Young Trustee Interview with Chinmay Pandit


Artwork by Wei Tan

Department Of: How do you think President Price has done in his first semester as President?
Chinmay Pandit: I think he has done a good job. He has big shoes to fill, but um, I think he’s kind of handled the transition well and has articulated a good vision for the university and also brought two really cute dogs to campus which is a pleasure for all of us.

DO: What has been your favorite part of Duke?
CP: Like physically? Or just like, anything about it?
DO: Whatever you think that question means.
CP: Okay, um I think the relationships I’ve formed with people have been the best part. I think the classes that sucked or the classes that weren’t great –  I think the people or the relationships that I’ve formed throughout have really kind of given Duke value.

DO: What is the part about Duke that you hate the most?
CP: Mm. That’s tough. Really crowded buses. Or not being able to get just past like that yellow line on the bus and having to wait for the next one. That’s kind of a bummer.

DO: If elected, who on the Board of Trustees, would you try to make your best friend?
CP: Uh, Lisa Borders. She’s president of the WNBA. Super cool. I’ve gotten to know her a little bit this year being on the Board with her. She’s just so good at being able to take a step back and see the whole vision of the university, ask questions when she doesn’t know something, and force people to really think about the issues that we talk about. And she can get me courtside tickets too.

DO: Marry, fuck, kill: Shooters, Devine’s, or an empty parking lot.
CP: Marry Devine’s. Fuck an empty parking lot. Kill Shooter’s.
DO: Any specific reason why?
CP: Um Devine’s has this friendly kind of vibe to it. It’s kind of casual and relaxed. That’s kind of what I look for in a partner, a long term partner. An empty parking lot, uh, I don’t want to get into why I would fuck something. Um, and then Shooters I guess process of elimination. I don’t want to isolate the Greek life that goes there.

DO: What do you think about the housing situation on campus? How do you feel about the megadorm, and eventually getting rid of Central?
CP: It’s definitely consolidating our campus into a more centralized two campus model.  In terms of the megadorm, I think there is definitely a lot of outrage about the opulence. I will say a couple of things. The first is […] that it was a smart decision to make it a common space where people can congregate. The second thing is, on a permanent basis it’s actually a lot cheaper than like the Hallows, for example, that is being constructed on West Campus. And the last point is I don’t know if spending money on video games means that financial aid is completely gone. I definitely understand the frustration over how over the top it might seem.

Do: What’s your sign?
CP: Uh, uhh, star?

DO: What’s a tradition you wish Duke had?
CP: Mm. I wish we kind of had like in Hogwarts, you know with the four houses. Uh, at the end whichever house has the most points.

DO: So all the Young Trustee candidates, are unique and interesting and worthy. What makes you the most interesting and worthy?
CP: Wow. Um. Definitely everyone is pretty unique in their own right. I would say that from a qualification standpoint, I’ve had experience actually being on the Board of Trustees this year. I think that definitely helps when thinking about, is this person going to go into that room and be able to find their voice and speak up? I guess from a unique standpoint, I can – I am double jointed in both my thumbs. I freak some people out when I shake their hands.

DO: Do you own any bitcoin?
CP: Not presently. I did. It was actually, my friend who works for Coinbase. He graduated like three years ago. He gave me like two dollars worth of bitcoin like three years ago. It ended up be worth like one hundred and forty dollars. I sold it and just made a free one hundred and forty dollars. Which is nice. Just beer money or whatever.

DO: Alright. Going to launch into a speed round.
CP: Oh boy.

DO: Is Kylie Jenner pregnant?
CP: Uhh..
DO: Come on, gotta be fast.
CP: Yes, yes!

DO: Mom or dad?
CP: Mom.

DO: Jake Paul or Logan Paul?
CP: Logan.

DO: What’s your favorite tide pod flavor?
CP: Blue…? Blue and orange. The blue and orange one. Regular.
DO: Original.
CP: Original. Yeah.
DO: Okay, great.
CP: Oh actually, no, I like the – the energy saver ones. They’re like the- they’re better for the environment. Environmentally friendly ones, you know? Those are the ones I use.

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