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DDO Issues February 2020 Young Trustee YT

Fifth Annual Interview with Young Trustee Finalists

This year’s Young Trustee Election features four good friends who have inundated campus life with their stump speeches, profile pictures, and appeals to vote in a social justice ego contest on a scale comparable to the Democratic Primary. Their oversized, McKinsey & Co-led campaign teams want you to believe that lack of voter participation would allow for the worst candidate to win in a disaster comparable to the 2016 election, we spoke to Tim, and despite what the other teams would have you think–he’s actually a pretty good guy; voting for him is not a problem. But as in the Iowa Caucus, McKinsey & Co has already rigged this election in favor of its former consultant–Department Of.

This week, we sat down with and interviewed all of the candidates in a hot room in Perkins. The candidates were desperate to sound funny in their fight for the line that will top off their highly padded resumes–Duke Young Trustee. Ironically, all of them checked their phones mid-interviews proving that anyone from Gen Z is not qualified to be a Trustee for our simple lack of manners. The boomers lurking The Chronicle’s Facebook page were right all along. But whether you’re a boomer, a Duke student who has been arduously subjected to this campaign, or a campaign member thirsty for tea, we hope you enjoy these interviews.

 

TIM SKAPEK

Tim Skapek lives up to his image as the self-proclaimed “bland” candidate, sporting his varsity jacket in his official campaign picture and hoping to bring the “lessons” he’s learned as a benchwarmer to the prestigious Young Trustee position. Tim hopes to restructure the YT election process by taking on the age-old, never successful approach of attempting to reform systems by actively participating in them. When not rambling about the YT election process, Tim is working to overcome the adversity of being the only white male candidate in this race. Go Tim! 

LEAH ABRAMS

Leah, our (semi) local bleeding heart, says she has what it takes to speak truth to power. This president of Duke Democrats is here to make real change™, which is why she wants to join the league of backroom bureaucrats. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, though, as an editor for The Chronicle she’s pumped out plenty of virtue signaling puff pieces, and we heard she even protests from time to time. She is not your typical ex-Kappa girl. We do wonder about her platform–a Jewish girl interested in de-gentrifying Durham? Seems like a direct attack on the Board’s core values.

MARYAM ASENUGA

Given she created a Native American Student Association though not Native American, Maryam Asenuga is used to doing work on another group’s behalf. So we’ll let her do that here too, with a bio she wrote herself: “As the only person in the class of 2020 from Rhode Island, I consider myself a big deal and you probably should too. Haha, just kidding! You can always find me in the Gothic Reading Room and anytime you see me, please come up to me and say hey. I have no friends. Just kidding. No I’m not. Ha.” 

IBRAHIM BUTT

Ibrahim Butt came onto the Young Trustee scene as the candidate who totes various marginalized identities. Bringing the diversity to Cooper, Ibby is living proof that no one can resist the sweet allure of SLGs, despite belonging to one notorious for racism and toxic masculinity. Three cheers for being consistent in one’s values! Hailing from the U.K., Ibby turns on his British accent when strategically convenient, primarily using it to talk shit about other candidates then pretending he doesn’t.

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February 2020 Young Trustee YT

Tim Skapek

Right as his interview was supposed to begin, Tim left to get coffee. Upon his return, he asked if we minded if he “took notes” during it, but we suspect he doodled “Tim for YT <3” all over the page. He proceeded to constantly check his Apple Watch, pick up his phone “for work,” asked if we could “wrap this up” because he had “actually important” stuff “for work,” and tried to tell us how to run his interview. 

 

These real quotes from the real Tim Skapek.

 

DO: Fuck, marry, kill: Tim Cook, Adam Silver, President Price:

TS: Probably marry President Price because he’s so sweet. Then between Tim Cook and Adam Silver, I think I’d have to fuck Tim Cook and kill Adam Silver–he’s a little too tall, little too lanky.

 

DO: What’s your worst personality trait?

TS: Umm, my lack of humor.

 

DO: Do you have any ethical qualms about having someone from McKinsey on your campaign?

TS: I think it would actually be pretty impressive to make a campaign team without someone going to McKinsey from Duke, you know? 

DO: But do you have ethical qualms?

TS: Future employment was not taken into the vetting process for the YTim campaign.

 

DO: All of the Young Trustee candidates are unique and interesting and worthy. What makes you the most interesting and unique and worthy?

TS: Worthy? I don’t like the word worthy. 

DO: So you’re not worthy of this position?

TS: I think the idea that anyone is worthy of the position of being a 22-year-old on the Board of Trustees for a university like Duke is kind of bizarre. I think I’m unique in two ways. One, real world experience of doing things, being responsible for a company the last few months, I’ve learned more than I have the rest of my life. And I think I have a really good sense of what it means to be a good teammate, which comes into play in pretty much everything.

 

DO: Out of every group on campus who would be your least favorite endorsement, as in whose endorsement would you reject?

TS: Definitely DSG because I just think that this whole process is their fault from the start and it’s gotta be changed so, I’m not gonna prescribe to that.

 

DO: One of your quotes made it onto @OverheardKville. What did you say?

TS: This tenting system has become a politicized process for a strictly non-political position. It needs to change.

 

DO: Who is Duke’s parasite?

TS: Department Of.

 

DO: What would be on your ideal tombstone epitaph?

TS: Do you want me to push another message?

DO: If you’d like to push your campaign go for it, but we’d like you to answer the question. 

TS: Found a green light.

 

DO: What are the lessons learned as walk-on that you mentioned in the Chronicle?

TS: …Spending my morning getting knocked on my ass fifteen times in a row and getting up and doing the same thing is an ingrained response in my head that I carry with me.

 

Speed Round

DO: Describe yourself in 50 characters:

TS: Patrick Bateman. Draco Malfoy. I got 2, do you want 48 more? (138 characters).

DO: Best party trick?

TS: Pretty good at Swing dancing?

DO: Ebola or coronavirus?

TS: Definitely Ebola

DO: Baby Yoda or Baby groot?

TS: Baby Groot

DO: Bed or breakfast?

TS: Breakfast

DO: Chicken or waffles?

TS: Waffles

DO: Top or bottom bunk?

TS: Top bunk

DO: McKinsey or Deloitte?

TS: McKinsey

DO: Favorite WU spot?

TS: Sprout

DO: Favorite snack?

TS: Spinach

DO: Do you love me?

TS: Yes.

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February 2020 Young Trustee YT

Maryam Asenuga

Maryam arrived at this interview with an official DO interview record of 15 minutes late. Maryam cast Duke Parking and Transportation as “Duke’s parasite” and blamed them for her lateness, which was strange because she took the Swift Express to get here. Though she amped up her “knowledge” on cybersecurity in her interview with The Chronicle, her response to our technical question was too abysmal for us to publish.

These are real quotes from the real Maryam Asenuga. 

 

DO: FMK: Tim Cook, Adam Silver, President Price?

MA: Oh my God…who is Adam Silver? Is he old? This is so ridiculous. Can I not do kill? That’s so sad

DO: Maybe instead of kill maybe do, I don’t know…don’t touch.

MA: Maybe marry President Price, I guess fuck Tim Cook, and then don’t touch Adam Silver. 

 

DO: What’s your moon rising? (Department Of would like to recognize “moon rising” is not an actual astrological concept)

MA: I’m not into all that stuff. My moon rising? I actually think I’m a Taurus. What’s your sign?

DO: I’m Gemini.

MA: Oh my god! Are you fucking kidding me? You’re literally one of the worst kinds of people. I don’t trust you anymore. You’re like not even two-faced, you’re three-faced.

 

DO: What’s your worst personality trait?

MA: Ahhh, shit. I literally overthink anything. If you say hi to me in a weird tone, I’ll think about it until tonight. Besides that though I think I’m hilarious. Can I tell you a joke?

DO: Yeah, sure.

MA: How did the butcher introduce his wife?

DO: How?

MA: Just… guess!

DO: This is Janine?

MA: It has to be a butcher – it has to be related to something

DO: Uhhh. This is … yeah… I have no idea?

MA: He said: Meet Patty!

DO: That’s really funny. Meat patty. That’s a good one.

MA: Right? I can’t tell if you’re fake laughing right now. But I’m proud of it. I’ve been telling that one since seventh grade.

DO: Meet patty? That’s your go-to. And what was your worst personality trait again?

MA: Overthinking. 

DO: That’s right.

 

DO: Did you hear about the art exhibit in Miami where they sold a banana for $120,000?

MA: A banana?!

DO: Yeah a banana taped to a wall.

MA: Was it like… why though? Was it like a fancy artist? This has to be – are you faking – are you lying to me?

DO: I’m not sure why. If you were to spend $120,000 on any fruit what would you spend it one – or what food?

MA: On a singular one? Any food or any fruit? Food specific? See, I really love burgers. Would it be a lifetime supply?

DO: Just one.

MA: Why would I spend that much money? 

DO: Ummmm. As an art exhibit in your home.

MA: But wouldn’t it spoil?

DO: Yeah it could spoil. Yeah let’s make it a fruit. It’s very likely to spoil.

MA: Why would I be spending that – I just don’t understand this. I’ll play along though. Ok. I think – what’s a pretty fruit? I think – oooh – I think dragon fruit, they’re pretty. Or pomegranate, you could make a picture with the seeds. You could tape the insides to the walls. I just think this is a scam for everyone involved. Only in Miami. They’re crazy down there, Florida is just another place. 

DO: So are you anti-Florida?

MA: I wouldn’t say I’m anti-Florida, I just think that uh, why are you paying $120,000 for a banana? That wouldn’t happen in Rhode Island. 

DO: Really? No one would spend that much?

MA: I just think that’s specifically a Florida thing. Don’t you agree? Florida or California. 

DO: I don’t know, I think it could happen anywhere.

MA: You’re right, I shouldn’t have generalized.

DO: No, I think it’s good we found out you hate Floridians.

MA: No, that’s not true. I didn’t say that. Don’t put that in the article. I said that they’re crazy. Let’s move on. [Department Of eventually got her permission to put this in the article]



DO: What would be on your ideal tombstone epitaph?

MA: Thicc. Period. …Mmm hmm. She was thicc. Here lies a thiccy. Something like that. Thicc would have to be in there. I love that word.



Speed Round

DO: Describe yourself in 50 characters.

MA: Funny. Determined. Lighthearted. (32 Characters)

DO: What’s your best party trick?

MA: I’m just funny. (See meat patty joke)

DO: Baby Yoda or Baby Groot?

MA: Yoda’s cute.

DO: Bed or Breakfast?

MA: Bed.

DO: Chicken or Waffles?

MA: Waffles.

DO: Ebola or Coronavirus?

MA: Neither.

DO: Top or bottom bunk?

MA: Top.

DO: McKinsey or Deloitte?

MA: Neither.

DO: Favorite WU spot?

MA: Upstairs in the popup area.

DO: Favorite snack?

MA: Chips and salsa.

DO: Do you love me?

MA: Yes!

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February 2020 Young Trustee YT

Ibrahim Butt

When he came in, we asked Ibby, “how are you doing,” he responded, “I think you’re hated more than us, as the YT candidates right now.” We told him this was just gonna be fun, he replied, “I don’t think my occasions with you have ever been fun.”

These real quotes from the real Ibrahim Butt.

 

DO: FMK: Tim Cook, Adam Silver, President Price?

IB: I have to remember what they look like… Marry Tim Cook, easy. He’s probably like super nice. Adam Silver has also been super nice to me. So I’m gonna say, fuck Adam Silver, marry Tim Cook, unfortunately kill President Price.

DO: It is what it is.

IB: It is what it is.

 

DO: What’s your moon rising? (Department Of would like to recognize “moon rising” is not an actual astrological concept)

IB: I know I’m a Cancer, but beyond that I don’t know. My mom is very Muslim, she thinks that’s kind of like devil worship, so we don’t really do that.

 

DO: Can you do any TikTok dances?

IB: The uh-na-na-na one, kind of. 

 

DO: What’s your worst personality trait?

