Young Trustee Interview with Liz Brown


Artwork by Wei Tan

Department Of: How do you think President Price has done in his first semester in office?
Liz Brown: I think he’s done a pretty good job. […]  I think it’s like pretty obvious he’s a PR guy. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing for an institution as big as ours. I think that was a big flaw of Broadhead. So, been fairly impressed. But I’m not into the whole dog thing.

DO: Do you hate dogs?
LB: Yeah, I hate dogs. And I don’t like people who like make dogs their thing. Like I wonder if he got them for Duke. You know? Like for his “I’m gonna be president” and “I’m gonna have these two cute dogs and I’m gonna walk them everywhere.” It’s a little much for me. I’ve never seen a picture of him with his dogs before Duke so like, yeah. But other than the dogs, he’s cool, yeah.

DO: If elected, who on the Board of Trustees, would you try to make your best friend?
LB: I think the obvious answer is Tim Cook or Adam Silver because they are pretty famous. And I actually am so intrigued by Adam Silver. I like, can’t believe he’s a real person. He looks like an alien. It’s so crazy. I think there’s some really cool, I think a little more like, low-key people on the Board. There’s a woman named Alison Duncan. She’s the California district court lady. And I’m excited to meet her.

DO: So what’s going on in K-Ville and do you agree with shutting it down?
LB: I think it was kind of ridiculous that it is still going.  I think this was President Price’s low key plan of being like, “K-Ville is stupid”. He’s like obsessed with sleep, did you know that? He’s like Ariana Huffington vibes obsessed with sleep. Which is like so funny, whatever. I think they’re like missing the point of K-Ville entirely that it is like, by definition, a crazy thing to do! To sleep outside for months at a time.
DO: You’re putting your health at risk.
LB: Putting your health at risk, that’s like almost the point, so I think it’s nice, whatever, let people have it off. It’s like very much, they’re missing the point entirely. Of course, it’s a health hazard! It’s like duh. Obviously. So yeah that’s kind of how I feel.

DO: Do you have the flu?
LB: No, I’ve never gotten the flu and I’ve never gotten the flu shot. *knocks on the wooden table*
DO: Like, ever in your life?
LB: Never in my life. I hate shots. And also the flu shot, this year, is like ten percent effective, right? It’s like, ten percent of the strain. It’s the wrong strain.
DO: Yeah.
LB: So, I just – not my thing.

DO: How do you feel about Tiffany Haddish’s Groupon ads?
LB: Oh my god. They’re so amazing. They’re so funny. […] I think it’s so funny that she’s like standing for Groupon. […] Like what the fuck? I think Groupon must have something on her. And she’s like funny, so she’s just making the most of it. But like, what? Like, why? I didn’t even know Groupon was still a thing. It doesn’t add up.

DO: Marry, fuck, kill: Shooters, Devine’s or an empty parking lot?
LB: I would marry an empty parking lot, you can spend the most time with it. And then I would kill Devine’s, I really hate it, like it’s so crowded, and I would fuck Shooters.

DO: What are your thoughts on the housing situation on campus, including the new dorms, and getting rid of central?
LB: So I think getting rid of Central is gonna be the best thing to happen to Duke. I think, I have like two central things I think a new housing model needs to do. I think it needs to allow for community. […] Right now, the community we have is tied to housing and is being done at the expense of others.  We are gonna have to take away some of the comfort that comes with selective groups, we need to make people feel a little more uncomfortable. The other thing I would say is that alcohol policy is so important. I worry with this housing model that fraternities are going to be pushed out into Durham. It’s so bad for Durham, it’s not safe for women to have all these off campus parties.

DO: Do you think that would be a more ideal situation?  To have a more lenient alcohol policy so that stuff happens on campus?
LB: You shouldn’t only engage with Durham to get blackout drunk. Does that make sense? It’s not safe for Durham, it’s not a good way to have our relationship with Durham, and I think on campus there’s a lot of space to like be like, really reflective of how having the new housing model, with having everyone on West, can build community be fun.

DO: If we are talking about inequality and inequity and achieving that sort of balance at Duke, you are a member of TriDelt which is considered a really selective sorority.  How do you feel that might impact the way you work as a Young Trustee? Some people think those who associate with Greek life are super insular, and that contributes to widespread mental health problems we don’t always see.
LB: I completely agree. I was really seeking out community , and […] I knew that that was a way to find community. I was not very critical of it as a freshmen. Rushed, didn’t think I was gonna be in TriDelt. I’ve had a great experience with the girls in my sorority. But, I think my Duke experience has been really poorly impacted by the fact that it is such a homogenous group. It’s so white, and it’s so wealthy, and I think that is a serious problem.  I think it is pretty ridiculous and that [Greek life] exists at Duke.  I don’t think that’s a good thing for anyone in TriDelt, I don’t think that’s a good thing for Duke. I don’t think that’s why you come to Duke. […] I don’t think [being in TriDelt] in any way means I would be any less of a good Young Trustee, I think it actually makes me a great Young Trustee in that I realize the real value of the institutions that we currently have. I see the importance of having conversations and building relationships in a non-transactional way.

DO: What is your sign?
LB: Obviously, I’m a Gemini. Duh.

DO: Do you own any bitcoin?
LB: No, I do not.

DO: Have you ever called a professor mom or dad?
LB: No, but that’s because in third grade I called my art teacher dad and it was like, I started bawling crying, I will never forget it, and since then, I will never make that mistake again.

DO: What did you think of Kylie Jenner’s “To Our Daughter” video for Stormi?
LB: Loved it. Needed more of Travis Scott in it. Loved meeting his family in it though.  Was pissed she didn’t say the name in the video. What’s the point? And would have liked more scenes of her like posing with her baby bump. Like classic Kylie videos of her. She only had a few of them. It was much too, like she was trying to be Kim and Kanye. You know, instead of her own obvious style.

DO: Okay, we are gonna do speed round.
LB: Okay.

DO: Mom or dad?
LB: Dad.

DO: Jake Paul or Logan Paul?
LB: Ooh. Neither.
DO: Come on, come on, speed round.
LB: Youtube?

DO: What’s your favorite tide pod flavor?
LB: Blue.

DO: Is there anything else you would want to let us know or just like wanna say?
LB: I think like inherent throughout my answers to some of the questions is my love for C-list celebrity culture. It’s a serious hobby of mine. I love it so much. I think Duke students should engage more with C-list celebrity culture.
DO: Who’s your favorite C-list celebrity?
LB: I love Kaley Cuoco. I love Cher’s twitter feed. I like different aspects of people’s C-list nature. I think Bella Thorne is a very interesting case to follow now, but she’s elevating herself to A-list just by like her heinous antics. I am loving following Lilo, just running down into nothingness. Oh! I totally lied. My obvious favorite C-list celebrity, obviously, is, you know Jonathon Cheban, best friend of Kim Kardashian? His mom, Gal Cheban, is an icon. She is so amazing. I follow her relentlessly.  She’s my queen.

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