars.

SPEEDO or JAMMER

Peterson: Prefers body suit or legs depending on where he will be swimming. Coppel: Speedo

PUMP UP MUSIC

Peterson: Metal Coppel: Jimmy Eat World and Incubus

STROKE

Peterson: Free style Coppel: Specialty in breast stroke

PRE-MEET SHAVE Peterson: No favorite razor yet Coppel: Mach 5 “Fusion”

MAJOR: Peterson: Biology, maybe Coppel: Psychology


SECRETS a history of

a never-before-seen look at secret societies at Duke and UNC

Introduction and Duke societies by Caroline McMillan, UNC UNC societies by Hannah Edwards, UNC

I

In her book, “Secrets of the Tomb,” an exposé of Yale’s infamous “Skull and Bones” society, Alexandra Robbins described secret societies as “that arched brow personified” — perpetual objects of curiosity and for many, an obsession. But while the Ivy League’s societies have helped shape our perceptions, Duke and UNC’s secret societies have left their own trails of unanswered questions. Duke students used to stand in eager anticipation when the next seven Red Friars were tapped on the steps of the chapel each year. And a bewildered Chapel Hill community looked on as the first stones of Gimghoul castle were laid. Students and faculty alike have long since hoped for a tap, a glimpse or even just a sliver of fact to satisfy their earnest curiosity In order to satiate this desire for the elusive, one must get re-acquainted with the university subculture shrouded by secrecy and gain knowledge beyond hollow rumors and remnants left on the quad. One must even learn of a society that only a select few know exists — until now.

DUKE

THE ORDER OF THE RED FRIARS

The Order of the Red Friars, the first secret society recognized on Duke’s campus, was an all-male honorary group conceived in early

1913. Each year the group consisted of seven seniors — the Septemvirate — who were officially recognized, or “tapped,” or chosen, by a red hooded figure on the steps of Duke Chapel. As the Grand Friar tapped the new inductees, each donning a red carnation, he recited these words: “You are the seven chosen.… You have been judged as having shown in your lives the qualities of character and leadership prerequisite for Red Friar membership. These qualities, more than office and public acclaim, have determined your selection.” But it was widely known that students holding certain leadership positions were prime candidates for the Order. Some of these student positions included the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle, the president of the men’s student government and the chairman of the men’s judicial board. Sue Wasiolek, the current dean of students and assistant vice president of student affairs, is a self-professed “interested observer” of the society culture on Duke’s campus. She said she was intrigued by them when she came to Duke as a student in 1973, a couple years after the Red Friars disbanded. “Several of the societies had died before I got here,” she said. “But there was still some talk on campus about them. There’s always been somewhat of an allure about them.” Some notable Red Friars were President Richard Nixon, William P. Few, the former


Photo by Marianna King, Documents courtesy of Wilson Library Manuscripts Department

president of the University, and Rex Adams, the former dean of the business school. At the time the Order of the Red Friars was on campus, the University was split by gender. Until 1972, West Campus was Trinity College for men and East Campus was the women’s college. The men and women had separate student governments, judicial boards and athletic teams. In 1925, the reigning group of Red Friars decided the women should have a similar organization because it had meant so much to the men. After consulting Miss Baldwin, the dean of women, who approved their plans, the Red Friars chose seven women and entrusted them with the responsibility of organizing a similar society. The Order of the White Duchy, as it came to be known, was not intended to be a sister organization of the Red Friars but just a female order sharing similar ideals.

THE ORDER OF THE WHITE DUCHY

And so it began that on one night every spring, “seven prominent and outstanding senior women” were tapped when white carnations were pinned on their shoulders, as it’s said in the Order’s constitution. Duchy members encouraged each other to use their great power to “stir up interesting conversation at the dinner table,” and each member was required to write to an alumnus each month to keep them informed and raise money. Yearly dues were about $5. Their annual scrapbooks were riddled with images of two ducks holding two carnations, and they documented trips to the official Duchy cabin. One so-called “duckling” recounted one of the trips: “We turned to one another’s food and

gorged ourselves. Then we turned with zeal to the contents of the chest, divulging minutes of ancestral meetings filled with amazing information about observances in which we have participated, without realizing their significance.” Prominent figures such as Elizabeth Dole and author and social activist Margaret Taylor Smith were part of the elite seven during their undergraduate studies at Duke. But while many on campus knew who the members of each Order were, the inner workings of both the Red Friars and the White Duchy were cloaked in secrecy. “It was unclear as to what these organizations did — when they met, where they met,” Wasiolek said. “I think that they just reared their heads at unusual and surprising times.” But because the Red Friars and White Duchy were composed of the most prominent student leaders on campus, they were able to gauge and even help shape student opinion. They then served as liaisons for the administration, conveying the prevalent sentiments.

DISBANDED

But the cultural climate of the 1960s and early 1970s heavily affected campus life, morphing the public’s perception of these societies. “It became a very unpopular thing,” Wasiolek said. “It was at a time when a lot of fraternities and sororities disbanded — not just at Duke but across the country. It was in the ‘60s, it was after the Civil Rights Movement, it was after the Vietnam War, and the whole notion of having selective elitist organizations was not popular.” Beginning in May 1955, a portion of the tapped students began declining their

ABOVE: Sketches for the construction of Gimghoul Castle.


I.B. Holley Jr., Ph.D., a professor emeritus of history, was teaching at Duke when the tides of opinion began to change. While he wasn’t directly involved in the society culture, he said he thought they were largely innocent, simply trying to give recognition to student leaders. As for the grounds of the Red Friars and White Duchy’s disbandment, Holley said he questions the motives behind the accusations. “Why the hostility toward elitism?” Holley said. “A university strives for excellence and excellent people, especially excellent scholars that stand out. We would usually try to reward [these students] with prestige, publicity, you know, the whole bit. Anti-elitism seems to me to be a phony argument.” Photo Courtesy of Duke Archives

OLD TRINITY CLUB: A HOLLOW IMITATION

Most Duke students today aren’t aware of any thriving secret societies, other than the Old Trinity Club, a society rumored to have been founded when an embittered editorin-chief of The Chronicle wasn’t tapped for membership in the Red Friars. The Old Trinity Club tapped its own members, acting as a rival society to the Red Friars, Wasiolek said. “I would also say that the Old Trinity Club has died, or at least in terms of its original manifestation. The way it manifests itself today is very different than it was at its finest,” she said. Anne Morton, a senior English major, said current members of the Old Trinity Club periodically appear on the quad Friday afternoons, dressed in black graduation gowns, walking in certain patterns and holding their arms in certain symbols. “They wear sunglasses, but everyone pretty much knows who they are,” Morton said. “(Students) don’t take it very seriously.”

TRIDENT SOCIETY: THE UNVEILING Photo by Marianna King

invitations, and after the Red Friars failed to tap anyone in 1971, Red Friar alumni met to discuss their recourse. They ultimately decided that the society had “outlived its function to the University,” said Hank Majestic, a former Red Friar. The White Duchy likewise disbanded in 1968, issuing a statement saying that the tension was potentially harmful to the individuals involved and their respective goals for the University. “There is no longer room for an exclusive group that recognizes and nurtures a few,” the statement read.

