Elitism Among Students?

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Discus: Individual Schools: US News Top 25: Duke University: 2004 Archive: Elitism Among Students?
By Chemgirl04 (Chemgirl04) on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - 12:23 am: Edit

Many people have complained to me that the student body at Duke has an elitist attitude? I'm very interested in Duke and was hoping that this wasn't true...I was wondering if anyone had a perspective on this issue that I would benefit from?
Also, I've read (in several college books) that students at Duke predominately dress in "preppy" clothes...ie pressed pants and skirts and such. While I find this a little hard to believe, I wanted to make sure that a student used to wearing jeans and sweatshirts wouldn' feel somehow isolated from the rest of the students.
Thanks for your help!

By Parentofteen (Parentofteen) on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - 06:46 pm: Edit

We just returned from a NC/SC visitation day at Duke last weekend. I did not even see anyone dressed in a "preppy" style while we were there. Our student tour guide had on jeans, a t-shirt, and sandals (flip-flops). It has been my impression at a lot of the competitive LACs that the students are more into studying than into making a fashion statement. When we toured Wake Forest, one of the mothers in our group commented on how she was shocked at how the students seemed to dress purely for comfort and not for style. Most of the students there were wearing jeans and sweatshirts that day since it was cool outside.

My daughter who is applying to Duke and possibly Wake Forest is the furthest thing from preppy one could ever meet. She would have been turned off by preppy dressing if we had seen it at Duke.

By Chemgirl04 (Chemgirl04) on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Thanks so much, your message was very helpful. I am visiting next weekend and hope I see the same.

By Dpop (Dpop) on Monday, October 13, 2003 - 07:34 pm: Edit

I disagree, one of the reasons I like Duke is the sense of style and fashion among students. I like to dress well, and prefer when others do too. Dartmouth is the place for casual dress, Duke has a nice professional atmosphere. That is one of the major reasons Duke is my early decision choice.

By Bobmcc (Bobmcc) on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 02:10 am: Edit

There have been several articles in local newspapers over the last couple of years detailing the social difficulties that kids coming to duke from less affluent background may find. It's easy to tell a college kid that s/he just needs to look at the situation "realistically" and maturely - but it's another to simply not be able to afford to hang or go out w/ friends who take luxury for granted.

Our son's hall counselor a couple of yrs ago at the NC School for Science & Math (which basically abuts Duke east), a grad student at duke, who the previous year had been a frat. house "master" or whatever. His descriptions of some of the boys' behaviours was quite appalling. In one case, he'd asked a boy who'd drunkenly broken a window the night before to please pay for the costs. The kid responded by kicking out the glass in the door & then pulling out a checkbook to pay for it all. Typical ? nah; but neither was it isolated. There does seem to be an air of entitlement that money thinks it can buy. Indeed, another friend who taught at Duke, was approached by a father of a kid who was failing a course needed to graduate on time and was offered a fairly large amount of money to buy the senior a "c" - after first being threatened w/a lawsuit for failing the kid. A fascinating, if disturbing email exchange that my friend had saved. It's pretty hard to pass a kid when his average for the course is a 43...

And there's lots of nice, decent, smart kids there who are "right" w/ their values. My friend who was offered the bribe, did all his grad. work there and thinks very highly of duke.

By Noozie (Noozie) on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 12:26 pm: Edit

There is an air of elitism around Duke (I spent 6 weeks there this summer), but there are some great people who are there for the academics and not for the prestige, sports, family reasons, etc. These are the awesome people who make up Duke...if you go there, find them.

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