IB: Sometimes I think I can be too sarcastic in situations that are quiet. In the States, I’ve realized that people kind of need emotional depth, so I’ve been working on that.

 

DO: Do you have any ethical qualms about having someone from McKinsey on your campaign?

IB: No, not really. 

 

DO: When you’re on the Board, which member of the Board of Trustees are you going to make your best friend?

IB: Janet Hill, because we already sit on the same committee together. She’s just been so welcoming and so nice to me. Some board members won’t remember your name, but she always remembers my name and tries to sit next to me in the meetings. And even when a big conversation is happening she’ll make a snide comment to me on the side. She’s just been really fun on the board and I want to continue that friendship. 

 

DO: Of every group on campus, which group would be your least favorite endorsement, as in whose endorsement would you reject?

IB: The Chronicle Ed Board. If they ever did an endorsement, I would reject them.

 

DO: If you were ever in the news for a scandal, what would the scandal be?

IB: Money laundering? No, I’m trustworthy, I’m a trustee.

 

DO: A banana in a Miami art exhibit this year went for $120,000. What fruit would you spend $120,000 on?

IB: I would donate $120,000 to Duke if they just got better pineapple on this campus. The pineapple here is sour, it is wrong, it’s a disgrace to pineapples everywhere.

 

DO: Hypothetically, one of your quotes made it onto Overheard at K-Ville? What did you say?

IB: It would probably be a rousing speech to overthrow the line monitors. “The proletariat must rise, we must take their bull-horn and kill them with it,” or something like that. “Imagine a world without a tent check. Their blood will be on our hands.” Something like that.

 

DO: Who is Duke’s parasite?

IB: Il Forno Pasta. I hate Il Forno Pasta. Or Skillet’s fried chicken. Or actually Il Forno pasta, I hate Il Forno Pasta. I actually think it’s kind of a disgrace of what pasta should be. The Italians must be rolling in their graves.

 

DO: What would be on your ideal tombstone epitaph?

IB: Because my second name is “Butt,” probably like “Big Butt Remix,” like “Big Booty Remix,” yeah let’s go with that, “Big Booty Remix 2000.”

 

DO: What would you say to the YT committee as you leave on your last day?

IB: Peace out homies, it’s been real. 

 

DO: Would you drop Cooper if it meant you’d win this election?

IB: I don’t think I would drop it just to win this election. I’d drop it to win other stuff, though.

 

Speed Round

DO: Describe yourself in 50 characters.

IB: A hard working British kid that didn’t come from much but really enjoys being at this university. (97 characters)

DO: What’s your best party trick?

IB: I can have a drunken energy when just drinking Gatorade.

DO: Ebola or Coronavirus?

IB: Coronavirus.

DO: Baby Yoda or Baby Groot?

IB: Baby Yoda.

DO: Bed or Breakfast?

IB: Bed.

DO: Chicken or Waffles?

IB: Chicken.

DO: Top or bottom bunk?

IB: Bottom.

DO: McKinsey or Deloitte?

IB: Deloitte.

DO: Favorite WU spot?

IB: Tandoor.

DO: Favorite snack?

IB: Il Forno Cookie.

DO: Do you love me?

IB: No.

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February 2020 Young Trustee YT

Leah Abrams

Leah arrived late to her interview, then started off the interview by scolding one of our staff members on their interviewing/journalistic practices. 

These real quotes from the real Leah Abrams.

 

DO: FMK: Tim Cook, Adam Silver, President Price

LA: Oh god this is so hard. I don’t want to threaten violence on record. No, but, I’m going to marry Tim Cook. That’s going to be my first decision. I think I’m going to fuck Vincent Price because I feel like there is something naughty behind the glasses – I don’t know. I hope this doesn’t destroy our relationship. And I have to kill Adam Silver – I admire his leadership, but to be honest, I don’t love sports. 

 

DO: What’s your moon rising? (Department Of would like to recognize “moon rising” is not an actual astrological concept)

LA: Oh my god. I love this. Can I pull up my whole Co-Star chart? Would you mind?

DO: Go for it. 