Perhaps this former anti-elitism climate is what has driven the current secret society culture at Duke underground. But the winds of change seem imminent. While the original manifestations of the Red Friars and White Duchy are merely chapters in the University’s history, the ideals with which they were established have not been lost or forgotten. One active yet widely unknown all-male society is now ready to shed light on its existence. Having been authorized by the society’s council, a senior member of the Trident Society shared formerly classified information, some of which was packaged in a cryptic letter sealed with wax, therein maintaining the anonymity of society members. The Trident Society is rooted in ideals that stretch back to the early days of the University, but at the time of the Society’s founding, there


was no other organization serving a similar purpose. “Our founders recognized that similar societies existed at other top universities (Skull and Bones at Yale, The Sevens at UVA, Quill and Dagger at Cornell) and saw a void at Duke.” But to develop and maintain such an identity, members must observe the strictest confidentiality. “The deep secrecy in which our Society has cloaked itself preserves the integrity of the goals upon which we were founded,” reads the letter. “Members do not join to gain fame, and their reward comes from the contributions they have made and will make to both Duke University and this society.” Members of the Trident Society are or were Rhodes Scholars, commencement speakers, editors of The Chronicle, fraternity presidents, players for Coach Krzyzewski, Phi Beta Kappas and presidents of the most influential organizations on campus. The Trident Society’s alumni have continued to provide financial support for the society, staying actively involved in maintaining its integrity and supporting its pursuits. Many have gone on to attend top professional schools and cultivate influential careers, and some have even returned to sit on Duke’s Board of Trustees. This is where the Trident Society’s influence is found — not in public demonstrations or formal postings of members’ names. But can a largely unknown society truly effect change? “The individual contributions (of Trident Society members) effect change. When these individuals are brought together, the Society as a collective now possesses insight and reach into each area … There is no reason change cannot come about in the absence of widespread knowledge about the Society,” a further correspondence said. While the senior member attested that there might be outside students, administrators and other University employees aware of the society, he said none are directly involved in it, and the breadth of their knowledge is limited. “(Our) pursuits, as well as our organizational structure and the significance and symbolism of our name, are revealed only to initiated members.” So be it the discarded petals of red and white carnations or the brandished trident of the newly appointed, one can only think upon the few remnants these elite groups choose to leave behind. In the words of Wasiolek, “It’s a secret, you know.”

UNC While most UNC students have seen that

elusive castle and caught wind that some secret

orders may exist, secret society culture is of the general student body. “I’ve heard rumors about secret societies on campus,” said Brianne Kallam, a sophomore at UNC. “I’ve heard of Gimghoul before.” But most talk remains just that — rumors. Todd Adams, assistant dean of students and the dean of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Duke, said he’s aware of the presence of secret societies on college campuses, but he wouldn’t give much more. “I know it’s not uncommon for some schools to have multiple underground secret societies,” he said. Order of Gimghoul is the most recognized secret society on the UNC’s campus. Much of the Order of Gimghoul history

Photo Courtesy of Duke Archives

Photo Courtesy of Duke Archives


ABOVE: Sketches for the construction of Gimghoul Castle.

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can be found in the Manuscripts Department housed in Wilson Library. Two boxes full of letters, building plans, correspondences and other documents give a glimpse into the society. In the fall of 1889, five men formed the secret society. The nature of the society, however, was undecided until they heard about

given in the “Dromgoole Story” and shall be conducted in a dignified and impressive manner,” according to the constitution. Officer positions are named in Article XI, Section I. The titles include: king or rex (president), lord high keeper of the dark secret (vice president), lord high watcher of the seven stars (secretary), lord high keeper of the mystic keys (treasurer), and noble guardian of the past (historian). According to legend, Dromgoole was killed on the very grounds where the society decided to build its infamous stone castle. The stone castle, which many students attempt to catch a glimpse of, is built in the woods of the historic Gimghoul District neighborhood. The boxes in Wilson Library’s Manuscript Department also reveal another secret society: Gorgon’s Head. Documents entitled “Gorgon’s Head-Gimghoul Agreements” dated between 1902 and 1956. The two societies agreed on membership rules. Both groups decided that “No freshman,

“The deep secrecy in which our Society has cloaked itself preserves the integrity of the goals upon which we were founded.” the legend of Peter Dromgoole in a lecture. Dromgoole, a student at the University, disappeared in 1833, and the reasons are still not completely clear. But one thing is for sure: Ever since then, young men (select students, juniors and older, as well as faculty) have been carrying on the traditions of Gimghoul. The documents found in the Manuscripts Department, much of them browned and extremely fragile, include a hand-written constitution. According to the Constitution of the Order of the Gimghouls (which took effect May 28, 1897), their object “shall be to stimulate ambition and to encourage high endeavor in every phase of university life by rewarding with membership in its ranks such men of satisfactory social standing as have shown themselves worthy of this high honor, and to inculcate among its members the doctrine and spirit of the motto: “Noblesse Oblige.” Their constitution includes other details of their practices, including initiation (which is to be held between 10 p.m. and “day break”) and their official colors (Article XI, Section III specifies that they are crimson and black). Initiation “shall be in accord with the Ancient Customs and Traditions of the Order conforming as nearly as possible to the outline

sophomore or prospective member will at any time or under any circumstances, be brought to or allowed to visit either the Gorgon’s Head Lodge or the Gimghoul Castle.” The accords went on to say that invitations to join both societies would be sent at the same time, and deviating from the plan required prior notification. In terms of secrecy, there are some students (both current and former) who seem to know members in Gimghoul. But it is all kept very quiet. One 2004 graduate who requested anonymity said she attended late-night parties and other organized functions with the two societies. “Membership in a society is supposed to be a guarded secret,” she said. “But friends usually know who is affiliated with the groups.” Although it is well-known on campus that secret societies exist, people are typically hesitant to discuss what they know. It seems like the secret aspect of the societies is still in full effect, more than one hundred years after its inception at the University. Layout by Lucia Parker

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devil’s advocate Emme Glenn is a senior political science major at Duke. She can be reached at emg3@duke.edu.

Unplug

A

Alan Weisman’s new hit book “The World Without Us” explores the doomsday scenario of humans disappearing from Earth. He delves into several valid scientific issues, but the basic premise of this book has made me think a little deeper about another idea … college without technology. I know — the thought makes you gasp. So along the same lines as Weisman’s challenging hypotheses, I offer a few suggestions as to what we might be like without all the wires. When was the last time you stopped to consider how much you depend on all the little gadgets for almost everything you do? We now function with the indispensable aid of computers, the Internet, cell phones, magnetic card systems and other entertainment devices like iPods and Tivo. I’ll be the first to admit that life without our faithful sidekicks sounds enormously boring and slow. But perhaps these reactions just underline how deeply technology has altered my psychological and social capacities. How much has your use and dependence on these tools really molded your way of thinking and your conception of individuality? What would we be like without all this stuff? The constant barrage of information and signals from various digital outlets has shortened our attention spans to nanoseconds and accustomed our minds to a sort of constant skimming. Without the multifaceted processes of information, we might regain a more detailed and composed understanding of issues and arguments. And we might even become more deeply interested in the subjects themselves.

We’re expected to perform at an increasingly high velocity. The instant communication channels offered by e-mail, cell phones, AIM, Facebook and even Blackboard leave us super-scheduled and always reachable. Imagine if the only way to organize a meeting or plan a lunch date were through a run-in on campus or home phone lines. We’re expected to work like speedy microprocessors, quickly ingesting and spitting-out information and “opinions” to move on to the next task. But I’ll argue that without such a pressure to operate at exceeding speed and volume, we might actually retain or believe what we conclude at the end of each learning process. We’d have to learn how to listen again since we couldn’t just re-read our e-mail or save a voicemail. We would have new time to read more; Wikipedia and SparkNotes wouldn’t be able to cover for us anymore. Our ability to understand one another and the information we receive involves much more than the strength of a broadband or reception signal. We’re diluting our experiences as students with these gadgets. The breadth of information available at our fingertips has reduced the time and care we dedicate to issues and individuals. Would we be better off without our technological dependencies? It’s hard to say. But let’s not forget that our own internal batteries need to recharge from the draining stimulations of everyday life. So, next time you have a free Facebooking moment, why don’t you take a little time to unplug instead? A little bit of life without technology might not be quite as bad as you think.

