Duke Forum

       Our goal in creating this zine is to raise awareness on issues surrounding Duke’s hookup culture, encourage gender equality and eliminate social myths. We hope that this will foster action-oriented discussion and inspire readers like you to not only think, but act to create desired change through collaboration.



Dear Readers,

Freshmen arriving for their first semester at Duke are thrown into a radically different social scene from high school. They find more alternatives and even less information about this new environment. Often, they come with pre-conceived notions fed by The Rolling Stone article and media coverage from the Duke lacrosse case. Freshmen assume that the behavior they see, modeled by upperclassmen, is expected. Without seeing any contradictory evidence, some freshmen can become sucked into the hookup culture. Unfortunately, perceptions far outstrip reality; this disconnect encourages a paradox. As students struggle to keep up with each other, they perpetuate a concentrated social scene that is more sensational than realistic. But implications reach far beyond this loud minority. Widespread inconsistencies between “day” Duke and “night” Duke disillusion students and contribute to negative gender roles.

In the fall of 2008, Dr. Rachel Seidman’s “Women as Leaders” class took a closer look at this situation. Even though our views differ, we created this document to present the facts freshmen don’t see when they arrive on campus. We want the incoming class to see the full picture. We don’t condemn students’ lifestyle choices, but invite them to be more ethical about their behavior—in and out of the party scene. Our goal is to raise awareness of the issues surrounding Duke’s hookup culture, encourage gender equality, and eliminate social myths.

As a male or a female, your role in this social scene is your choice.

Women as Leaders,

Allison Gruber Catalina Blanco Lauren Cooper
Ashley Terrell Courtney Douglas Mallika Dutta
Baye Cobb Grace Baranowski Michelle Lu
Lucy Li Xylina Chapman