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Through The Eyes of a Duke Male

This piece is part of a larger series on Karen F. Owen’s “F**K List,” a leaked PowerPoint on her sexual activity, which she composed about her undergraduate experience at Duke University.

The online community seems to be in an uproar about the “latest sex scandal” at Duke University. Following the infamous Lacrosse case of 2006 where players were accused of raping a stripper (players were acquitted!) and the equally embarrassing 2006 Rolling Stone article titled, “Sex & Scandal at Duke”, people almost did a “well of course, it’s Duke for crying out loud!”
Despite the uproar outside campus, Duke students just carried on with their everyday regiment of wake up early to attend four hours of class, grab a few cups of coffee in between, run to four meetings, hit up the library to crunch out the paper due the next day, and if it’s the latter half of the week, kick one back with some friends. Sure, it’s unfortunate that national media came to Duke not because of all of our other achievements but for a scandal, but for most of campus, the Karen Owen story made for just a good chuckle.
It’s not surprising that there would be such a large national focus on us. If you follow basketball, you’ll notice how much negative attention we’re lavished with year round. As Duke students, we do what we do best: keep working hard and keep playing hard.
What does that trite collegiate statement mean? Think about it. This former Duke student, engaging in what happens at every college campus, decided to make a lengthy PowerPoint about it.
As Alex Fanaroff, a column writer for the Duke Chronicle, put it: “It makes you wonder what those of us occupying the more traditionally dorky social lower class might have produced. An iPhone app that lets you know the probability that the person you’re about to take home from Shooters has an STD? A critical reading of all of the pick-up lines you’ve tried on members of the other sex?”
In general, while it is unfortunate a “scandal” has occurred again regarding our prestigious university, it’s important to note that the activities aren’t that surprising. Ask anyone who’s spent any significant time on a college campus and they can probably mention their own “Karen Owen”. Except, our Karen Owen used the hard-earned skills she honed at Duke to put a playful spin to an otherwise mundane activity.
We’re Duke. We work hard. We do good. We make money. We have fun.
Take your stabs at us, but that doesn’t change any of that.

Cheney Tsai is a junior at Duke University.
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