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Teach America for

unc/duke alumni share their stories

by Deborah Neffa, UNC photos by Mary Lide, UNC & Jean-Christian Bourcart

W

While certain professions allow students to keep the “me-first” mentality for years after graduation, other professions require recent graduates to put their needs and wants on hold and let the lives and futures of 25 other students take priority. Teaching might not be the most lucrative occupation in the eyes of many students, but it’s one that has been growing in popularity among college and university graduates over the past 17 years. Teach for America, an organization affiliated with AmeriCorps, has been offering students the opportunity to help reduce inequality in the United States’ educational system since its inception in 1990. It places qualified recent graduates in classrooms throughout the country to give students from lowincome families and communities the same educational opportunities as those from high-income families. Although the program had only 550 corps members in 1990, it has grown to include more than 4,400 members today, and it hopes to have 7,500 members by 2010. “It’s very hard work,” said Susan Patrick, a Teach for America teacher in Durham and a Duke alumna. “Once you have an understanding of what goes into being a teacher, it makes you upset you don’t have more people dedicate to education.” The program seeks dedicated, just-out-ofcollege students from universities nationwide to teach in public schools located in one of 26 urban and rural areas affected by the achievement gap, including Charlotte and Eastern North Carolina. So far the program has had almost 17,000 corps members and has taught

nearly three million students. Patrick said that in Durham, she works with a lot of students from low-income families who don’t have supportive homes. She said several of the 115 students she teaches have shown an interest in attending college, but they are lacking the resources, education and support needed to make it happen.

“A big part of it is having teachers who have very high expectations for students and who are willing to go above and beyond for their students,” Patrick said. “The general public has written [Teach For America] off as unable to be successful, but it’s very possible for the program to succeed and for teachers to have a big impact.” In fact, research has shown that Teach for America teachers have had a notable effect on students’ achievements inside the classroom and have been even more successful than those not affiliated with the program.

Susan Patrick, a Teach for America teacher in Durham, grades a student’s essay.


Ryan Bennett, a 2005 corps member, taught math at East St. John High School.

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An independent study conducted in 2004 by Mathematica Policy Research Inc., a research firm, found that students taught by Teach for America instructors make more progress in reading and math than do students taught by other teachers in the same schools and grades. Although being accepted into the program means recent graduates must sometimes move and earn a beginner teacher’s salary, some teachers consider those the least of their concerns. Patrick Murray, a Teach For America teacher in Conway and a UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus, said he deals with uncooperative students who are sometimes disrespectful and address him using inappropriate language. “And that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Murray said. “But you have to expect it to happen.” But Murray also said that in only the first six weeks of the year, he had already seen progress in his students’ academic achievement. “As far as math goes, after our six weeks, there’s drastic increase,” he said, “I enjoy seeing students respond to their grades with enthusiasm. They’re excited about their achievement

because I’m excited about their achievement.” Murray said he thinks first-year teachers bring more excitement and enthusiasm into the classroom, being one of the reasons freshout-of-college students are good candidates for the position. Caroline Davis, recruitment director for Teach for America at Duke and Wake Forest Universities, among other colleges in North Carolina, said the program is not competitive but selective, meaning that students who apply should meet seven requirements, all of which are listed on the program’s Web site (teachforamerica.org). Students should also have specialized in the area of study they hope to teach, such as math or history, although teachers sometimes teach other subjects. The program’s requirements ask that the candidates have good organizational skills, good academic and leadership results, respect for students and families in low-income communities and the ability to influence and motivate others. Davis said that the program received about 18,000 applications from students nationwide last year and that only about 21 percent of them were accepted. She said that while the program usually accepts only 20 percent of applicants, there is no set quota for the number of people it accepts. After getting into the program, new members are put through an intensive five-week training program the summer before they start teaching. During these five weeks, recent graduates will teach summer school to innercity students and then will interact in a classroom taught by an experienced teacher. An independent survey conducted in 2005 by the research firm Kane, Parsons & Associates found that 75 percent of principals who manage Teach For America corps members rated their training as better than that of other beginning teachers. In the training session, corps members are taught about classroom management as well as planning and diversity awareness, which teaches them how to deal with racial and cultural differences in the classroom. “It’s not to say people don’t understand diversity,” Davis said. “This is just an opportu-

“They’re excited about their achievement because I’m excited about their achievement.”