LA: So I am obviously a Gemini, hence my name @geminisweetie. I’m a Taurus rising, and my mom is a Taurus, so I like that. I’m a Scorpio moon, which for me has always been weird because I tend to think Scorpios are really shady, but maybe there’s some of that in me. Who knew I had a dark side? 

 

DO: Well, since you’re a Gemini, which side of yours are we actually seeing? Can we trust someone who is two-faced?

LA: I have always found two-faced as a descriptor of Geminis to be…. offensive. I don’t think it gets at the beauty of the Gemini sign. It’s not so much two-faced or fake or something like that as it is multi-faceted. I just object to the idea that I have some sort of duality. 

 

DO: Do you have ethical qualms about having somebody on McKinsey on your campaign?

LA: Honestly, with the amount of work he’s put in, I feel like he’s not really on the campaign.

 

DO: All of the Young Trustee candidates are unique and interesting and worthy. What makes you the unique and interesting and worthy?

LA: Things that make me – independently – unique, interesting, and worthy: uhhh I can put my fist in my mouth. I won’t show you guys. That’s pretty unique. I can do it. I met Carly Rae Jepsen this summer. I tried to write a musical when I was ten. So, those are some fun facts about me. 

 

DO: Out of every group on campus who would be your least favorite endorsement, as in whose endorsement would you reject?

LA: Oh, wow. Maybe like… Young Libertarians? I don’t want to do that to them. That’s tough. I don’t want to offend anyone. 

DO: Yeah, this question kind of lends to offending someone. 

LA: Yeah! You expect me to come in here and be like “KA?”

DO: Is that the answer?

LA: No comment. 

 

DO: A banana went for $120,000 this year. What fruit would you spend $120,000 on?

LA: The peach from Call Me By Your Name. $120,000 at least. 

DO: On your website you say, “I write and make stuff with sounds.” Can you make a stuff with sounds for us now?

LA: Like a little audio thing? [Leah whips out her computer. She has legitimate audio-editing software]. I’m confused about what your vision for this is. 

DO: Uhhhh. I think we just thought you would make sounds. 

LA: Like with my mouth?

DO: Yeah.. with your mouth. 

LA: Okay… I love that I’m taken seriously. 

 

Speed Round

DO: Describe yourself in 50 characters. 

LA: Without looking? Oh, but I have to do them really fast. Empathetic Gemini, fun-loving. (86 characters)

DO: Best party trick. 

LA: Fist in mouth. 

DO: Ebola or Coronavirus?

LA: Coronavirus. Ebola is more deadly. 

DO: Baby Yoda or Baby Groot?

LA: Baby Yoda. 

DO: Bed or breakfast?

LA: Breakfast.

DO: Chicken or waffles?

LA: Chicken. 

DO: Top or bottom bunk?

LA: I have anxieties about both. 

DO: McKinsey or Deloitte?

LA: Oh my god. Guys. No, thank you. 

DO: Favorite WU spot?

LA: Tandoor.

DO: Favorite snack?

LA: Cookie.

DO: Do you love me?

LA: Mhm. So much.

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February 2019 Young Trustee YT

Fourth Annual Interview with Young Trustee finalists

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

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

 

Trey Walk

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

Luke Farrell

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

Brian Buhr

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

Archana Ahlawat

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

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Young Trustee YT

Trey Walk

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

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

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Young Trustee YT

Luke Farrell

Just a reminder that these are real quotes from the real Luke Farrell.

Department Of: Fuck, marry, kill: Norm from the Barn, the bull at Shooters, the Robert E. Lee statue?
Luke Farrell: Okay, so, I’m going to kill the Robert E. Lee statue. I don’t know what marry a bull would actually look like, but I think I’d do that. And then I would fuck Norm.

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Young Trustee YT

Brian Buhr

Just a reminder that these are real quotes from the real Brian Buhr.

Department Of: Fuck, marry, kill: Norm from the Barn, the bull at Shooters, the Robert E. Lee statue?
Brian Buhr: Oh gosh. You’re making this hard. I would, I would um, fuck over Norm, I would kill the Robert E. Lee statue and I would marry the bull.

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Young Trustee YT

Archana Ahlawat

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

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