I love Duke. It's definitely where I want to go to college, and I just visited the campus and I found it awesome. But I just stumbled upon a really old thread on here about why people hate Duke. It mentioned the strained relationship with Durham, debauchery and parties, controversies, and elitism. The thread was from 2004 and when I looked up articles about such things they were mostly from 2006 or earlier.
It doesn't matter to me if Duke is hated because I love it, but I do wonder: Is Duke still controversial or have things changed? Should I be entirely proud if I do go there? Just wanted to get you guys' opinions.
I believe there have been improvements; however, the hard fact is that if you matriculate at an undergraduate institution of Duke's -- or its peers' -- distinction, many individuals will simply be envious.
Add to this some undeniable truths:
(1) that Duke excels both academically and athletically
(2) that It has a rare, pervasive and unifying spirit
(3) that its alumni are admitted (in large numbers) to the best graduate and professional school programs
(4) that many of its established and younger alums succeed in very lucrative and influential careers
(5) that its "reputational trajectory" during the last three decades has been more steeply ascendant than many of its peers
and that envy becomes the "fodder" for public and media discourse.
The plain fact is that every first-rank university has a similar concerns, and all for nearly identical reasons. In essence, this "come with the territory," although Duke works very assiduously to mitigate it.
If you really love Duke so much, you should refrain from using such a gimmicky title just to draw eyeballs to your post. Your post could potentially discourage people from applying, if you love Duke, that should not be your intention. Perhaps you could have phrased the title differently, for instance, you could merely have used "query about Duke's public perception" as your title. Having said that, I think people hate Duke because it's so well rounded. With a few of Duke's peers, people have the satisfaction of knowing that many of the students aren't very sociable (obviously this is a generalization). They feel superior to grads of those schools in that regard. With Duke, students tend to be intelligent as well as articulate. They know how to have a good time while maintaining a standard of academic excellence. The combination of these attributes sometimes makes less accomplished (and self assured) individuals envious.
If someone simply decided not to apply to Duke based on this thread title, they're 1) really stupid, or 2) extremely superficial. Either way, they don't deserve to be at such an exceptional university.
As for your questions, see this for just one example of why people might dislike us:
Thanks for all the insights. And, yeah, happyman2, I picked a gimmicky title so people would click on it XD, but I definitely don't want anyone to be discouraged about Duke. Hopefully, they'd think for themselves and use resources outside of CC to decide if it's the right college for them.
As a Duke alum, it was amusing to me when I moved to Kentucky. Everyone here remembers Christian Laettner's shot and how much they despise Duke. I like to point out that Kentucky won the National Championship game over Duke in '78 and '98, while Laetttner's shot only determined the Regional Championship, but to little avail.
Eventually however, most people will concede a healthy respect not only for the basketball program, but also for the academic reputation as well.
As a Duke graduate, I have to agree with you, some people do hate Duke. But their hatred comes more out of jealousy than anything else. They don't understand how a college can have the wildest parties, as well as the best employers looking to pick up students.
At the end of the day, it does not matter what people have to say. Coming to Duke was the best decision of my life, and I have no regrets