}


Megan Nix, a 2006 corps member, is a 12th-grade English teacher at East St. John High School.

nity to open up the discussion and lead to the fact that 95 percent of the students that we serve are African American and Hispanic. It’s all about changing the statistics … It is unjust that only 10 percent of students in college are African American. That’s not an accurate representation of our country.” Murray said that a lot of first-year Teach For America teachers are startled when placed in some of the classrooms because they aren’t used to being around so many minorities: “We learn to unlock and uncover some of our own biases and deal with them and face them so that there’s none of that left.” To help first-year corps members cope with the pressures of being a teacher, Teach For America offers several support systems located within all regions in the country. Davis said every corps member has a program director who helps by giving advice and guiding

new members through their first two years of teaching. She also said members have learning teams, which are comprised of other people in the region who are teaching the same subject. “The program has workshops every other weekend and it’s a strong system of support,” Murray said. Davis said the program partners with over 100 graduate schools, which like seeing corps members come out of the program more resilient and with a greater knowledge of the educational situation in the U.S. “Our members aren’t only teachers, they’re advocates and guides, and they constantly use every fiber of their being to advocate further student success,” Davis said. “You change students’ education prospect in the short term as well as in the long term and teach them how not to settle for the status quo.” Layout by Brianna Foote

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Patrick Murray, an eighth grade math teacher, gives a lesson on measuring latitude.


undergrad

enterprises

by Jeremy Welch, Duke photos by Kathryn Minshew, Duke

3

:30 a.m. No, don’t look at the clock. The time doesn’t matter right now. What matters is flow and getting things done. Getting things done as in David Allen, as in productivity hacks, as in Red Bull and burritos from Cosmic, as in polyphasic sleep, as in it doesn’t matter how, just: Get. It. Done.

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“It” being the task at hand, which right now is the first draft of a presentation to a potential investor. The presentation must be corrected, reorganized, then run by my coworker. Then there’s the rest of my life: a test tomorrow for the class I haven’t attended in a week … a project due soon with a group I haven’t seen with all semester … my family … my girlfriend … the band I play with on weekends … Is this healthy? Maybe. Is it fun and challenging? Oh yeah. Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship. Not all entrepreneurs work this hard or push themselves to these extremes. Some entrepreneurs sleep eight hours a night instead of four. Some entrepreneurs even have a normal dating relationship. But each of these entrepreneurs has experienced a sleepless night of productivity before and can flip the switch on again if need be. But how does someone begin working like this? Self-motivation. If someone else is cracking the whip across your back, you will hate life. But when you do it yourself, you gain a better appreciation of time and people. You’ll also kindle a passion and hunger for creating value and making changes. Dreams of empires in the sky don’t happen overnight. They are created by entrepreneurs, piece by piece. Everyone knows one of those disciplined students who is in bed every night by midnight. He wakes up promptly at 7:30 a.m. to eat breakfast and go to class. He’s always done the assigned reading, and he’s always completing all assignments. He spends his downtime reading and watching movies.

One day this student meets someone through a friend or a class project, someone named Taylor Mingos, who has already made the transition to an entrepreneurial lifestyle. The student joins the entrepreneur for a project, and the student is exposed to a whole new world. It starts as entertainment. Scheduled hour-long meetings begin running over and into other planned events. Meetings happen more often, and discussion swerves away from the usual topics. One night the meeting goes on and on, longer than any other meeting. And then it happens. Taylor looks up and says, “Have you ever

Shoeboxed.com is one of many successful companies started by students in North Carolina.


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}

“The U.S. is a nation of entrepreneurs. This is one of the reasons why our nation grew so fast in such a short time. We took risks and came out on top.”

thought about actually using one of these ideas? About actually starting a company? Creating something? Changing things?” One single question, and he’s over the hump. He’s floored. The reins of power to change dreams, visions, and analysis into concrete changes in the real world have been put into the hands of someone young and hungry for life. And it has started. The first meeting with a lawyer, then calls to parents. Shoeboxed.com starts. Then come the late nights and Red Bull and more visions. Then action, action, action. An entrepreneur creates, runs and assumes the risk of a venture. That venture could be anything. Often, the risk of the venture is very high. This means that the venture could have a huge payoff, but could also have an equally large loss. A full-time high tech entrepreneur often collapses 10 years of work into two or three. Most entrepreneurs do the work because they have to. But once they taste the sweet nectar of success, they’ll never get enough. Being a business entrepreneur can be lonely, tiring and extremely stressful. It’s not for everyone. But everyone can learn from entrepreneurs. Regardless of one’s profession, the entrepreneurial spirit will help. It will make one more resourceful, more independent, a better follower and a better leader. It can even inspire one to take more responsibility for what happens in life. Duke alumni have started companies in many industries. One of the most notable is Peter Nicholas, who co-founded Boston Scientific, an international medical devices company. A more recent example is the duo of Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur, who started mental_floss magazine in 2001. Pearson and Hattikudur cultivated mental_floss from an idea in the Duke cafeteria, as they explain on their Web site, to a media company with multiple products, including a magazine which can be found on the shelves of any major bookstore nationwide. Pearson and Hattikudur pooled their own money to publish the first issue. But it’s not just graduates creating companies. Several current Duke undergraduates have already begun their business ventures. Senior Jack Sullivan co-founded and co-runs nationally known hip-hop production company Truth Entertainment, the publisher of

Truth DVD Magazine and digitally distributed Truth TV. “Growing up surrounded by the Bay Area venture community, I was definitely interested in entrepreneurship,” Sullivan said, “but I wasn’t going to pursue a bad idea just to do it.” By a chance encounter, Sullivan said he saw a fledging video product with potential and thought he could help. “Eleven months later the cable man and I are business partners and great friends,” Sullivan said. Fellow Duke senior Rob Goodlatte offers impressive web and graphic design services to professional customers. “My freelancing business began simply as another excuse to pursue my passion for graphic design,” Goodlatte said. He said choosing to freelance on the side was one of the best decisions he made in college.

The Sanford Institute of Public Policy is home to many entrepreneurial initiatives at Duke.

29


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“Because I spent the last four years building up a design portfolio through freelancing, I’ve been able to skip entry-level design positions straight out of college,” Goodlatte said. “Through freelancing I turned a hobby into a career, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have found a job I love.” Then there are the Web start-ups. Duke alumni Taylor Mingos, working with a team of roughly 15 current and former Duke students, launched Shoeboxed.com in January 2007. Mingos, who previously ran the popular site dontcookalone.com, said he enjoyed the challenge of starting a company. “That’s a big part of the attraction,” Mingos said. “I want to push myself and my ideas to the limit, and Shoeboxed is giving me that.” Shoeboxed.com has been described as part PayPal, part Facebook. The free site, which recently earned a mention in the Wall Street Journal, lets users organize e-mail and paper receipts in a variety of ways. Shoppers can share this information with others to access product reviews, find out who’s buying what and create a personal shopping community. “Shoeboxed even parses receipts so you can know the specific things you bought from a receipt, and then [it] lets you share those items with other users,” Mingos said. Unlike the disappearing act performed by many start-ups, Shoeboxed.com has been sustainable. “There’s so much demand for this product that we’ve had to upgrade our servers three or four times since we got back to Durham because so many people are coming to the site,” Mingos said. The Raleigh-Durham area is fertile ground

for would-be engineers, Mingos said. “This is definitely the Silicon Valley of the East Coast, and it’s great that it happens to be where I went to school.” Resources for undergraduate entrepreneurs are growing rapidly at Duke. The school even hired a new professor this year, Larry Boyd, Ph.D., to work with undergraduate entrepreneurs. The Duke Undergraduate Business and Advisory and Resource Committee, or DUBARC, was formed last year to recognize on-campus businesses much like the Office of Student Activities and Facilities, or OSAF, recognizes campus organizations. The Duke Start-Up Challenge, a business plan competition with $100,000 in prizes each year, is in its 9th year. And the first-ever Entrepreneurship Week at Duke is Dec. 1 through Dec. 8. This week of panels, speakers and networking events will highlight entrepreneurship efforts at all levels of the University, from undergraduates to professionals to faculty. But the phenomenon is hardly limited to Duke alone — in fact, entrepreneurship is a buzz word at UNC, as well. UNC has the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI), launched in 2004, which oversees an array of programs supporting entrepreneurship across campus. These include networking events, a minor in entrepreneurship for undergraduates, informational events, speakers and the Carolina Challenge — a business plan competition for $50,000 in prize money. So, get off your butt, quit reading and act. What will you start? Layout by Andrew Otey

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Shoeboxed employee Cory Rothschild studies a window that has been converted into a makeshift whiteboard to hold all of the team’s ideas.

>

Jeremy Welch, the writer, is a Duke junior and entrepreneur. Find out more at www.jeremywelch.com


out of the blue by Katy Dow, UNC, and Duke Staff

Anne Sandefur has more to worry about than an orgo test or a formal date. The sophomore undecided major at Duke, a top-12 finalist in the 2006 Youth America Grand Prix Ballet Competition and trainee with the Orlando Ballet Company, had to decide whether to accept an offer to join the Boston Ballet’s second company. Despite the enticing offer, Sandefur decided to stay. “I definitely want a Duke degree,” she said, noting that an injury also played a big part in the decision. But who knows — she says, “I might audition this year and take a year or semester off. I do miss companies and the professional side.”

Lacie Katz was forced to learn responsibility when she turned 18.

As most of her friends started college, Lacie, now a UNC sophomore, moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, where she spent three months teaching English at a middle school. For nine months, she participated in “Year Course,” an opportunity for young adults of the Jewish faith to absorb Israeli culture. Lacie also worked as a hotel maid on a kibbutz, a type of socialist community, and studied religion and Hebrew in Jerusalem. “The best part was being able to live in such a controversial place,” she said. “I was able to immerse myself in Israeli life and not feel like a tourist.”

James Fulmore has been a C1 bus driver between Duke’s East and West campuses for the last five years. A native of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Fulmore moved to North Carolina to be close to his family. “My grandmother, aunt and uncle lived here, and when I came to visit I liked it, so I made it my home,” Fulmore said. Though he has to stay under 25 mph on most roads around campus, Fulmore said he loves watching races in his free time — “car races,” he clarifies with a smile. Fulmore’s good-natured smile and easygoing attitude are there for students who venture beyond a quick “Thank you!” while departing the bus.

Ryan Dowdy, a sophomore English major at UNC, spent four weeks in Kenya last summer after winning a fellowship from the Johnston Scholarship program. During his fellowship, he worked for a grassroots medical clinic on Lake Victoria and spent a week in the Transmara Province learning about the Maasai, perhaps the most well-known tribe in Africa. Although Dowdy did not kill a lion to prove his manliness (a custom once practiced by the Maasai), he did drink an herbal health remedy made from the bones of a slaughtered goat. “It really widened my perspective,” he said. “I know its cliché, but it was an absolute culture shock.” 31


join

and become a part of the duke-unc connection contact caroline mcmillan at cbmcmill@email.unc.edu for more info

November 2007  

A History of Secrets - A never-before-seen look at secret societies at Duke & UNC

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