LA CASA, BRYAN CENTER— During the early morning hours of September 15th, 2023, students looked in awe as President Price marched down the steps of the Bryan Center with allyship in his heart. He had volunteered for this sacred honor: releasing Duke’s Latinx students for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Jane Smith (T ‘26) reported seeing President Price in a mariachi suit complete with a taped-on mustache, humming “La Cucaracha” as he went about his business. She stared as he approached an all-glass observation room in the lower levels of the Bryan Center and inserted his key. She heard a click, and President Price say, “Ok, you can come out now.” To her shock, Latinx students began trickling out of the aptly named La Casa as dozens of photographers rappelled from the ceiling and began snapping pictures.
This ritual marks the yearly start of Hispanic Heritage Month at Duke University, a month of celebration amongst Latinx students and general ignorance by the majority of the student body. This month, alternatively labeled “pamphlet picture month” in leaked Duke administration memos, has been hailed for its cultural sensitivity and exposition by President Price and Vice President Mary Pat McMahon.
Unfortunately, the release was reportedly not as smooth as previous years as representatives of Mi Gente confronted Price with a printed list of demands. After Price was handed the list, nearby students reported seeing a seemingly heated argument as both sides negotiated. Finally, after a long debate, Price consented to one of the demands and was seen taping a “No Tapping the Glass” sign on the windows of La Casa. He then promptly folded the list into a paper airplane and threw it at an escaping student.
Despite this rocky start, Hispanic Heritage Month was hailed as a massive success. This success has led Duke administration to announce that “La Casa” would be relocated to Central Campus as a sign of “solidarity.”