Young Trustee Interview with Amy Kramer


Artwork by Wei Tan

Department Of: How do you think President Price has done in his first semester as president?
Amy Kramer: I think he’s done a great job. I think taking swift action with the statues on the Chapel was, I think, the right move, showing that he’s willing to take action when necessary and I think some of the other things, like housing reform, he’s moving more slowly on, shows that he’s pretty deliberate about his decision making and thoughtful. I’m going to try and get a selfie with him this weekend.

DO: What has been your favorite part about Duke? And your least favorite part about Duke?
AK: My favorite part of Duke is easily, the learning I’ve done outside the classroom.
DO: And your least favorite part?
AK: It’s part of my platform in terms of access and equity.  I think, financially, Duke has to balance some long-term financial solvency of the university. But I think [there are] different ways to continue investing in students.  […] We celebrate at this university how many students are first in their families to go to college, but I think Duke can do a better job at investing in that academic support. I spent a semester at UNC, so I’ve seen things that Duke does really well and often doesn’t get credit for. Particularly with disability services, with that said, they can still do a better job. Continuing investing in students, continuing supporting students, so there is that access to opportunities and equity across the Board.

DO: If elected who on the Board of Trustees, would you try to make your best friend?
AK: Oooh, any of the strong women. I was just looking at some of their bios, like the head of the WNBA, who’s turning [the WNBA] around. Just some powerhouse women, just a coalition helping to change the conversations.

DO: Do you have the flu?
AK: I don’t. I’ve been taking 2000 milligrams of vitamin C a day and I’m okay.

DO: How do you feel about Tiffany Haddish’s Groupon ads?
AK: Um, I have not done – I usually just order my stuff on Amazon so I don’t see too many Groupon – yeah, I can’t really comment.

DO: Okay, so marry, fuck, kill: Shooters, Devine’s, or an empty parking lot?
AK: Hmm. Okay, I’ll say kill the parking lot, because nothing good happens there. I will say Devine’s – because they’re a little more sophisticated – marry that, and then leave Shooters for a fun night out.

DO: Thoughts on the housing situation on campus, like with the new megadorm, and eventually getting rid of Central?
AK: I think there is a unique opportunity on campus to follow 2019. Duke has an opportunity to fundamentally reform the housing model.  I think that […] the vision is where you sleep at night is not something that you are applying for and getting rejected from. It’s still important to maintain the networking, […] the mentorship of the selective groups, so its balancing that. I’m excited. I almost wish I was a freshman or sophomore and I got the role of picking these new houses.  I think ten or twenty years in the future, Duke students are going to go to an interview and it’s going to be like, “Oh you’re from Duke? What house are you in?” And it’s where you lived, and fought for, and called home for the last three years. It’s exciting.

DO: What’s your sign?
AK: Oh, I’m uh, a Libra.

DO: What’s a tradition you wish Duke had?
AK: That’s an excellent question. Um, tradition that Duke had…I can tell you UNC has some weird ones that I’m glad we don’t have. Like streaking right before finals.

DO: That’s a tradition they have?
AK: Yeah, to let out stress.  So UNC, literally they start butt-naked, right before finals, at the top of one of their libraries, down seven floors, across the pit, into the second library where they jump up and down as a mass and sing the fight song. I’m really glad we don’t have that. Um, something more sophisticated I would say. Maybe something with food or maybe some sort of competition with UNC right before finals.

DO: All of the Young Trustees are unique, and interesting and worthy. What makes you the most interesting and unique?
AK: I’ve taken on the General, so I can take on the Board. [I’ve gotten] a group of typically older, whiter high-ranking gentlemen to buy into a progressive vision that is having, I think, a tangible change across the country. That’s the real world.

DO: Do you own any bitcoin?
AK: A lot less today than last week. Yeah, I bought into it, mostly Ethereum. I think it has, there’s a really powerful and inspirational, arguably, opportunity for this type of financial independence to enfranchise a lot of people. So I bought a tiny bit and then it crashed like, two days ago.

DO: What do you think of Kylie Jenner’s video to her daughter? And what do you think Kylie will name her daughter?
AK: Hmmm. South East. No, no I’m just kidding. Um, I don’t know. I find it remarkable. I feel like the princess of England is pregnant for years and then the Jenners are pregnant and then they have a kid the next day. That’s what it feels like. I can’t really comment on the video.

DO: So quick speed round.
AK: Okay.

DO: Mom or dad?
AK: Mom…My dad passed away two years ago, so yeah, anyway.

DO: Jake Paul or Logan Paul?
AK: They’re the Youtubers right?

DO: Yeah.
AK: Can I say neither? Um, which is the one that found the dead body? I’ll pick the other one.

DO: What’s your favorite tide pod flavor?
AK: Do they make organic ones?
DO: I’m not sure.
AK: Free trade! Or fair trade. I’ll go with that answer. Since I’ve never actually had one.

DO: We have one final question. So a huge component of your platform is about diversity. How do you think your position as a white woman, will affect your potential young trustee run?
AK: When I say diversity, it’s a big part of my platform, but more than just racial, it’s also gender, it’s also socioeconomic. I think I have a unique insight into actually experiencing two of those three communities and then working to actually implement real -world tangible change for the third. Um, and I think I can be speak up on the Board and that’s what is important.

DO: Great, thank you. Is there anything else you’d like us to know or wanted to share?
AK: I can recite every word to Hamilton. I can rap. Only Hamilton. But um, I know you guys like the quirks of people. So that’s a fun fact.

AK: I also play bassoon in the Duke Orchestra. I’m the only finalist with any connection to the music department. […] My hands are so small I actually have a custom made bassoon. And mine was the first in the world. But they now sell it to people with small hands. But it’s not named after me, I get no royalties for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *