Category Archives: Graduation requirements

Suggestion for a replacement graduation requirement

One, I suggest for the replacement graduation requirement: sing aloud in front of at least 20 people a song that was written at least 20 years before you were born.

I expect It’s Only a Paper Moon would work for most undergraduates at Duke these days.

Also, I think that It’s Only a Paper Moon and Centerfold are two of the most “important” popular songs written in English from the last hundred years.

Thank you, faithful reader!  Someone finally submitted a suggestion for a replacement of the “Get it on in the Libraries” graduation requirement.  Take a break from your commingling, students, to send some more suggestions.

You certainly have eclectic musical taste.

Five unofficial graudation requirements

What are the 5 unofficial graduation requirements? [3564B]

Another question about the five unofficial graduation requirements (!), specifically, what they are.  According to, they are:

  1. Drive around the circle backwards (the one connecting Chapel Drive, Campus Drive, etc.)
  2. Go Tunneling (Campus buildings are connected by underground tunnels containing mostly piping and other infrastructure. There are entrances scattered around, with locked doors.)
  3. Climb Baldwin (the dome at the top, that is)
  4. Do “It” in the Gardens
  5. …And in the Stacks

As I said in a recent post, I’m encouraging readers to submit suggestions to replace #5 (primarily so I don’t have to answer questions on the topic anymore, but also so students graduate without a criminal record).

Fulfilling graduation requirements in Perkins Library

Where in Perkins is it easiest to fulfill (with a partner) one of the five graduation requirements? [3558B]

I think you mean five “unofficial” graduation requirements.  Believe me, I’m no prude and was quite rambunctious in my undergraduate days (some would say I am still).  But since forty percent of these so-called unofficial requirements are “doing it” in two different places on campus – Duke Gardens and Perkins Library – I suggest a new fifth to replace “doing it” in Perkins Library.  Answer Person will consider all suggestions and promote the best (please come up with a new fifth: I’m tired of answering this question!).

Prattle all the way to the bank

Why do Pratt people have to do 3 times as much work as Trinity people? [3554A]

The library is one of those places on campus where all students can come together in harmony to pursue academic excellence. The gateway between Perkins and Bostock Libraries quite literally links Engineering (represented by CIEMAS) and Arts and Sciences (represented by the academic quad).

However, since your question suggests you might be a Pratter, I would point out two facts: first, the university requires that students in both Pratt and Trinity successfully complete a total of at least 34 course credits; second, a recent article at (“Most lucrative college degrees,” 24 July 2009) claims that “engineering diplomas account for 12 of the 15 top-paying majors.” The article, quoting a 2008 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks college graduates’ job offers, suggests that recent engineering graduates can expect an initial salary up to double that of their humanities counterparts.

Mattresses in stacks

Could we get more mattresses in the stacks, because I have graduation requirements to fulfill!  [in another hand] Maybe one of those vending machines with the Twix/condoms 2-for-1? [3351A]

Using mattresses is cheating. You’re supposed to use the floor (the concrete part, at that).  Regarding the second comment, can’t you plan ahead enough to purchase supplies at the lobby store in the Bryan Center or at a local drug store?

Sex in the stacks

Where’s the best place to have sex in the library? [3345A]

There are some comfortable chairs and clean carpeting right near the main entrance across from the Circulation desk, next to those big picture windows looking through to the Von der Heyden Pavilion.  This is the best place from the standpoint of people who will read about it in the Chronicle’s police report and who will have a good story to tell after you’ve been expelled.